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Snowboarders, skiers -- and smiles -- return to Kashmir

Three years of back-to-back lockdowns are finally over

Local snowboard instructor Farhad Naik, 30, who has spent months trapped at home after three years of back-to-back lockdowns, was one of the first to pick up his snowboard and head to Gulmarg, famous for its natural slopes, snow quality and altitude. (Photo by Safina Nabi)

GULMARG, Kashmir -- This winter has brought a sense of cheer back to the valley of Kashmir, with the Himalayan peaks blanketed with fresh snow and tourists traveling from all across India to enjoy the winter sports on offer.

Gulmarg, which translates as "Meadow of Flowers," is a town, a hill station, and a popular skiing destination -- an activity enjoyed as much by tourists as it is by local residents. Located at an elevation of 2,500 meters, the area is emerging as an international winter sports hub.

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