New Year Celebrations At Historic Srinagar’s Lal Chowk For First Time | WATCH

    New Year Celebrations At Historic Srinagar’s Lal Chowk For First Time | WATCH

    In probably the first in the history of Jammu and Kashmir, New Year celebrations took place at Lal Chowk in Srinagar on Sunday.

    People were seen singing and dancing to the tunes of Bollywood songs at the historic clock tower commonly known as ‘Ghanta Ghar’ in Lal Chowk.

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    The historic Ghanta Ghar (Clock Tower) at Lal Chowk got a major facelift this year ahead of G20 as the town square has become a popular tourist attraction.

    Locals and tourists gathered in hundreds to welcome the New Year at a place which hasn’t witnessed such celebrations earlier owing to the violence and law and order issues. 

    The vibrant atmosphere was illuminated by the glow of decorative lights, casting a warm and colourful ambience around the Lal Chowk. Buildings around the Lal Chowk were decorated with vibrant lights.

    With the sunset, people, who had gathered for the usual Sunday market – flea market – in and around the city centre, also joined in these celebrations.

    Saima, a local of Srinagar who was at the celebration venue told News18, “We had come for some work, we learned that celebrations are taking place here, so we stopped and joined in.”

    “It’s good to see people moving on. We feel proud of Kashmir. We are so happy that we are moving forward. I am excited and so are others here,” she added.


    The crowd, a mix of locals and visitors, were capturing the moment on their mobile phones with the singer on stage setting the atmosphere. Similar events were organised by the tourism department in famous tourist destinations including Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Sonmarg.

    Another local Rouf Ahmad, who had family with him said that he had come to witness the evening. “I’m delighted today. Locals and tourists are enjoying together and there is no fear. It’s a message to the people across the world to come and enjoy this paradise called Kashmir,” Rouf said.

    Security forces personnel including police and CRPF men were deployed there to foil any untoward incident.

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    Many events at events Clock Tower were disallowed in the past citing law and order problems. With the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019, the government has held functions and allowed activists to raise the tricolour atop the clock tower.

    This year, the hosting of the G20 event proved to be a major tailwind for development works in Kashmir as Srinagar was transformed with several new landmarks added to the city.

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    Ieshan WaniIeshan Wani, senior correspondent, CNN-News18, has over eight years of experienc…Read More

    Location: Srinagar, India

    first published: December 31, 2023, 20:25 IST

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