Places of Interest
The Mughal Road was originally known as Namak Road (Salt Route) before Kashmir was surmounted by Mughal. It was famous by this name because salt was exported to Kashmir from the Western Punjab through this circuit. It was a podium road on which travel could be carried out only on ponies and horses. It came to be known as the Mughal Road because the prominent Mughal Emperors like Akbar, Jahangir, Shahjahan and Aurangzeb along with their caravans travelled through this route/road to the Paradise of Kashmir.
The decision to construct the Mughal Road from Bufliaz Poonch to Shopian was taken in 1978 by the then Chief Minister Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah to afford an alternate route to Kashmir Valley, to establish direct link with Rajouri – Poonch and to make the most of scenic spots of Pir Panchal region as a tourist attraction. However, the work was really started in 1981 on both the sides, from Shopian and Bufliaz for which two Mughal road divisions were created. After the demise of Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah in 1982, the lick of the effort of work got mired due to the paucity of funds. The idea of constructing/ re-constructing the road by Sheikh Abdullah received a setback when on the intervention of Defence Ministry of India the work was completely bunged. But as an end result of the pressure and demand exerted by the people of Rajouri and Poonch for re- opening of the Mughal Road as an alternate choice for visiting Kashmir Valley, the construction of Mughal road was included in Prime Minister’s Reconstruction Programme in 2005. Two Mughal road divisions were rejuvenated and revitalized, one at Surankote Poonch and another at Shopian Kashmir. The then Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Syed laid the foundation of the reconstruction of the Mughal road at Bufliaz and Hirpure on 1st of October, 2005 but the tangible work was started in February, 2006. The work was again stalled during 2007 due to the trepidation of Wild Life Organization that the sanctuary alongside Mughal road may get endangered or blighted with the construction of the road.
During the travel on the Mughal Road, one comes to know that it passes through unwavering topography and landscape as compared to Jammu – Srinagar national Highway. Therefore, the road is really a better option to link Kashmir with rest of the country. However, at present the standing of road is not up to the mark because nearly 31 kilometers road pass from ten thousand to twelve thousand feet above the sea level from Dubjan to Chata Pani, remains under snow cover from December to March and also nearly six kilometers of the road are prone to avalanches and landslides which makes travel on this road impossible.
The opening of the Mughal Road has thrown opportunities to explore and exploit heritage tourism on the basis of existence of the ruins of Mughal culture, Sarais, Tombs and Baradaries alongside the road. The Aliabad Sarai is still intact where Royal Mughal Caravan after crossing Pir Panchal would halt for few days, relaxing and enjoying the rich nature of the area. The older brilliance of this Sarai can be revived with the original style of renovation. The halt at this spot may attract climbers and trackers for expeditions towards seven lakes. In the same manner, Noorichum waterfall, Bheramgala, Dhera-ki- Gali, Thanamandi and Chingus can be also developed as tourist resorts which are equally important for heritage tourism. The Unique cultural heritage of nomadic tribes of Pir Panchal region, their ethnicity, dresses, discrete lifestyle, mellow folklore, (Shrine of Hazrat Sheikh Ahmad Aziz (RA) at Peer Ki Gali), Sarais and ruins of Mughal period shall improvise the heritage tourism.
The construction of 422 years old Mughal Road remained the foremost reverie of the people of Poonch- Rajouri because due to the establishment of LOC, the historic Poonch – Haji Peer Srinagar road was closed and this region remained cut off from Kashmir valley for the last 62 years. Due to the construction of Mughal road the distance from Poonch and Rajouri to Srinagar has been reduced to greater extent (From 500 Kilometers to 180 Kilometers) and journey for the people of Rajouri- Poonch to the valley has become expedient as compared to the travel via Jammu to Kashmir. It is just six hour journey with charming and attractive site scenes of Noorichum, Rat chum, Pir Marg, Aliabad, Sukh Sarai valley and Dubjan, (the small Gulmarag).
The Mughal Road in the coming years shall prove a superb tourist attraction because on this road there are a large number of lush green natural spots, high pasturelands and picturesque moors alongside the road from Pir Pass (12000 feet) to Rattan Pir (8600 feet). The virgin hill stations and charming spots shall be a source of attraction for the tourists at national as well as at international level. The number of peaks around the road like Tatakuti, Ganga Choti, and Kagalana shall be the point of attraction for the climbers. The Valley of seven lakes like Nandansar, Chandansar, Neelsar and so on located in the upper reaches of Pir Panchal in between 12000 feet to 15000 feet above the sea level is only seven Kilometers from Aliabad Sarai. The beautiful stretch of lush green from Pir Ki Gali to Aliabad Sarai can be converted into a world class Ski spot which can prove better than Gulmarag.
