Bagh & Kotli
District Bagh, is rich in variegated natural beauty. Bagh, Dheerkot, Sudhan gali, Hanse Chowki, Neela Butt, Las Danna, Mahmood Gali, Suddhan Gali, Kahuta, Havaily and Ganga Choti are the main attractions. Kotli is located at a distance of 141 kms from Rawalpindi/ Islamabad via Sehnsa, Holar and Kahuta. It is linked with Mirpur by two metalloid roads, one via Rajdhani (90 kms) and the other via Charhoi. It is also directly linked with Rawalakot via Trarkhal (82 kms). Places of interest are; Teenda, Hajiabad, Khoiratta, Fatehpur, Karela Majhan etc.
The curling river flows through from East to West between the high green mountains of this valley and joins the river Neelum at Domel near Muzaffarabad. A 59 Km long metaled road runs along the river Jhelum from Muzaffarabad to Chakothi, close to line of control (LOC). Places of interest in Jehlum Valley include: Garhi Dopatta, Chinari, Chakothi, Chikkar, Loon Bagia, Dungian & Danna.
This is the most fascinating & loveliest valley. A metaled road branches off for Leepa from Naily, 45 kms from Muzaffarabad, climbs over the Reshian Gali (3,200 m) and then descends to 1,677 m on the other side into the Leepa Valley. The valley remains open for domestic tourists from May to November. Places of tourist interest in this valley are: Leepa, Dao Khan, Chananian etc.
World’s third largest earth-filled dam was completed in 1967 on the River Jehlum. It is situated 115 km south-east of Islamabad. After traveling for 101 km on G.T. Road, we have to travel turn left from Dina to cover remaining 14 km. The dam is 3,353 m long, 116 m high above the river bed and 3,140 m wide at its crest. It is designed to store 5.88 MAF water and has a minimum power generation capacity of 600 megawatts. There is an old Gakkhar Fort on the dam to have a panoramic view of the lake.
Mirpur & Bhimber
It is situated at an elevation of 459 m. It is linked with G.T. Road at Dina, a small town about 15 kms short of Jhelum city. The construction of MangIa Dam converted the old Mirpur town into a big artificial lake and affected a population of about 50,000. But it paved the way for existing new Mirpur town situated on the bank of MangIa Lake. The city is well planned and buildings are mostly of modem design. Mirpur has developed into an industrial city very rapidly. Places of interest around Mirpur are; Mangla Dam, Ramkot Fort etc. Bhimber was mentioned by Mughal Emperor, “Jahangir” in his book “Tuzh-e-Jahangiri”. It falls on the route that was followed by the Mughals for their frequent visits to the Kashmir Valley. Bhimber town is located at a distance of 50 kms from Mirpur and 166 kms from Rawalpindi. Places of interest are; Baghsar, Jandi Chontra etc.
The capital of the Azad Jammu & Kashmir is situated at the confluence of the Jhelum & Neelum rivers. It is 138 kms from Rawalpindi and about 76 kms from Abbottabad. The present name of Muzaffarabad has been given to it after the name of Sultan Muzaffar Khan, a chief of Bomba Dynasty (1652). There are two forts, namely, Red & Black Fort, situated on the opposite sides of river Neelum. The Neelum river streams through the town, joins river Jhelum at Domel and plays a dominant role in the micro climate of Muzaffarabad.Places of interest in and around Muzaffarabad are: Pir Channasi, Shaheed Gali and Patika.
About 240 kilometers long picturesque Neelum Valley is situated to the North & North East of Muzaffarabad. Running parallel to the Kaghan Valley, it is separated from it by snow covered peaks, some over 5000 meters above sea level. Excellent scenic beauty, panoramic view, towering hills on both sides of the noisy Neelum river, lush green forests, enchanting streams, high altitude lakes and attractive surroundings make the valley a dream come true. Places of interest in Neelum Valley are; Kundal Shahi, Kutton, Salkhala, Athmaqam, Karen, Dowarian, Sharda & Kel.
People & Culture
Azad Jammu & Kashmir is a land of fascinating people, languages & culture. Its population is composed of different races claiming their descent from Semitic, Mongoloid, Aryans, Persians, Turks & Arabs, speaking different languages like Kashmiri, Pahari, Gojri, Punjabi and Pushto. The people of Kashmir are sturdy, simple, truthful, intelligent, ingenious, hardworking, skillful and deeply attached to their land.
What To See?
Azad Jammu & Kashmir is very rich in natural beauty. Its snow-covered peaks, dense forests, winding rivers, turbulent foaming streams, sweet-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 delightful 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 m) most suitable for adventure sports like climbing, trekking, mountaineering, summer camping and hiking. Blessed with river & streams, it offers great potential for white water sports, especially rafting, canoeing and kayaking. Azad Kashmir has a varied wildlife including Leopard, Himalayan Bear, Ibex, Grey Goral, Musk Deer, Kashmir Stag, Monal Pheasant, Western Tragopan, Snow Pheasant, Red-led Partridge (Chakor), Black Koklas Pheasant, Peacock, Eagle, Dusk Markhor etc.