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The legacy of the Mughals continues to live on! With places and buildings of majestic-art and architecture of the Mughals still reminisce people with an awe and amazement Mughal Road will further lay an impression on our minds with the saga of the great rulers that ruled our country for many centuries.

 Very few dreams remain unrealized over a period of time provided there is right planning, concrete and structured process of execution and an unflinching will to succeed.  Whether such dreams are at individual level or it is a collective dream of a state or a whole nation shares it. History witness to the fact that great achievements have always been preceded by great dreams.         

The people  of J&K had also  dreamt  of so many  things  including an alternative highway linking  Kashmir  to Jammu saving  people from disgusting halts and unending  waits when slight drizzles result in erosions  and landslides  on various places  enroute  the present  national highway.

 The Mughal road will serve no less than a panacea  for disgruntled  travelers  besides  giving  tremendous  fillip and boost to inter-provincial  trade and commerce and will help in a cultural synthesis  between various  social  groups spread  across  various part of the state.

Traversed by the carvans of Mughal  emperors  and their royal armies  four centuries ago, the majestic  Mughal Road  would  come up  as an alternative  highway  to connect  Kashmir with rest  of India . The road will serve as shortest (76 km) between the province of Kashmir and Rajouri and Poonch.

 The road originated in Jhelum  town of Punjab  province (now in Pakistan)  and then touched Kotli  ( in Pakistan Occupied –Kashmir ), Thanamandi ( Rajouri District ) and finally Chandimarh located in Pir Panjal  mountains and one branch crossed over to Shopian via Heepora . As per the blueprint, the road from Bafliaz to Shopian  is 89 kms and it will criss-cross 11,500 to 130,000 feet high mountain  ranges , which is higher than  Banihal pass on Jammu –Srinagar  national  highway and the present  entry point to Kashmir valley . Besides, 49 km of road is steep and 20 km rolling besides mountain stretches. The road will be constructed from Bafliaz (Poonch) through Chandimarh , Dugram , Pir Panjal  Pass. Ghurd, Aliahad  Saria, Sukh Saria  and Heerpora to Shopian . The road still has several monuments constructed by the Mughals.        

     In Chingus in Rajouri District emperor Jehangir died during his return from Kashmir and his body was kept in a fort at the place. On this road, a rest house was built by the Mughal’s  which  still exists at Muradapora . There was another rest house at Nayn Sukh ( Fatehpur), a grand Sarai at Thanamandi and a terrace at Noori  Chamb  water falls named after the Noor-Jehan, the queen  of Jehangir in Rajouri district . A grand Mughal rest house still stands at verdurous mountain peak at Chandimarh in the Mughal road followed  by small rest houses at Alyabad, Ziarat  of Peer Baba at Pir-Ki-Gali, Dubjian, near the Sulphur springs , and a big rest house now in damaged  condition at Heerpura ( Shopian).

The MUGHAL ROAD apart from serving as alternative highway between Srinagar & Jammu would also  create an environment, which would help in, greater Interregional culture and economic exchanges. The geographical isolation of the specific areas , which discouraged people to people contacts will end and greater  economic  activity  between  the regions  would follow especially in respect of Poonch & Rajouri  districts which remained cut of direct  contact with valley for last 57 years . The construction of Mughal road forms part of state plan with support from GOI ( PMs  Package). The 44.5 Kms from Shopian to Peer- K-Gali in District Pulwama and 40 Kms Shopian to Bafiaz In District Poonch was taken up during  2005-06 and likely to be completed within 03 years .

 

VARIOUS  STATIONS  ENROUTE

Shopian

Shopian is situated at a distance of 51 Kms from Srinagar 20 Kms from Pulwama. It has decades old road connectivity with Anantnag as well as Kulgam. In The era by gone, Shopian was located on the famous Mughal road connecting Lahore and Srinagar. This old route has suffered from neglect during the last couples of centuries, expect being traversed Bakerwals and Gujjars on the eve of their seasonal migrations.  The currently under construction Mughal road is now expected to link District Shopian with the Districts of Poonch and Rajouri. In the event  of  its  completion this road  would be an alternative  link between  the two  administrative  divisions of the state and likely to boost  the economy  of this  proposed  hill District  besides increasing  the administrative  responsibilities of the District administration in the times to come.

Jamia Masjid Shopian 

The mosque is said to have been built during the Mughal period. Shopian was an important stopover on the Mughal road across the Pir Panjal used by the Mughal to visit Kashmir. Five Time Prayers are held in the mosque and on Fridays people in large numbers respond to the call of the Mouzin and bow before the Almighty.

Hurpora 

About 12 Kms from Shopian Hurpora commands a beautiful scenic view. The place is situated on the historical Mughal Road and is accessible by car and bus. 

Behramgala    

Situated at the foothill of 8,600 ft. high Rattan peak on the historic Mughal Road about 45 Kms from Poonch Town.  Behramgala is small picturesque spot in deep gorge. It is small plateau surrendered by mountains and forests. Just near to it is the confluence of Thatta pani and Parnai stream which further adds to its otherwise scenic and natural beauty.

Noori Chamb  

A famous water fall in the district also connected with the Mughal Emperors is located in the north east of Behram Gala. This water fall is yet another scenic spot which has tremendous tourist potential. The fall of the stream gives rise to dense clouds of water vapours which engulfs the area and spread all over. The emperor Jahangir had developed so much fancy and liking for this fall that he named it Noori Chamb after the name of his beloved queen Noorjahan.

Buffliaz  

Another beautiful hill spot situated on the foothill of Peer Rattan range is Buffliaz, 39 Kms east of Poonch town. The village named after the horse of Alexander the great (Bunifales) who is said to have died there, is situated on both the blanks of poonch river.

Loran

A small town  situated 34 Kms north of Poonch town was once the capital of Poonch state under Hindu ruler  up to 1542. According  to Rajatarangini, it was then know as Lohar Kote. There are ruins of the Lohar Kote fort which was called as Gateway of Kashmir but now it is destroyed. At this fort, Raja Trilochan Pal defeated Sultan Mohmood Gazanavi. This spot is surrounded by b forests and some snow clad peaks. The remnants of fortified Mughal inns are a pleasant reflection of the glorious days of the place when it used to be a camping site for the royal Mughal entourage proceeding toward Kashmir valley.

Dhandidhar Fort.

It is a historical monument located on a hill in the vicinity of Rajouri town. This fort was probably constructed by Mughal king during the reign of Emperor Jahangir nearly 400 years back. It is just 2 Kms away from Rajouri presenting panoramic and impressive view of the entire area.

Usman Memorial

Usman Memorial has been constructed at Jhangar in the memory of Brig. Usman who was mainly responsible for freeing the captured area around Jhangar. After having captured this strategic area, Brig. Usman convened a conference of army officers to decide future course of action. Meanwhile, he fell to heavy shelling of the enemy on 3rd July 1948. This great memorial is maintained by the Infantry Unit located at Jhangar. The heroic deeds of army men as well as civilians who died while fighting in this area are commemorated every year on 3rd July as “Jhangar Day.”  

Issued for publication by M. Ashraf Hakak, District Information Officer Pulwama

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