The opening of Poonch- Rawalakote road and trade across the LOC has enhanced the importance of the Mughal Road throwing opportunities for the people to interact and earn economical benefits.
is a hill station in the south-western part of kashmir valley in the Indian union territory of jammu and kashmir, south of the summer capital of srinagar(Sub district: Damhal Hanjipora, District: Kulgam). The place is quite peaceful and suitable for , trekking, vlogging, photography, and fishing. Due to mesmerising look of meadows, pineand fir tree forests, the abutting snow clad mountains, the waterfall attracts many Indian and international tourists. Aharbal Waterfall is also known as Niagara Waterfall of Kashmir
Kausar Nag or Kausarnag (sometimes alternatively spelled as Konsarnag), is a high-altitude oligotropic lake located at an elevation of 3,962.4 metres (13,000 ft) above sea level. Kausar Nag is located in the pir panjal Range in district Kulgam of jammu and kashmir.The lake is roughly 2 miles long and half a mile at the widest point.
The famous lake of Kousarnag is situated in the Pir Panjal range in district Kulgam of Jammu and Kashmir. The lake is oligotropic and is located amid three lofty peaks. The length of the lake is approximately 3km and it is half a mile in width. The water is ice cold and crystal clear. However, like springs the water is bit warmer than other surrounding glacial streams and you can take few dips in it. The peaks surrounding the lake are snow capped almost round the year. From November to June, the lake remains frozen. In July and August the snow melts and the water of Kousarnag begins to gently lap on the shores. The lake is the chief source of river veshaw, which is an important tributary of jhelum River. The lake is bestowed with some important medicinal plants as well, among them koth, dhoop, pamsalan. Kousarnag is considered as a sacred spot and many people visit here as part of their faith. Also, Gujjar and Bakerwal people rear sheep in the pastures lying below the lake during summer months. They reside in rocky caves during this season. The trekking path to Kousarnag is enchanting. However, unlike tosamaidan trail, the track here is rocky. The more common way to the lake is from Aharbal. Another way is from Nadibal but this route is lengthier. From Aharbal to Kungwatan is 9 km, while from Kungwatan to Mahinag is 7 km, and finally from Mahinag to Kousarnag is approximately again 7 km. Below Kousarnag is a wide valley called Nekisar or Neelam Valley, one of finest designs of nature. The Nadibal route starts from villages KB Pora and Avil. One can set off the trekking from either of the two villages to reach Nadibal, just 3 km from these twin villages. From Nadibal is a rocky terrain that leads to Telgogul Pathri, which further reaches to Alismud. From Alismud the route to the lake passes through dense and lush green forests from Cheran Bal to Sunderbouk, which again connects to Manzipal and then to Lehan Patri. It takes almost 4 hours to reach Lehan Patri. From Lehan Patri the way again passes through serene beautiful spots like Kachoie, Kholi Galli, and intersects at the route to Aharbal at Kong Watan. From here, the two ways merge and lead to Kousarnag. The bridges connecting different spots like Cheranbal, Lawayward, and Kachoie are simple wooden blocks which are unsafe to cross and pose a serious threat to the nomadic people who migrate for rearing cattle in summer season. Also, these bridges are usually washed away during heavy rainfall and floods, thus making the life of nomadic people like Gujjars, Bakerwals and Chopans miserable. These nomadic people usually migrate along with their schoolgoing children from May to end September. The government used to establish temporary seasonal schools to cater to the educational needs of their children at different pastures/ Behaks. Unfortunately, these seasonal schools have not been established since the last three years. The government of J&K needs to revive the earlier mechanism for imparting education to the vulnerable lot, otherwise it will increase the dropout rate in schools. Besides, massive deforestation and burning of stems of pine trees for charcoal has turned many lush green forests into deserts, especially at Lehan Pathri and Manzipal. The forest department needs to curb the menace of burning and debarking of pine trees, or the forests will be permanently destroyed. Trekking to Kousarnag lake is adventurous and enthralling. The mesmirising beauty of the lake is divine and reinvigorates the spirit that has been dulled by the ebbs and flows of life. The expedition is really enchanting and the panacea of all ills. Although the route to the lake is tough, as one has to traverse through rough edges and rocky surfaces, but the desire to have a glimpse of the lake infuses new energy. The cold breeze provides a soothing touch to the body and the soul gets lost in the fold of nature. In other words, nature embraces the soul of the visitor, attesting to the truth of Keats’ words: “A thing of beauty is a joy for ever.” Littering is strictly prohibited and keep kausarnag clean.
Hirpora Wildlife sanctuary or Heerpora Wildlife Sanctuary is located in shopian district of jammu and kashmir, 70 km (43 mi)south of Srinagar. It spreads over an area of 341 km2 (132 sq mi). It is bounded to the north by Lake Gumsar, northeast by Hirpora village, east by Rupri, south by Saransar and to the west by the Pir Panjal Pass. The slopes are gentle to moderately steep on the eastern aspect and very steep with many cliffs on the higher northern and western aspect. The southern and southeastern portions are moderately steep