Muzaffarabad

Muzaffarabad

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Muzaffarabad is a rich north Indian sub-continent dialect spoken in the Pothohar Plateau around Rawalpindi, Kahuta, Gujar Khan, Jehlum, up to Gujrat in the south and Chakwal in the West, Hazara in the north, Azad Kashmir in the east and also by Sikhs from the Pothohar...

/Hindko/Pashto: ) is the capital of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

. It is located in Muzaffarabad District
Muzaffarabad District
Muzaffarabad district of Azad Kashmir is located on the banks of the Jhelum and the Neelum rivers, and is very hilly. The district is bounded to Pakistan in the west and to Kupwara and Baramulla districts that comes under the Kashmir section which is part of the greater dispute between India and...

 on the banks of the Jhelum
Jhelum River
Jehlum River or Jhelum River , ) is a river that flows in India and Pakistan. It is the largest and most western of the five rivers of Punjab, and passes through Jhelum District...

 and Neelum
Neelum River
The Neelum River , or Kishanganga , is a river in the Kashmir region of India and Pakistan. The Neelam River enters Pakistan from India in the Gurais sector of the Line of Control, and then runs west till it meets the Jhelum River north of Muzzafarabad.- Neelum Valley :The Neelum Valley is a...

 rivers. The district is bounded by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in the west, by the Kupwara
Kupwara District
Kupwara District is located in Jammu and Kashmir, India.-Administration:Kupwara district has 3 tehsils: Handwara, Karnah and Kupwara.This district consists of 11 blocks: Sogam, Tangdar, Teetwal, Ramhal, Kupwara, Rajwal, Kralpora, Langate, Wavoora, Trehgam and Kalaroo...

 and Baramulla districts of the India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

n state of Jammu and Kashmir in the east, and the Neelum District
Neelum District
Neelum District is one of the eight districts of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan. Until recently it was part of Muzaffarabad District. It is bound by the Gilgit to the North, with Kupwara, Baramulla and Bandipore Districts of Indian-administered Kashmir in India to the South and Southeast,...

 of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir in the north. According to the 1998 Census, the population of the district was 725,000, and according to a 1999 projection, the population had risen to almost 741,000. The district comprises three tehsil
Tehsil
A Tehsil or Tahsil/Tahasil , also known as Taluk and Mandal, is an administrative division of some country/countries of South Asia....

s, and the city of Muzaffarabad serves as the cultural, legislative and financial capital of what is presently known as Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Overview


The residents of Muzaffarabad are a highly literate and business orientated class maintaining close ties with the financial capitals of Northern Pakistan, primarily Rawalpindi
Rawalpindi
Rawalpindi , locally known as Pindi, is a city in the Pothohar region of Pakistan near Pakistan's capital city of Islamabad, in the province of Punjab. Rawalpindi is the fourth largest city in Pakistan after Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad...

 and the NWFP. Muzaffarabad is a prime destination for further and higher education for the youth of [Pakistan Occupied Kashmir]] and also
produces the elite class of [Pakistan Occupied Kashmir]] such as doctors, lawyers and businessmen. Rawalpindi
Rawalpindi
Rawalpindi , locally known as Pindi, is a city in the Pothohar region of Pakistan near Pakistan's capital city of Islamabad, in the province of Punjab. Rawalpindi is the fourth largest city in Pakistan after Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad...

 is also a prime destination for further education and training.

An interesting point to note is that the entrance to the Kashmir valley faces northwards and passes westwardly through Neelum
Neelum
Neelum may refer to:* Neelum River* Neelum Valley* Neelum District* Neelum...

 and down towards Muzaffarabad, where trade had flourished prior to the Kashmir dispute between the valley and Azad Kashmir.

