The Bold Voice of J&K

Kishtwar-jewel of J&K

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Tayab Waza   
Kishtwar District is a beautiful district of the State of Jammu and Kashmir of India. As of 2011, it is  the third least populous district of Jammu and Kashmir (out  of 22), after Kargil and Leh. It has highest wattage  production in the world for such a small area. It’s  famous for world renowned sapphire and saffron. It’s  situated on the banks of River Chenab.
Kishtwar District consists of nine blocks: Marwah,  Warwan, Dachan, Kishtwar, Nagsani, Drabshalla, Inderwal,  Chatroo, and Paddar. Each block consists of a number of  Panchayats.
The Chenab River flows through the district and is joined by tributaries such as Marvisudar River of    Marwah,  Fambar Nallah, Chingam Nallah which meet at the confluence near Bhandarkoot. The rivers have given a unique look to the  area with steep gorges and wide plains on the way. Padder  Tehsil has breathtaking mountain landscape which are a treat  to the eyes of travellers. Warwan and Marwah Valleys  are unique in being located in the way of river Marusudhar  giving a mesmerising look to the area. The area is also  famous for its high mountain passes which have been the  mountaineer’s delight since British era. The Kishtwar  Anantnag National Highway passes through the famous Sinthan  Pass and Daksum Nowpachi Road passes through the Margan Top  a 13 km long and 5100-metre-high pass. The steep Brahma Mountain peak is situated at Dachhan which is documented by British mountaineers. The Warwan Valley has been rated among India’s top ten trekking destination with a wide range  of landscape. Saffron of purest quality is produced in the  iron rich soil at Pochhal, Matta and Hidyal. Kishtwar  National Park, in the northeast region of the district, has  a large number of peaks and glaciers. The town has a small  Air Landing Ground under the control and management of  Indian Army which caters to civil and military
helicopters.
The 33 hectare Chowgan is the largest natural ground located  in the center of city and is used as a venue of recreation, religious and political gatherings. Mini Secretariat  housing all the offices of Kishtwar District Administration  besides world class Conference Hall is located 3 km from the  main bus stand in Kuleed area. Kishtwar is endowed with  dense forests of deodar, pine and fir.The world famous Chinar is also found here. There are high altitude mountains  ranging between 20,000 feet to 21,000 feet like Nun Kun,  Burmah and Barnag. Pilgrims and tourists visit shrines in  the area including Shrine of Sufi Saint Shah Abdal Sahib  located at village Dugga which is 5 km from the main Bus  Stand. The Shrine of Sufi Saint Shah Muhammad Farid-ud-Din  Sahib Baghdadi who arrived in Kishtwar during the reign of  Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb Aalamgir from the Kingdom of  Baghdad is revered as one of the holiest shrines in Jammu  province, The sons of Shah Muhammad Farid-Ud-Din Baghdadi were also the Awliya-E-Kiram  namely Shah Muhammad Akhyar-ud-Din, Shah and Muhammad Anwar-ud-Din who are laid to rest alongside their father and mother at Astan Bala  Kishtwar just 1 km from Bus Stand Kishtwar. Another son  Hazrat Shah Muhammad Asrar-ud-Din Sahib is laid to rest at  Astan Payein on southern edge of Parade Ground or Chowgan  Kishtwar. Every year on 9th November or 25 Kaartik of  Bikrami era a grand Urs is celebrated at Astan Payein where   more than 1,00,000 devotees from all faith and  religion come to pay the obeisance at the grave  of Shah Muhammad Asrar-ud-Din Baghadadi. Kishtwar is known for its saffron cultivation. Department of Tourism J and K Govt.  and Auqaf make elaborate arrangements for pilgrims on this  eve. At Bhandarkoot the Ziarat of Zain-ud-Din Wali of  Kashmir is located at the confluence of River Chenab which  sees a rush of devotees every day. At Rakna Palmar there is  also a Ziarat of Zain Shah Sahab. Kishtwar has also the Holy  Hindu pilgrimage sites of Athara Bhuja Devi Temple, Chandi  Mata Temple and Asthadash Bhuja Sarthal Mata Temple. Every year the pilgrimage is arranged for Machail Yatra a mega event attended by more than hundred thousand people from all  over the country. The annual Sarthal Yatra is also attended  by thousands of devotees. Hatta Wali Mata Kishtwar is first referred to in the Rajatarangini by the ancient name  Kashthavata, during the reign of Raja Kalsa of Kashmir (10631089), when “Uttamaraja”, the ruler of  Kashthavata visited the court of the Kashmir King in company  with several other hill chiefs to pay their respects to the  Raja. The Mehta family was given the lands of Kishtwar by  the King of Kashmir. Their family temple “Hatta Wali  Mata” and their heritage can still be tracked back to  Kishtwar. The founder of this family was the  Commander-in-Chief of the Kashmir Army “Sip-E-Salar Sri  Jiya Lal Mehta”. Known for his bravery and valour he  fought the Mughals and northern raiders who invaded the  land.Kishtwar merged with the State of Jammu and Kashmir in  1821, AD. With the passage of time Kishtwar became a Tehsil  of District Udhampur and remained so until 1948, when it  became part of the newly created District Doda in the wake  of first re-organisation of the State during the post-independence period. As of 2011 India census Kishtwar  had a population of 14,865.
The area of Kishtwar is 7737 km2, which is the  largest district in Jammu region.
(The writer is student of Class 10th Kishtwar)

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