Meet Kashmir vloggers who explore unknown destinations and bring them to the world
There is no doubt that Kashmir is beautiful, but to add more flavor to its beauty, vloggers play a pivotal role. A vlogger is someone who creates and uploads a video blog. You can sound like a vlogger as someone who records their life, place, and other things rather than writing about it. Some vloggers make videos daily while others make videos less frequently when they have something specific to say to their followers.
This story features young and prominent vloggers from the Kashmir Valley, who promoted and explored unknown destinations and took them to the world.
A native of Srinagar, Imad Rehman, 34, is popularly known by his social handle Imad Clicks. Imad started his journey in 2018. “When I came back from Dubai, I started searching online about Kashmir and its landscape photos, but I couldn’t find the perfect photos. That’s when That’s when I decided to start recording the videos and promoting the nature and beauty of my place,” said Imad, who has nearly a million subscribers on YouTube.
His vlogs focus on capturing the grasslands and mountains of the valley. “They’re unexplored and I try to bring them to the screen,” he said.
Imad said the majority of his followers live in diaspora countries. “They want to see a unique side of the beauty of Kashmir,” he said.
Asked about the challenges they face while filming, he said: “The recent government ban on the drone has created hurdles as our work depends a lot on its use. Things have been sorted out now as we need to seek permission from the local district administration before flying.
“In many cases when we go to the mountains to film, we were questioned by security forces on the way because we were going with so many cameras,” said Imad, who had studied business management at the Indian Institute of Planning & Management, New Delhi.
The 26-year-old vlogger is now a household name in the valley and very popular among young people. Mir has one lakh and twenty three thousand subscribers on YouTube.
“Most students who join journalism had the idea that they were going to travel, but I think if you were going to travel, you should stay away from difficult news. I’ve always wanted to travel and help followers exploring new places through my reporting but unfortunately I couldn’t do it there. That’s when I chose to record the videos for my viewers,” he said.
Asked about his background, he said, “There was a time when I was uploading hundreds of videos a day and only getting a few hundred views, which was disheartening. But we must keep hope. See today, I travel a lot and also earn a lot,” he said.
He highlighted the issue of internet shutdown in Kashmir. “If you produce the content every day, viewers will remember you and if we stop, they will forget us. If the internet shuts down in the valley, it will lead to a 90% drop in my viewership,” said Mir, who studied journalism and has more than seven years of experience in the field.
Younis Khan, Hilal Khan, Danish Mir
A group of three friends from Srinagar who run a YouTube channel with the name – Explore Kashmir have become very popular now. They have over twenty-five thousand subscribers.
Younis said India time that their main objective is to explore the unexplored places of the valley. “We all love to travel and have been inspired by vloggers from outside the valley. We have traveled to hidden places that are not known to the general public and this year too we plan to shoot on the same lines”, did he declare.
When asked about suggesting new vloggers, Hilal replied, “Do your best, produce the best content and keep producing continuously. Do not be discouraged. Great achievements take a long time.
Hailing from the mountainous village of Manjgran, Boniyar tehsil, in Baramulla district, North Kashmir, Raashid has strived to promote his district when J&K Tourism could not. He has twenty nine thousand subscribers on Youtube.
“The Baramulla district has such an alluring landscape but unfortunately it has yet to be fully explored. I recently visited Guwaas village in the district which lacks basic facilities but if it is listed on the tourism map, people will surely start going there,” he said.
Raashid said the unfortunate thing is that foreigners did not hear the name of Baramulla district. “They only know Gulmarg, Pahalgham and Sonamarg. This district is rich in water bodies, mountains and forests that need to be valued,” he said.
Raashid, who started vlogging in May 2019, said he will also try to convey a social message through his new videos. “We will tell our followers not to pollute these beautiful places but also focus on sanitation,” he said, adding, “I am also starting vlogging in Phari language to preserve my native language.” .
A young and energetic content creator from Bijhama region in the border town of Uri in North Kashmir, Farhaan is passionate about traveling in forests and mountains. His YouTube channel offers vlogs in which we see him traveling through the vast landscapes of Uri.
“Uri being the last village in Kashmir has been overlooked by the authorities in terms of serene beauty. I bring it to the camera from my side,” he said.
“We want the concerned authorities to come out of the phobia of these specific Kashmir tourist destinations which are already well known. Uri has the potential to become a world-class tourist destination if the place is taken seriously,” he said.
Faizul Manzoor, 20, is the first Kashmiri YouTube vlogger. Hailing from the Barzulla region of Srinagar, Faizul is working hard to earn his name as a YouTube vlogger among the public.
She said, “YouTube is a good platform in today’s world to start vlogging because this social media app is used by millions of people around the world.”
“My first channel got stuck in 2020 then I was in depression but I didn’t give up hope and started a second one doing vlogs about travel and fashion. Best vlog I’ve done so far was on Dal Lake where I tried to show the world tourism which was highly appreciated by people. Vlogging helps to connect people from other countries,” she said, adding that she is interested in modeling and acting and has appeared in various brand shoots.
“I am grateful to my family, especially my mother for supporting and encouraging me,” she added.
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