Bangus Valley (Glass Town and Way to Russia)
Bangus is one of the relatively unexplored grasslands and unknown tourists paradise situated in the North Western periphery of Tehsil Handwara of District Kupwara, 128 Kms Approx away from Srinagar, summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir (India).
The said grass land is at an altitude of about 10,000 ft above sea level. Occupying an estimated area of 300 Sq Kms, Bangus is surrounded by Shamsbery ranges and Leepa valley.
Word “Bangus” is derived from Joining two words “ Ban “ derived from Sanskrit word “ Van” meaning “ forest” and “ Gus” meaning “ Grass” ,so it is a meadow with lush growth of wild grass.
The Bangus valley has variety of flora, considered ideal for cattle grazing. The area is supposed to have been discovered by an unknown nomad, while grazing his cattle.
This is by far the most productive land in this area as it provides a largest niche for producer-consumer relationship. In the summer season numerous cattle and sheep are seen grazing in these meadows which are sent from the adjoining areas by the locals.
Bangus valley is surrounded by Chowkibal Mountains on the northern side, Qazinag and Shamsbery Mountains on the western side. Besides other hills also seem to provide protection to the grassland namely; Meeldar, Nastichavan and Yaddil etc.
Bangus comprises a mountain biome which includes grassland biome with flora at Lower altitudes and coniferous forests at a higher altitude. An area of 300 sq. Km is proposed to be protected biome under the name of Bangus valley.In the deep valley is a marshy type grass land which is traversed by a small stream popularly known as Tilwan Kohl.
Bangus Valley is128 kms Approx from Srinagar via Kupwara, west of Srinagar. This area called Lolab valley One of the most beautiful valleys in the whole state, huge meadow is 6 kms wide and 19 kms long surrounded on all sides by pine forests with a stream flowing through .
It was one of the popular valley for British Tourist upto 1947. This valley is also famous for caves of Kala Roos and one can see stone age wall paintings.
There is legend that some of the caves go right up to Russia. There are forest rest houses or one can stay in tents..
Ancient holy place of Hindus located on a motorable road leading from Handwara to Rajwar. There is a dormant volcano in the vicinity and Hindus revere it and is known by the name Soyamj.
This attractive and beautiful valley full of magnificient blue prints has been praised by many poets .Dr. Allama Iqbal says, “pani teray chashsmoon ka tadapta hua seemab,´murgani sahar teray fizawoon main hai beetab aye wadiya Lolab’’, Fazil says, “wesiye su gulfam yad aam yad aam, yad aam Lolab Sogam yad aam yad aam”. Varnow village is home to renowed Kashmiri Islamic scholar Allama Anwar ShahRA Kashmiri. Sogam, Chandigam, Diver, Anderbug, Lalpore and Kalaroos are some of the noteworthy areas with rest house facilities. Historical LOV Nag spring is in Anderbug. One of the most attractive places in the area is a cave located in the jungles of Madmadow. It is believed that the cave known as Kalaroos leads us to Russia.
The Machil valley is to the east of Kupwara. To reach there we have to cross the Noonwani Gully which is motorable in summer, but cut off in winter. There are rest-house facilities for the visitors.
MUQAM SHAH WALI
The shrine of famous Saint Zaiti Shah Wali, located in village known after him as Muqam Shah Wali has been selected as a spot of tourist pilgrimage and is being developed accordingly. Zaiti Shah had been an army commandant of famous Chak ruler, Ali Shah Chak and a disciple of Hazrat Hamza Makdoomi. A three day mela is held at the Shrine in May every year in which Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs participate.
This charming place is located in Nowgam area of Handwara Tehsil, 25 kms from Handwara.The area is motorable. Two tourist Dak Bungalows are available there for tourists.
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Spell bounding natural setting, adventurous trekking trails, snowcapped undulated hilly terrain and the pleasant climate during springs and summers make the trekking expedition in Bangus Valley a wonderful experience.Bangus valley is surrounded by Chowkibal Mountains on the northern side, Qazinag and Shamsbery Mountains on the western side.
Doodthpathri has a cool and pleasant climate in summers and very cold climate in winters. The best season for Doodthpathri tourism is from April to October.
(October to March) are chilly and snow bound. The minimum mercury level goes below sub zero levels and the region mostly covers receives fresh snowfall. The views of the landscape are excellent with snow covered hilly terrains.
(May to June) are warm and pleasant. The temperature in this hilly region ranges between 15°C and 25°C. Intermittent showers are seen during this period. There is no snowfall but snow can be found on high altitudes.
(July to September) are very scanty. The region becomes highly humid during this period.