Best Places to Visit in Kashmir
Toli Pir is the highest mountainous location in Pakistan, being situated in the Poonch District of Azad Kashmir, in Tehsil Rawalakot. It is a hilltop station situated at a height of around 8800 feet above sea level and presents a 45 minute drive from Rawalakot to Azad Kashmir, allowing travelers to view Abbaspur, Bagh and the Poonch River on their way. It forms the point of origin for a number of different mountain ridges with the remains of an old mazar being located on the highest hilltop of this region.
Toli Pir is mostly accessible during the summer season due to the pleasant weather with its natural beauty being showcased at its best during the months from April to September.
Banjosa, being a Hindko word which means forest from ‘Bunn’ and Jousa who was the owner of the land, is basically a small tourist attraction being located around 20 kilometers from Rawalakot in Azad Kashmir. It comprises of three main markets which are called mareed na bagla, R.A bazar and mirat gala. This valley is famous for Kashmir’s freedom fight which was initiated there by Captain Hussein Khan and for the presence of the great Banjosa Lake.
Pir Chinasi is situated 30 kilometers east from Muzaffarabad, offering beautiful green plateaus, a stunning topography and the perfect weather for tourists and nature lovers. It offers a spectacular view of the neighboring mountain peaks with the followers of the Saint Shah Hussain Bukhari undertaking regular pilgrimages here in order to spiritually refresh themselves. The neighboring areas of Pir Asimar, Jarran Phirran, Mushki, Saran and Sakki offer perfect landscapes for hiking, camping and trekking activities whilst providing residence to the tourists in the Tourist Lodge present at Saran.
The capital of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Muzaffarabad is located on the banks of the Neelum and Jhelum rivers, bound by the Kupwara and Baramulla districts in the east and by the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the west. In accordance with the Census of 1998, the district contained a population of 725,000 individuals, which rose to 741,000 in the following year.
Mangla Dam and Ramkot Fort
Located in the Mirpur District of Azad Kashmir, the Mangla Dam is a multipurpose dam based on the Jhelum River and is known to be the 9th largest dam in the world. The project of this dam was undertaken by Binnie and Partners of London and was built by the Mangla Dam Contractor which was an association of 8 American construction firms, sponsored by the Guy F. Atkinson Company of South San Francisco.
The Ramkot Fort is a prehistoric fort which is located at the peak of a hill situated in Azad Kashmir, near the Magla Dam. It offers a 2 hour walk from Dadyal and can be accessed through a boat 13 kilometers away from Dina. Having been built on the location of an old Hindu Shiva temple, the fort is surrounded on three sides by the River Jhelum where ruins of the 5th to 9th centuries have been discovered.
About 240 km long bow-shaped deeply forested picturesque Neelum Valley dipped in beauty is situated at North and North-East of Muzaffarabad in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan, running parallel to Kaghan Valley. These two valleys are only separated by snow-covered peaks, some over 4000m above sea level. Excellent scenic beauty, panoramic views, towering hills on both sides of the noisy Neelum river, lush green forests, enchanting streams and attractive surroundings make the valley a dream come true.
Neelum Valley lies on both sides of the river Neelum. The geographical features enhance the natural beauty of the Valley. Its elevation, a mere 2,000 feet at the start, gradually rises till it attains a respectable height of 8,000 feet. On both sides there are high mountains and peaks. Nearly all the forest wealth of Azad Kashmir is to be found in this part of the State.
The Kundal Shahi is a village which is located at a distance of 74 kilometers from Muzaffarabad on the banks of the River Neelum. The most renowned and populated regions in this district is Jura which is popular for its bazar and the beauty of the surrounding areas. It comprises of different colleges along with private and government schools as well as hospitals. Athmuqam is the principal town of the valley which is located at a distance of 84 kilometers from Muzaffarabad which offers all the basic necessities needed by its inhabitants. It is also known to be the headquarters of the district with the presence of different facilities which include hotels, markets, banks, hospitals and rest houses.
Kutton is a village which is located at a distance of 82 kilometers from Muzaffarabad and is also called the Jagran Valley. Private guest houses and hotels for tourism are available here along with the rest houses of the AJK Tourism Department and WAPDA. Keran on the other hand, is also located within the Neelum District and is a resort which is located on the banks of the River Neelum, 11 kilometers away from Athmuqam. Sharda is also located on the banks of the Neelum River and is approximately 136 kilometers away from Muzaffarabad. Dowarian is located on the banks of the Neelum River as well and it is at a distance of 106 kilometers from Muzaffarabad and 22 kilometers from Athmuqan. It serves as a base camp for the Ratti Gali Lake and also contains a rest house for tourism belonging to the AJK Tourism Department.
Dudhnial is a well-known town of the Neelum District and offers a government college, high school for girls as well as a hospital and other government offices. Privately owned rest houses, shops and restaurants are also available here.
With a total population exceeding 5000 individuals, Tehjian is a beautiful village located in this region. Even though it is densely populated, the village does not provide any postal service and possesses only a few basic health units and private hospitals along with a tourist hotel by the AJK Tourism Department. Kel is another village which is 19 kilometers away from Sharda and offers similar facilities to those of Tehjian, adding a college, markets and a bank to the facilities as well.
Arang Kel is a tourist spot and village which is located at a distance of 2 kilometers from Kel. The last station of the valley is Taobat and it is located at a distance of 200 kilometers from Muzaffarabad, containing a private hotel for tourists.