Location


Muzaffarabad is situated at the confluence of the Jhelum and Neelum rivers. The city is 138 kilometres from Rawalpindi
Rawalpindi
Rawalpindi , locally known as Pindi, is a city in the Pothohar region of Pakistan near Pakistan's capital city of Islamabad, in the province of Punjab. Rawalpindi is the fourth largest city in Pakistan after Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad...

 and Islamabad
Islamabad
Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan and the tenth largest city in the country. Located within the Islamabad Capital Territory , the population of the city has grown from 100,000 in 1951 to 1.7 million in 2011...

 and about 76 kilometres from Abbottabad
Abbottabad
Abbottabad is a city located in the Hazara region of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, in Pakistan. The city is situated in the Orash Valley, northeast of the capital Islamabad and east of Peshawar at an altitude of and is the capital of the Abbottabad District...

. Muzaffarabad city is connected to Islamabad by a motorway, increasing trade between the mainland and the autonomous region. Cradled by lofty mountains, Muzaffarabad reflects a blend of various cultures and languages. The main language is a form of Hindko and Pahari. The Neelum river plays a dominant role in the microclimate
Microclimate
A microclimate is a local atmospheric zone where the climate differs from the surrounding area. The term may refer to areas as small as a few square feet or as large as many square miles...

 of Muzaffarabad which joins Jehlum River near Domail.

Railways


The closest railway stations are Rawalpindi
Rawalpindi
Rawalpindi , locally known as Pindi, is a city in the Pothohar region of Pakistan near Pakistan's capital city of Islamabad, in the province of Punjab. Rawalpindi is the fourth largest city in Pakistan after Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad...

 in Pakistan and Baramulla
Baramulla
Baramulla , known as Varahamula in antiquity, is a city in the Baramulla district in Jammu and Kashmir state in northern India...

 in India. Jammu and Kashmir (India-Administered) Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad
Ghulam Nabi Azad
Ghulam Nabi Azad is an Indian politician from the Indian National Congress and the current Minister of Health and Family Welfare of the Government of India....

 said that he intended to extend the Kashmir rail line to Muzaffarabad, to facilitate movement of people and goods much easier across the LoC.

Early history


The original name of Muzaffarabad was Udabhanda. It is interesting to note that many places in Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir is the northernmost state of India. It is situated mostly in the Himalayan mountains. Jammu and Kashmir shares a border with the states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab to the south and internationally with the People's Republic of China to the north and east and the...

 on both sides of the line of control still maintain Hindu names.

Udabhanda was the capital of the Shahi
Shahi
The Shahi , Sahi, also called Shahiya dynasties ruled one of the Middle kingdoms of India which included portions of the Kabulistan and the old province of Gandhara , from the decline of the Kushan Empire in the 3rd century to the early 9th century...

 dynasty. The Shahi (Devanagari
Devanagari
Devanagari |deva]]" and "nāgarī" ), also called Nagari , is an abugida alphabet of India and Nepal...

 शाही), also called Shahiya, dynasties ruled portions of the Kabul Valley
Kabul
Kabul , spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan...

 (in eastern Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

) and the old province of Gandhara
Gandhara
Gandhāra , is the name of an ancient kingdom , located in northern Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan. Gandhara was located mainly in the vale of Peshawar, the Potohar plateau and on the Kabul River...

 (northern Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 and Kashmir
Kashmir
Kashmir is the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term Kashmir geographically denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range...

) from the decline of the Kushan Empire
Kushan Empire
The Kushan Empire originally formed in the early 1st century AD under Kujula Kadphises in the territories of ancient Bactria on either side of the middle course of the Oxus in what is now northern Afghanistan, Pakistan, and southern Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.During the 1st and early 2nd centuries...

 in third century to the early ninth century. The kingdom was known as Kabul-shahan or Ratbel-shahan from (565 - 670 CE
Common Era
Common Era ,abbreviated as CE, is an alternative designation for the calendar era originally introduced by Dionysius Exiguus in the 6th century, traditionally identified with Anno Domini .Dates before the year 1 CE are indicated by the usage of BCE, short for Before the Common Era Common Era...

