AZAD JAMMU & KASHMIR
On the termination of British rule over the Sub-Continent two independent States, Pakistan and India emerged in August 1947. In view of geographical, religious and historical links the people of Jammu & Kashmir State demanded freedom from the rule of Maharaja Hari Sing and the accession of the State to Pakistan.
The Maharaja, ignoring the wishes of the Muslim majority, instead, entered into an unfortunate conspiracy with the Hindu leadership and acceded to India. This sparked the liberation movement of the Muslim population of the State against the Dogra and Indian forces in Kashmir. As a result of this, a part of the State was liberated from the Dogra-cum-fadian domination in October 1947, and named Azad State of Jammu & Kashmir.
Muzaffarabad, Poonch, Bagh, Sudhanoti and Kotli districts fall into mountainous zone while Mirpur and Bhimber districts generally lie in foot-hills.
PEOPLE & CULTURE:
Azad Jammu & Kashmir is a fascinating land of people, languages & culture. The texture of present population is composed of races claiming their descent from Semitic, Mongoloid, Aryans, Persians, and Turks & Arabs. The people of districts Kotli, Mirpur & Bhimber, are sturdy, simple, truthful and deeply attached to their land.
The culture of this area resembles to that of the adjoining area of Punjab. The people of districts Poonch, Bagh & Sudhanoti are adventure loving and there are numerous anecdotes of their matchless valour as well as inspiring sacrifices for freedom. While Muzaffarabad District has its own distinctive culture. The people of the State are intelligent ingenious, hardworking, dynamic & skillful.
Azad Jammu & Kashmir is very rich in natural beauty. Its snow-covered peaks, dense forests, winding rivers, turbulent foaming streams, Wheat-scented valleys, velvet green plateaus and climate varying from arctic to tropical, all join together to make it an excellent tourist attraction. Valleys like Neelum, Jhelum, Leepa, Rawalakot, Banjosa, Samahni & Baghser unfold delightfull scenic beauty and provide a feast of pleasure to a discerning tourist’s eyes.
Azad Kashmir is also blessed with a varied mountainous landscape ranging from low hills to high mountains (2000 to 6000 meters) most suitable for soft to medium adventure tourism. The area provides excellent opportunities for rock climbing, trekking, mountaineering, summer camping and hikes. Moreover, blessed with large number of river & streams, Azad Kashmir offers great potential for white water sports, especially rafting, canoeing and kayaking.
FACTS FOR THE VISITORS:
Tourist! Visitors from all parts of the State & Pakistan can visit Azad Jammu & Kashmir without any restrictions. However, they are advised to keep their identity with them.
Foreign tourists can visit Azad Kashmir except the areas situated within 16 kilometers along the Line of Control (LoC). Before planning their visit foreigners should contact the AJK Home Department at Muzaffarabad for issuance of NOC before visiting Azad Kashmir.
.AZAD JAMMU & KASHMIR AT A GLANCE
|Total Area:||13297 Sq. Kms (5134 Sq. Miles)|
|District:||Area (Sq. kms)||%to total area||Density in 2006 (person/Sq.kms)||Growth
Total Population: (Projected on the basis of 1998 Census)
Source: Population Census Organization– Islamabad.
Total: 3.600 Million
Neelum: 0.159 Million
Muzaffarabad: 0.770 Million
Bagh: 0.460 Million
Poonch: 0.490 Million
Sudhanoti: 0.262 Million
Kotli: 0.690 Million
Mirpur: 0.395 Million
Bhimber: 0.370 Million
iii.Hattian iv Rawalakot
viii. Bhimber. xi. Kotli
Official Language: Urdu
Local Languages: Kashmiri, Urdu, Pahari, Gojri, Punjabi and Pushto
Handicrafts: Carpet, Namda Gubba, Patto, Silk Woolen Clothing, Woolen Shawls, Wood Carving, Papier Mashie, Rugs. Mushroom, Honey, Walnut, Apple, Cherry, Medicinal herbs & plants, Resin, Deodar, Kail, Chir, Maple and Ash Timbers.
Wildlife: Snow Leopard, Common Leopard, Brown Beal Black Bear, Ibex (Kel), Grey Goral (Mountain Goat), Mus Deer, Kashmir Stag, Monal Pheasant, Western Tragopar Snow Pheasant, Red-led Partridge (Chakor), Black Kokla Pheasant, Peacock, Eagle, Dusk markhor (Wild Goat).
Rice, Aab-Gosht, Tabak Maaz, Ristay, Gushtaba, Hareesa, Saag (Vegetable Dish).
Main Entry Points:
Kohala: (108 Km from Islamabad)
Bararkot: (60 Km from Abbottabad)
Azad Pattan: (80 Km from Islamabad)
Mangla: (116 Km from Islamabad)
Dhalkot: (53 Km from Islamabad)
Karote: (76 Km from Islamabad)
Bhimber: (196 Km from Islamabad)
Main Tourist attractions:
(For Domestic Tourists):
Neelum Valley, Jhelum Valley, Leepa valley, Tatta Rawalakot, Banjosa, Ghori Mar, Lasdanna, Sud~ Gali
(For All Tourists):
Dheerkot, Rawalakot, Chottagala, Chikkar, Daokhan, Muzaffarabad, Mangla & Sehnsa.
Map of Azad Kashmir