Vivanta by Taj, perched on top of the Kralsangri Hill, overlooking the Tulip garden, the Dal Lake and the Royal Springs golf course and densely forested Zabarwan Hills as its backdrop, opened in the picturesque valley of Srinagar, the Summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir. The luxury resort located 20 kms from the Srinagar International Airport is the first property of the Taj Hotel in the valley. It is also a sign of the changing scenario in the valley which has witnessed violence on its streets for the last two decades.
Tourism is at the core of Kashmir’s economy and it had been harmed the most by the armed militancy that led to the hose boats, guest houses and local hotels being taken over by the security forces to serve as a makeshift barracks. Life has been coming back to normal in the last few years and the number of tourists visiting the valley has also been on an increase but the underlying tension erupts in the form of violence at the slightest provocation. Last year the summer season started off very well but ended in strife that claimed almost 100 lives.
The Taj Groups decision to open a resort in Kashmir will go a long way to reassure people outside the valley that Kashmir now is a safe tourist destination. Though the group is not taking any chances and fool proof security is being provided to the resort. The management and the staff of the resort are very upbeat with the initial response as 40 the 48 guest rooms in the hotel has already been booked for the summer. They are confident that with the opening of the resort the discerning tourists will come back to the valley. The Latitude restaurant at the resort is proving to be a big hit with the local residents. Chef Vijayan from Chennai promises that the authenticity of his south Indian cuisine will not be compromised. Basharat Rashid, the sales manager of Vivanta Taj assured that the best of Taj service will be available at the new resort.