Rising Temperatures and Tourist Impact in Hill Stations

Khushbu Kumari Jha
Rising Temperatures and Tourist Impact in Hill Stations
Rising Temperatures and Tourist Impact in Hill Stations

Explore how the increasing pollution and tourist influx at hill stations in India are disrupting the balance of nature, leading to irregular weather patterns.

The balance of nature is being shaken due to the increasing pollution caused by the increasing crowd at the hill stations of the country. If the situation remains the same, then in a few years the same weather and temperature will be found in the mountains and plains. Usually, the hill stations of North India remain pleasant from March to the end of May, but this time these months are either very cold or very hot. In 2024, the spring season got lost between winter and summer. The tourist places of Kashmir are one of the best hill stations, but the increasing number of tourists and locals has imbalanced nature. The weather has become irregular due to the increasing number of concrete buildings and heavy traffic of vehicles. Kashmir, which has always been the first choice of tourists, is disappointing them due to uncertain weather conditions these days.

Bitter cold in April, scorching heat in May

Spring usually begins in Kashmir in the month of March, but this time there was unexpected snowfall and rain. Due to this, there was severe cold till the third week of April. But, now the weather has suddenly changed and scorching heat has started. The temperature in Kashmir has become 5-7 degrees higher than normal. April was the coldest month in the last 20 years and now May is the hottest month in the last 35 years.

Why did the weather deteriorate in the mountains?

For the last few years, whenever the temperature in the plains rose and there was no respite from the scorching sun, lakhs of tourists turned to the hill stations of Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. This has led to massive traffic jams. Many experts say that tourism beyond the carrying capacity of such ecologically sensitive areas can irreversibly damage the delicate ecosystem of these areas. The same happened with Kashmir and its famous hill stations like Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Sonamarg and many other places crowded beyond capacity. Construction of hotels, huts, resorts was seen happening rapidly. In many places, green trees were cut for new construction and today the result is that the scorching heat in Kashmir has made life miserable.

How long will the heat wave continue in Kashmir?

Director of Kashmir Metrology Department Mukhtar Ahmed said that there will be no relief from the heat wave in Jammu and Kashmir for at least 15 days. He further said that we are facing changing weather. There is sudden heat and sudden heavy rain. This situation will increase further. Now humans will have to adopt all this and all this has happened due to our large-scale urbanization. Due to this, the increasing infrastructure, number of vehicles and factories are also the reason for the increase in temperature. In the last few years, tourism has been promoted due to infrastructure, but somewhere it is also having an impact.

The number of tourists in Kashmir increased by 200 percent

The number of tourists in Kashmir has increased by 200 percent in the last five years. It has been observed that the Covid-19 restrictions have changed the mindset of the people. Now people are not hesitant to spend money on domestic travel. They are preferring domestic travel over international travel. Air travel to Kashmir is more expensive than Delhi-Dubai, yet people buy tickets and reach here. Tourists spend lakhs of rupees on domestic travel, which was not seen earlier. Tourists now come to Kashmir even in the off season.

Tourists coming to Kashmir are also troubled by the heat

Tourists coming to Kashmir these days are already feeling the change in the climate of Kashmir. They say that they did not expect such heat in hill stations like Kashmir. Many people compare it with their previous visits and say that it has changed. They say that there is heavy traffic jam in Kashmir and pollution everywhere. This is the reason for the change. Tourists say that they came to Kashmir for cold. We thought the weather here would be pleasant, but we got scorching heat.

What will be the effect of rising temperatures in the future?

A report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change suggests that changes in the weather will make mountainous regions more likely to experience flash floods and cloudbursts. The report says that rising temperatures and melting glaciers will also have a serious impact on plant and animal species, which are already struggling with the effects of heatwaves, droughts, forest fires and floods. It further states that climate change will cause further temperature rise in all regions in the coming decades.