) when they had their capitals in Kapisa and Kabul, and later Udabhandapura (also known as Hund) for its new capital. The term Shahi is the title of the rulers, likely related to the Kushan form Shao or Persian form Shah and refers to a series of 60 rulers probably descended from the Kushans or Turks
Turkic peoples
The Turkic peoples are peoples residing in northern, central and western Asia, southern Siberia and northwestern China and parts of eastern Europe. They speak languages belonging to the Turkic language family. They share, to varying degrees, certain cultural traits and historical backgrounds...

 (Turshkas). They are split into two eras the Buddhist Turk
Turkic peoples
The Turkic peoples are peoples residing in northern, central and western Asia, southern Siberia and northwestern China and parts of eastern Europe. They speak languages belonging to the Turkic language family. They share, to varying degrees, certain cultural traits and historical backgrounds...

-Shahis and the later Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

-Shahis, with the changeover occurring sometime around 870.

Modern history


The name "Muzaffarabad" (meaning Muzaffar's Town) comes from the name of Sultan khan Muzaffar Khan (a Muslim ruler of Khandan-e-Bomba). After the 1948-49 war, Muzaffarabad was made the capital of Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

On October 8, 2005, the city was struck by an earthquake measuring a magnitude of 7.6 on the Richter Scale.

2005 Kashmir Earthquake


The city was the site of the epicentre of the 2005 Kashmir earthquake
2005 Kashmir earthquake
The 2005 Kashmir earthquake was a major earthquake centered in Pakistan-administered Kashmir known as Azad Kashmir, near the city of Muzaffarabad, affecting Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. It occurred at 08:52:37 Pakistan Standard Time on 8 October 2005...

, which occurred on October 8, 2005 and had a magnitude
Moment magnitude scale
The moment magnitude scale is used by seismologists to measure the size of earthquakes in terms of the energy released. The magnitude is based on the seismic moment of the earthquake, which is equal to the rigidity of the Earth multiplied by the average amount of slip on the fault and the size of...

 of 7.6. The disaster destroyed 50% of the buildings in the city (including most of the official buildings) and is estimated to have killed up to 80,000 people in the Pakistani-controlled areas of Kashmir, alone.

As of 8 November, the Pakistani government's official death toll was 87,350. Some estimates put the death toll over 100,000.

Muzaffarabad Fort


There are two historical forts on opposite sides of the Neelum River
Neelum River
The Neelum River , or Kishanganga , is a river in the Kashmir region of India and Pakistan. The Neelam River enters Pakistan from India in the Gurais sector of the Line of Control, and then runs west till it meets the Jhelum River north of Muzzafarabad.- Neelum Valley :The Neelum Valley is a...

, known as the Red Fort and the Black Fort.

The construction of the Red Fort was finally completed in 1646 by Sultan Muzaffar Khan, the founder of Muzaffarabad city. After the Mughals took over Kashmir
Kashmir
Kashmir is the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term Kashmir geographically denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range...

, the fort lost its importance. The Mughals were more interested in Kabul
Kabul
Kabul , spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan...

, Bukhara
Bukhara
Bukhara , from the Soghdian βuxārak , is the capital of the Bukhara Province of Uzbekistan. The nation's fifth-largest city, it has a population of 263,400 . The region around Bukhara has been inhabited for at least five millennia, and the city has existed for half that time...

, and Badakhshan
Badakhshan
Badakhshan is an historic region comprising parts of what is now northeastern Afghanistan and southeastern Tajikistan. The name is retained in Badakhshan Province which is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan, in the far northeast of Afghanistan, and contains the Wakhan Corridor...

. During the period of Durrani
Durrani
Durrani or Abdali is the name of a chief Pashtun tribal confederation in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Originally known by their ancient name Abdali later as Durrani they have been called Durrani since the beginning of the Durrani Empire in 1747. The number of Durranis are estimated to be roughly 16%...

 rule, however, the fort again once again assumed its importance.

