Mughal Road can be a lifeline between Kashmir and Chenab Valley
DR. Jahangeer Ahmad Bhat
Mughal Road is the road link between Bafliaz, a town in the Poonch district, to Shopian district in the Kashmir valley. The road passes over PirPanjal Mountain rage with 84 Kilometers length at an altitude of 11,500ft.
It makes for an alternative road route to Kashmir valley from rest of India, other than overcrowded Jammu-Srinagar NH 44 through Jawahar Tunnel. It is interesting to know that it reduces the distance between Shopian and Poonch-Rajouri from 588km to 126km.
This road navigated the PirPanjal mountain range through the Rattan Pir Pass and Peer ki Gali, connecting Poonch-Rajouri with Kashmir valley via Buffliaz, Behramgalla, Chandimarh, Poshana, Chattapani, Peer Ki Gali, Aliabad, Zaznar, Dubjan, Heerpora and Shopian.
It was during 659 CE when Chinese traveler and writer Aokong visited Kashmir via this road and later described as a pedestrian track used for the transportation of salt from west Punjab to Kashmir, leading to its nomenclature as the Namak Road.
The traveler would find many reasons to travel the enthralling road- the first reason of course is that it gives you a real taste of what Valley is all about- its beauty that encapsulate the valley with folded Mountain Ranges, some endangered species could be seen open in densely woods and a famous wildlife century is worth visiting at Herpora in District Shopian.
Moreover, Peer ki Gali Pass is the biggest attraction on this route and also the most scenic stretch. Another reason is that it is never crowded whereas NH44 has a history of long traffic jams and an endless line of trucks waiting to get by.
One can have a look on a route Map of both the roads (NH44-Mughal Road) that leads to Kashmir Valley from the rest of the country.
The road usually remains closed from December to March due to heavy snowfall on the Pir Panjal, blocking the mountain passes. Since, it comes under the jurisdiction of Poonch district administration of Jammu division and Shopian district administration of Kashmir division.
A maximum portion of populace from both the sides is having a great transaction for livelihood and other sine quo non purposes. Hence, both sides of the incumbent administrations should take it into a great consideration. As people from both sides are suffering colossally during winter seasons due to huge snow accumulation on the road.
However, since many years its early opening was initiated in March.
Albeit, the previous winter remained wet and snowy but since the onset of spring the weather is calm and dry. Nevertheless, the people from both the regions are yet waiting to feel a sign of relief and desired to demit the hectic journey from Jammu to Kashmir -a busy and life threatening road that claims hundreds of lives every year.
Remarkably, both sides of the region are equally important and dependent on one another. In fact, Poonch-Rajouri is illustrious for Kashmir’s in the sense that it contains a famous shrine of Baba Gulam Shah Badsha so thousands of Kashmiri devotees approach Poonch to pay a visit and more importantly hundreds of students who pursue their studies in BGSU.
Moreover, on the other side, Kashmir is cumulatively important in the sense that it is an educational and work hub for Poonch-Rajouri areas. Nonetheless, seasonal visit of Kashmiri senescence people in winter to Poonch-Rajouri is a usual process. Abreast to it a large portion of employees from both the sides are visiting to and fro.
As mentioned a major portion from both the sides are working in private and government sectors and are continuously approaching newspapers and news channels to hear about its connectivity. They don’t afford sky touching fare to reach to their native villages or region via NH44.
Hence, authorities are requested to work on the road and through it open for traffic without any delay. So that the desired people could travel without any further inadequacies.
(The writer is a Guest Faculty at Govt PG College Rajouri)