About Gurez Valley
Gurez Valley is about 86 Km from Bandipore and 123 Km from Srinagar in northern of Jammu and Kashmir.It is about 8,000 feet above sea level and surrounded mountains covered by snow located in the Himalayas.It has the beauty of fauna and wildlife including the Himalayan Brown Bear and Snow Leopard.The river Kishanganga flows through the valley and the road Gilgit runs through the Gurez.
Gurez Valley is divided into three regions.
- The area from Taobat to Sharda Peeth as Neelum District in Pakistan between Kamri and Minimarg of the Astore district.
- Northern areas of Pakistan.
- From Taobat to Abdullae Tulail known as Teshil Gurez which is part of Bandipore district.
The people of the Gurez Valley
The people of Gurez Valley are Dards, speak Sheena language and have their ancestral connection with Gilgit Valley.This attire is similar to Kashmir mountain region.Though Gurez is a far flung area the people of the Dard race have uplifted themselves by hard work and proper education.
Dard woman who spends the summer in collecting woods from mountains for winter because in winter it is impossible to move outside in 20 feet for snow.
The Historical facts and Beauty of the Gurez Valley
Gurez is a gateway to the famous silk route across central Asia, the ultimate adventure destination to the north of Kashmir.The most fascinating pyramid shaped peak of Kashmir is named after the famous Kashmiri poetess Habba Khatoon.The Emperor Yusuf Shah Chak, a Dard from Gilgit, entered into Kashmir through Gurez, is believed that when an emperor was imprisoned by King Akbar, Habba khatoon used to wander near the peak to look for her lover.
The roar of Kishan-Ganga river across the valley resonates with surrounded by mountains which make visitors to sound sleep.
What you can do in Gurez Valley?
You can trek from Gurez and Tilel upto Gangabal and Sonmarg to its east and Drass, Dahanu, Zanskar to its north.You can Raft in the Kishan Ganga river which offers you an easy level of the stream and tough ones from Tilel.Some of the mountains give you absolutely challenging scope for Rock Climbing and Trout.Fishing is a frequent among locals through in a line to get the meal for the day.The tents can be pitched near the river.The awesome villages of Tilel from 20Km from Gurez, have log wood houses which give you the perfect magnificent view of mountains covered with full of Pine and fir trees.
The unexplored places of Gurez Valley
Dawar is a central township in the area. The population of the area is near about 30,000 and scattered among fifteen villages.The valley remains cut off for six months of the year due to heavy snowfall in winter.
From Srinagar, a black top road leads to Bandipora, towards Gurez, can also be reached from Baramulla via Sopore to Bandipora. It is connected Dawar by Sumo as well as Bus Service.
- Habba Khatoon:
The most beautiful peak of Gurez is Habba Khatoon which quite abound and at one time, even a film was planned starring Dimple Kapadia.She was a beautiful and intelligent damsel from Saffron village “Pampore”.Zoon which means Moon was the earlier name of Habba khatoon.She was the daughter of a peasant who got her married to an illiterate boy Habba.Because of she loves poetry and singing and most of the time she spends her time in those activities, ill-treated by her husband and mother-in-law.
She approached “Peer” who changed her name as Habba Khatoon and presumed her as the Queen of Kashmir.Yusuf Shah Chak, a Dard Shin, the emperor of Kashmir in the 18th century, was attracted by her beauty, intelligence and poetry.,got Habba kHatoon divorced and married her.
Twenty years later, the great poetess of Kashmir, Habba Khatoon, died and buried in Athawajan.Her poetry still remains alive in the hearts of the people of Kashmir.
Harmukuta or Harmunda, known as an identification of Harmukh Peaks of North Kashmir, about 17000 feet above, surrounded by massive Glaciers. The lake Uttarmanasa, the source of Kashmiri Ganga, lies at the foot of the north-eastern Glaciers of Harmukuta and the Tirthaa of Nandikeshtra and Bhuteshwara are near it.
The land route to Gurez closed for three months in winter starting from December due to heavy snowfall.
In Harmukh mountain, comes out with beautiful lakes with full of rainbow trout fish in clear crystal water, Alpine forests, Green meadows and valleys with colorful flowers.It is a unique experience to watch sunrise and sunset of Harmukh peaks.
A journey from Bandipore to Rzdan Pass about 3300m has wonderful views.Shrine of Peer Bubo a top Razdan pass is looked after by the Army regiment in the Gurez region.A saint had come from Lahore in 1933 and buried at Razdan Pass.
The journey from Srinagar to Gurez took 7 hours, one has to take the Sumbal-Bandipore road.The town at a distance of 58 km offers the view of famous Manasbal and Wular Lake.
The downhill road from Razdan reaches to the small village of Kunzalwan.The famous tributary of Jhelum or Kishanganga river with a length of 180 miles flows westwards joined by Raman Sind and Burzil stream.
Need to know when you travel to Gurez Valley
Guidelines and Procedure for visit Gurez Valley
- Visitors have to get permission from the concerned authorities.
- Local Gurezies are issued a special kind of identity card which is issued by concerned district police.
- Foreigners will be allowed to visit Gurez only if they get permission from Ministry Of Home, Govt. Of India.
- For locals of Bandipora district, the permissions are also issued by Superintendent of Police and Deputy Commissioner Bandipora.
- Citizens of the state of J & K and other states of India can have the permission from “SP TOURISM” to visit Gurez.
Procedure To Get Permission From SP TOURISM to visit Gurez
Tourists in Gurez have to fill a simple application form with following attachments.
- Valid identity/Residence proof. (Identity card/adhaar card/passport /election card/driving license etc.)
- Clearance certificate/letter from the concerned police station of the tourist’s residence.
- 2 passport size photographs.