Dharamkot (HP), Jan 21 (ANI): Israel’s war on Hamas in Gaza casts a shadow over tourism in Dharamkot in Himachal Pradesh as the village wears a deserted look with the departure of all Israeli tourists.
Dharamkot has come to be known as ‘Mini Israel’ due to the large number of Israeli tourists thronging the village.
Replete with various attractions to lure the tourists into its fold, Dharamkot has been quite popular with the Israelis for over a decade now.
The place was teeming with Israeli tourists till three weeks ago when Israel launched a military offensive against Hamas in Gaza. The Israelis in Dharamkot packed their bags and left for their country.
Israeli tourists have been the mainstay of the village market, which is now closed after their going away.
“All the Israeli tourists have left for their country due to the war. At present there is no tourist in Dharamkot due to which all shops are closed” said Prem Kumar, a travel agent.
The small village, which thrives on tourism, is now facing hard times as all the businesses in Dharamkot has come to a standstill. It is not only shops but also hotels, restaurants, even cyber cafes and the temple are closed at Dharamkot.
“Maximum number of tourists here are Israelis, but they have all left due to the war. The entire market is closed now,” said Sonu, a resident.
The villagers are now left with no option but to go back to their traditional occupation of cattle grazing.
Israel launched its offensive against Gaza on December 27 to force Hamas to stop rocket attacks on its territory.
Israel has accused Hamas of sheltering among the civilian population in Gaza and using sites such as mosques and schools as military posts.
The war has stopped with both Israelis and Hamas having declared ceasefire separately, but people in Dharamkot are not sure how long will it take for Israelis to return to Himachal. By Akhilesh Bharti (ANI)