#FaceBehindPlaces is a special series that spotlights the guides and storytellers who bring our favourite destinations and experiences to life
Anwar Wain; Tour guide
Gulmarg, Jammu & Kashmir
“This winter was good for us. Tourists were coming in the thousands and business was sufficient. But with the new travel restrictions and lockdowns, it’s almost come to a halt,” says 38-year-old Anwar Wain. Before the lockdown, he would take tourists around Gulmarg every single day of the week–from 7am to 7pm, sometimes longer. Now he barely steps out. “If we got 100 tourists earlier, you now only have one or two.” But this too shall pass, he says. He has faith.
The 38-year-old tour guide is the sole breadwinner in his family of six. He loves taking tourists around his backyard. ‘Don’t just stick to the Gondola rides in Gulmarg. As picturesque as they are, it’s just a slice of what this place has to offer,’ he says. ‘Skip the beaten track and explore destinations like Doodhapatri where cattle graze on the Alpine meadows; Nagin Valley in the Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve; Outer Circle for its trekking trails; Frozen Lake, also known as Alpather Lake for its sheer beauty; and Drang with its tall pine forests and streams. As seasons change, so do the landscapes. In winter, these places are blanketed in stunning white snow. In spring, flowers are in full bloom—apple and wild pear, and later in the year almond and walnut.’ The thing about seasons is that they change. He knows.
You can contact Anwar Wain at 09596558770