PIR KI GALI
Gateway to Kashmir
MUGHAL ROAD BY MUHAMMAD SHAFI KHAN
THE PIR KI GALI HAS REMAINED THE GATEWAY TO KASHMIR FROM THE TIME WHEN KASHMIR BEGAN TO BE INHABITED BY THE NAGAS
On the Pir Ki Gali there is the small unassuming massoleum of the Pir Baba of Panjal, and a small mosque. Both in stone. These are the relics of the past and need to be preserved and honoured as such. They have been source of succour for the goat herders for the ages they have been travelling through Pir Panjal. They can be seen praying here even now for safe journey through the mountains. Behind these monuments there is a graveyard on the pass itself. Who knows how many heroes of Kashmir would have sacrificed their lives at this place fighting the invaders from the planes and were given burial here. This pass is witness to many a bloody battle fought for the annexation of Kashmir. The tyrant Dolchu (on the authority of M.Y.Taing) perished here alongwith his army and thousands of Kashmiris he had enslaved, overtaken by a snow storm when he was going across after plundering Kashmir.
The Pir Ki Gali has remained the gateway to Kashmir from the time when Kashmir began to be inhabited by the Nagas in the beginning. M.D. Fouq has rightly called it ‘Bab-ul-Kashmir.’ The proponent of Islam in Kashmir Mir Syed Ali Hamdani (RA) has graced this pass when he was going to Sirhind. He came back to Kashmir through this very route. Bakerwals, the goat herders, have been coming into and going out of Kashmir through this pass conjecturally from the pastoral age. A person with the romance of history in mind is imaginatively thrown back across oceans of time to pastoral stage of the evolution of society when he observes these goat herders travelling now on the paved Mughal Road, their bag and baggage loaded on the ringing horses, in the Spring and Autumn seasons of Kashmir. While the road is new and fresh, the people on both the sides of Pirpanjal are highly excited about it. Pir Ki Gali is being visited in hordes by them in the Summer. One can see Shopian, Rajouri and Poonch meeting here in joy of excitement. A sunny Sunday in Summers now is a great celebration of festivity here. Kashmiris littering the one time virgin greens of the Marg. More interested in filling their stomachs by Wazwan at such places than in feasting their eyes by beauties of nature.
From the pass the road descends through curves and loops of the mountains. Elevation begins to fall till it reaches the low at Bafliaz. Conversely the ascent on travelling from Bafliaz to the pass. It continues to be forested with pines and firs. Forest after forest of graceful forms of deep green upon which the grazing eyes take delight to feast. Of that poetic beauty of, “woods are lovely, dark and deep.”
A car drive through these beautiful parts makes one have airs to feel like how the Mughal Emperor Jehangir ( a lover of beauty) might have felt looking right and left over the green hills from horseback.
From the pass the road goes higher level on the rocks which is deviation from the original pathway through the dales below. Originally the path passed through Poshana (Poshun in Kashmiri). This beautiful meadow like Dabijan now falls a small distance away from the road presently occupied by the army. It can be connected by a link road with the main road and in future built into a tourist resort.
While driving on to Chattapani there is a signboard which reads----Er. Younis Mughal sector begins. Driving ahead another signboard reads---- Er. Younis Mughal sector ends. Just there a memorial raised to the memory of Er. Younis Mughal can be seen on the sideline of the road. This Er. Younis Mughal lost his life on June 21st, 2010 at this spot when the road was being built. He was in his vehicle when a big stone shooting down from the overhanging mountain struck him dead. Deservedly memorialized, this Mughal from Mendher shall live in the annals of the Mughal Road like the great Mughals of India. From Er. Mughal’s memorial the traveler reaches a section of the road wherefrom a habitation of scattered houses roofed with CG sheets, as in Kashmir, can be seen. It is a picturesque village called Dogran. This lovely clean village, with shrubs green and streams of clear water, is connected with the road by small iron bridges thrown over its streams. Dogran onwards important stations are Chandimar, Behramgula and Bafliaz. Forests around these places are home to oak, elm, chestnut and lime trees besides pine and fir. The mountain ranges running parallel and close to Pir Panjal are known as Rattan Panjal in these regions. At Chandimar just near the road is a wonder of nature to see. It is the exquisite waterfall of Noori Tcham bearing its name after Queen Noor Jehan. Noor Jehan used to repose here. The locals have fascinating tales about her romantic sojourns in the loveliness of forests, streams, deer on the lush green slopes for the royal hunt and of bracing and breezy air. About Bafliaz Mr.M.Y.Taing states that it were the Greeks who gave this name to this place. Surprisingly enough the word sounds Greek. Its significance being that Alexander the Great reached this place with the aim of conquest further North but was discouraged by the hazardous mountains. His horse died here. Was buried here. The name of horse was Bafliaz. Hence the name of this place since then and it stayed. From Bafliaz the road turns left across a nalla wherefrom the ascent of Rattan Panjal begins. Gently rising it is the old road that connects Bafliaz with Thana and is in bad condition. It has to be widened and rebuilt if to be a part of the Mughal Road National Highway. Either side of the road is embellished by dense forests upto Dera Ki Gali. Particularly at a narrow passage to its left, some distance below the top DKG, there is a strip of dense forest of beautiful trees with shining small flat green leaves bending slightly. Of medium height with thick branches outspread these evergreens form a vastness of green which alone is visible and nothing of the ground beneath. No sunbeams can go across. It is a beauty mesmerizing. DKG is the 9,000 feet high top in the Rattan Panjal Mountains. It commands a panorama. The view is marvelous stretching over seven mountain ranges. From the top the descent towards Thana begins with varied aspects of natural beauty.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 26 Nov 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 26 Nov 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 27 Nov 2011 00:00:00 IST
- MORE FROM GK MAGAZINE
DEMAND ACTION AGAINST UNSCRUPULOUS PERSONS
Srinagar, Nov 26: Chemists and Druggists of the Valley on Saturday held a massive demonstration in Lal Chowk here against unscrupulous persons for what they said maligning their profession by trading in More
- Srinagar City
This wheel of artwork is turning slow with each passing day
GHULAM MUHAMMAD BHAT is busy turning the wheel with a stick in one hand as he holds finished wet clay in the other, in the heels of picturesque mountains in Harwan area on the outskirts of Srinagar City More
‘OVER HUNDRED TECHNOCRATS JOIN PDP’
Jammu, Nov 26: Reiterating resolve of his party to aggressively pursue the agenda of peace and equitable development to change the system, former Chief Minister and Democratic Party (PDP) patron, Mufti More
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
Cairo, Nov 26: The uneasy calm in Egypt was shattered today after a protester was killed in renewed clashes when pro democracy demonstrators prevented the new prime minister from entering his office, mounting More