Travel enthusiasts will now get a chance to soak in the virginal beauty of nature with J&K government on Tuesday opening border areas in Jammu district to tourists for the first time.

Coinciding with the three-day-long Baisakhi festivities, the state government kick-started border tourism from Octroi border outpost (BOP) here along Indo-Pak border.

“We have launched border tourism in the state today while celebrating the Baisakhi festival,” Minister for Sports and Medical Education R S Chib told reporters.

Jammu and Kashmir government is focusing on promoting border tourism to attract more visitors to the state.

The minister offered prayers at an ancient temple at Octroi and was joined by Member Parliament (MP) Jammu-Kathua Lok Sabha constituency, Madan Lal Sharma and Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Pawan Kotwal.

The minister said the initiative will help develop border areas which possess immense tourism potential.

Complete with myriad decorations, cultural programs, local food and handicraft stalls on offer, the fair left the Suchetgarh area’s festive spirits soaring.

Even as locals and BSF officials made the most of the event, a troupe of Punjabi dancers doled out power—packed performances grooving on drum beats and dolaks.

About 6,000 revellers visited the festival today.

Over the years Jammu has come up as a major tourist destination and in order to give a boost to it, infrastructure worth Rs. 5 crore would be set up here, the minister said.

Moreover, the government will also conduct circuital border trips to prominent sites of Shiva temple, Peer Baba, Tulip garden at Bhour camp, pre-independence railway station at R S Pura, Ram Krishan and Raghunath temples, Suchetgarh model village and Octroi Border Out Post.