Maharaja Gulab Singh
Maharaja Gulab Singh
Maharaja Gulab Singh was the founder and first Maharaja of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, the second largest princely state in British India...

 and Rambir Singh, the Dogra
Dogra
The Dogras are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group in South Asia. Being a diversified group, the Dogras include both Savarnas such as Brahmins, Rajputs and Non-savarnas. The Dogras also incluide merchant castes such as Mahajans...

 rulers, reconstructed and extended the fort for their political and military operations. Towards the middle of 1947, the Dogra forces were forced to leave due to happenings of 1947 in the princely state of J&K.

The architecture of the fort shows that great experts in design and structure participated in its construction. It is surrounded on three sides by the Neelum River
Neelum River
The Neelum River , or Kishanganga , is a river in the Kashmir region of India and Pakistan. The Neelam River enters Pakistan from India in the Gurais sector of the Line of Control, and then runs west till it meets the Jhelum River north of Muzzafarabad.- Neelum Valley :The Neelum Valley is a...

, formally known as the Kishenganga River. The northern part of the fort had terraces with steps leading to the bank of the river. The eastern side was well protected from the hazards of flood waters, but some parts on the north side have suffered damage. There used to be an inn at the entrance to the fort, but only traces of that structure remain now.

Other sites of interest


  • Azad Kashmir Assembly
  • Azad Kashmir Supreme Court
  • Mosque Assembly Secretariat
  • Kh. Khurshid Tomb
  • Ajk university
  • Chehla Bridge

  • Subri (Langarpura) Lake
  • Quadiezam Bridge
  • Allama Iqbal bridge
  • Jallabad Garden
  • Jallalabad Mosque

  • President's house
  • Pearl continental Hotel
  • Nelum Hotel
  • Sungum Hotel
  • pearl continental Hotel


Valleys


  • Kutla
  • Pirchinassi
    Pirchinassi
    Pirchinassi is a large mountain located on the east of Muzaffarabad city overlooking vast expanses of Azad Kashmir. The mountain peak has gained large fame for its ziyarat of a famous Pir...

  • Neelum Valley
  • Leepa Valley
    Leepa Valley
    The Leepa Valley is valley in Azad Kashmir which is the Pakistani administered part of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir now in Pakistan. It is located from Muzaffarabad....


  • Jhelum Valley
    Jhelum Valley
    Jhelum valley is the source of the Jhelum River, one of the biggest rivers in Pakistan....

  • Chickar
  • Garhi Dopatta

  • Nakkah
  • Bugna Kairabad
  • Darakoti, Nakar Fatot


Villages


  • Bheri
  • Buttdara
  • Buttal (Battal)
  • Ghail
  • Qaziabad Podamar
  • Bandi
  • Devlian
  • Patika
  • Beheri

  • Sangri Mera
  • Dhmanchulh
  • Nokot
  • Athmaqam
  • Sarra

  • Ranjatta
  • Sri Janha
  • Kurhee
  • kherha
  • Khumanh
  • Lawat
  • Leswa
  • Sharda
  • Kel
  • Ashkot
  • Jura bandi
  • Basantkot


Administration


The district is administratively subdivided into three tehsil
Tehsil
A Tehsil or Tahsil/Tahasil , also known as Taluk and Mandal, is an administrative division of some country/countries of South Asia....

s.
  • Tehseel Muzaffarabad
  • Tehseel Athmakam
  • tehseel Ponch

See also

  • Srinagar
    Srinagar
    Srinagar is the summer seasonal capital of Jammu and Kashmir. It is situated in Kashmir Valley and lies on the banks of the Jhelum River, a tributary of the Indus. It is one of the largest cities in India not to have a Hindu majority. The city is famous for its gardens, lakes and houseboats...

     - capital of Jammu and Kashmir
    Jammu and Kashmir
    Jammu and Kashmir is the northernmost state of India. It is situated mostly in the Himalayan mountains. Jammu and Kashmir shares a border with the states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab to the south and internationally with the People's Republic of China to the north and east and the...

  • Gilgit
    Gilgit
    Gilgit is a city in northern PakistanGilgit may refer to other terms related with the area of the city:* Gilgit River* Gilgit Valley* Gilgit District* Gilgit Agency * Gilgit Airport...

     - capital of Gilgit-Baltistan

External links