Abdul Gani Dar was born in Hunder, a village in the Leh district of Jammu and Kashmir. It is located in Nubra Tehsil, on the bank of Shyok River. He is pursuing a distant educational M.A in Urdu from Kashmir University.
The Green willow cottage is based near Powerhouse stream in Hunder. The cottage started on 11th July 2018. TLOW was the first group with whom Abdul has started his journey in the tourism industry. The element which makes our journey more magical is the Green willow cottage.
Here, you can get glacier water stream in the neighbourhood, see countless stars in the night and have a bonfire which makes it a more extraordinary night stay at Hunder while on the trip.
How and when did you start?
- Abdul and his family had a place in Hunder with which they wanted to start the cottage but had no financial support at that time. But it is said, when your heart is pure, good karma surely helps you out.
- “I got the fund and started the Green willow cottage in July, 2018. I started this cottage with two rooms that had an attached bathroom. Slowly, people came in and liked the place. The first group, I had is The Land Of Wanderlust,” he said.
- Whenever we go to Green willow cottage, Abdul and his family welcomes everybody with open arms and take care of our backpackers as family. Our travellers always love this place for majorly three reasons: 1. The hospitality of the family. 2. The food they offer and 3. The serene sound of the glacier water stream near the cottage.
How you associated with TLOW?
- As mentioned earlier, the first group that came into Green willow cottage was TLOW. So Abdul started his journey in the tourism space with us. We love his service every time that we go to his place. We love the fact that Abdul has always been humble and welcoming to our travellers.
- The bonfire creates a magic of happy times to talk whenever everybody sits and chills around it. Abdul has made seating arrangement around the bonfire in his cottage. People dance, sing, act and play around it till late night because it makes the night more special when you have friends, an open sky and a bonfire all together.
How did tourism change your life?
- “Tourism has changed my life entirely, it gave me the opportunity to serve travellers and transform my way of living to the core. Many things are there which I haven’t seen in my life yet, but with the help of tourism, I got to know the importance of digital media where I can sell my service to many travellers. I am constantly learning new things from the travellers and the people around in Hunder. It has altered my way of perceiving things. Travellers come and experience the natural beauty of the sound of the stream and the birds chirping in the morning It makes the place more special to everybody,” he said.
How has the place changed over the years in terms of global warming?
- “Hunder has been facing changing temperatures since the last two or three years. In the daytime, the temperature usually goes to 27 degrees and in the night it shifts to 17 or 18 degrees at times. The sun’s heat is a crucial problem for the glacier because the water level of the stream is increasing after the glacier melting. We, the people of Hunder are making a conscious effort to plant as many trees as possible in and around our cottages to make it a better place to live. Last year, there was no proper snow in the region and therefore it has created an issue of drinking water in the area,” he said.
What we’ve learnt from Abdul:
We can’t control the temperature, but trees can. So plant as many trees as you can and make the world a better place to live in.
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