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Gurez Valley, Jammu and Kashmir, India, Kashmir

Gurez Valley, Jammu and Kashmir, India, Kashmir

Gurez is a valley located in the high Himalayas, about 86 kms from Bandipore and 123 kms from Srinagar in northern Jammu and Kashmir, India. At about 8,000 feet (2,400 m) above sea level, the valley is surrounded by snow capped mountains. It has diverse fauna and wildlife including the Himalayan brown bear and the snow leopard. The Kishanganga River flows through the valley. The road to Gilgit runs through Gurez. Gurez is divided into three regions. The area from Toabat to Sharda Peeth is administered by Pakistan as Neelum District, that between Kamri and Minimarg is part of the Astore District, Northern Areas, Pakistan, and that from Toabat to Abdullae Tulail is known as Tehsil Gurez, and is part of Bandipore district. People of Gurez valley are Dards, they speak Sheena language and have their ancestral connection with Gilgit valley now in Pakistan. The feature and attire of the Dards are similar to Kashmiri people of mountain region.

 
Sightseeing of Gurez Valley,
 
Dawar,
Dawar is the central township in the area. The population of the area is estimated to be about 30,000, and is scattered among fifteen villages. Due to heavy snowfall in winter, the valley remains cut off for six months of the year.People of Gurez valley are Dards, they speak Sheena language and have their ancestral connection with Gilgit valley now in Pakistan. The feature and attire of the Dards are similar to Kashmiri people of mountain region. Though Gurez is a far flung area but the people of the Dard race have uplifted themselves by the hard work and proper education. Dard women are fair with athletic built, who spend the summer in collecting wood from mountains for the harsh winter; when it is impossible to move in 20 feet out side. 
 
Habba Khatoon,
Dejected by her plight she approached "Peer" who changed her name as Habba Khatoon and presumed her as the queen of Kashmir. The emperor of Kashmir Yousuf Shah Chak (18th century) was enamored by her beauty, intelligence and poetry. He got Habba Khatoon divorced and married her. Emperor Yousuf Shah Chak was a Dard Shin from Gilgit and entered into Kashmir through Gurez. It is believed that when emperor was imprisoned by the King Akbar, his beloved Habba Khafton used to wander near the peak to look for her lover. 
 
Harmukh Peak
Harmukuta or Harmunda is identified with Harmukh Peaks to the north of kashmir . about 17000 feet in height , these peaks are surrounded by massive Glaciers . The lake Uttarmanasa which is believed to be 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.
 
Razdan Pass
An uphill journey from Bandipur to Razdan pass 3300m has a breathtaking view points where one can stop for a photo shot.Shrine of Peer Bubo atop Razdan pass is looked after by the army regiment on duty in the Gurez region. The saint had come from Lahore in 1933 and was buried at Razdan pass.People of Gurez valley are Dards, they speak Sheena language and have their ancestral connection with Gilgit valley now in Pakistan. The feature and attire of the Dards are similar to Kashmiri people of mountain region. Though Gurez is a far flung area but the people of the Dard race have uplifted themselves by the hard work and proper education. Dard women are fair with athletic built, who spend the summer in collecting wood from mountains for the harsh winter; when it is impossible to move in 20 feet out side.The trekking Routes from Gurez and Tilel lead upto Gangabal and Sonamorg to its east and Drass , Dahanu and Zanskar to its north. 
 
 
 

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