We Have Built ‘The Rah Bagh’ With A Lot of Passion: Nazir Rah

Nazir Rah, Managing Director, Rah Hotels and Resorts spoke to us about his inspirational journey from an adventure tour guide to helming one of the most talked about properties in the valley.


The Rah Bagh--a scenic new retreat on the outskirts of Srinagar with the mighty Himalayas as the backdrop, sits in the lap of nature and captures the beauty of the Kashmir valley in its entirety.

This luxury boutique resort has a distinctive character with its Alpine chalet style set over 3 acres, within an apple orchard, sprawling gardens, picturesque views of the Dal and Nageen lakes, framed by towering poplars and the Zabarwaan mountains as the backdrop!

Nazir Rah, Managing Director, Rah Hotels and Resorts spoke to us about his inspirational journey from an adventure tour guide to helming one of the most talked about properties in the valley.

How did your journey in travel and tourism begin?

I was 17 or 18 years old when I started my career in the travel industry. I took up job with a travel company in Kashmir as an Expedition Manager and worked with them for close to seven years. It gave me an opportunity to understand the travel sector, not just in Kashmir but also beyond the state.

Ladakh used to be my favourite destination. During my stint with the company, I led many expeditions without a single complaint. While everything was going well for me, however, in the early 90’s, the sector got affected due to the political turmoil and subsequent violence and there was no scope left in the job that I was doing.

There was a company called Albatross in Copenhagen and I used to lead their groups in different parts of the Himalayas. With no work in Kashmir, I took up  job with them at Copenhagen and lived  there for over 10 years.

In the year 1999,  I came back to India and started my company called ‘Mountain Adventures’ in New Delhi with support from the Danish company I was associated with. We did the ‘Great Tibetan Marathon in Ladakh’ and it ran successfully for seven years and boosted tourism in the region.

Tell us about your new venture Rah Bagh in Srinagar, how is it different from other players in the market?

Me and my wife started this venture with a lot of passion in 2008. We could have built a hotel with 100 plus rooms, but we deliberately decided to venture into a boutique offering, with quality of experience in mind.

The first property was operational in Sonamarg in 2011. The idea was to offer people visiting Kashmir a real opportunity to be closer to nature. It was build as a getaway destination for the urban traveller who is not looking for big malls and swanky buildings, but just the company of nature. Soon after, we wanted to have another property in Srinagar to offer tourists more options, and we began work on the Srinagar property in 2014.

You have worked in the national and international markets. What is the scope of Kashmir’s tourism?

Kashmir has the potential to become the global market for adventure tourism. Though we have a huge demand from the domestic market, but that is season wise. We are lacking the infrastructure to attract high-end tourism and the government must to address this concern.

Moreover, we need to proactively promote Kashmir as a safe destination to travel to attract more international tourists.  Lot of foreign tourists don’t visit because travel is restricted. Even if they want to come, the travel insurance companies are not covering them. 

What is your vision for  Rah Hotels and Resorts?

Our vision is to go beyond Kashmir. We may get one more property to build our own golden triangle. 

My other plan is to go to rural areas, the unexplored areas, and to build boutique properties.  In my view, that is the future of tourism in Kashmir.

As we know, tourism is the main source of income in Kashmir. This sector can create huge employment opportunities if the government addresses the concerns related to infrastructure. I firmly believe that entrepreneurs in the travel and tourism industry in Kashmir can bring another golden period in Kashmir’s tourism history and The Rah Bagh is a step in that direction.

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Rah Resorts kashmir Nazir Rah

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