Planing for summer holidays??? Why not go to a trip to Kashmir????
There are many advantages of going to Pakistan or Kashmir, to count few;
- You can see beauty at it’s peak with a blend of both rural and urban life.
- Shocked to see hustle and bustle of cities and amazed to feel calmness, freshness and peace of villages.
- Pakistan is rich with variety of scenic beauty of lush green valleys, towering snow covered mountains, with flowing waters of springs, rivers and waterfalls.
- World second highest peak K-2 is in Pakistan.
- There are colors of nature blended with colors of traditions, you will see nature at it’s peak with variety of traditions.
- You will also realize that the propaganda that your media is doing against Pakistan is black – one with no reality on ground.
- Above all it will cost you few hundred Dollars ($).
In my blog, I try to concentrate more on Kashmir and to introduce you will different cities/ villages of Kashmir. If you want to have a look on few cities of Kashmir then check here to see Pallandri and here to see some amazing pictures of natural beauty and have a look on flowing waters of waterfalls click here. Check here to read about Virgin Beauty of Kashmir Neelum Valley. To check my YouTube video about Kashmir check here. If you have checked my previous post about two cities of Kashmir, I will take you on a trip of another village of Azad Kashmir today.
Great advantage of going to Trarkhel is that, you will cross Pearl of Kashmir, the city of natural beauty Rawalakot then you will see wonders of man-made lake Banjosa and finally reach your destination with spiritual feels and blessings of natural beauty.
I tried to put as much details about the town as possible. I do not think that you can find such details anywhere else.
Trarkhel is a small town at the distance of 1.5 hours from Rawalakot. The distance of Trarkhel from Rawalpindi is 2 hours 33 minutes (131 Kilometer) via Pallandri- Hajira Road. It’s elevation is 6502 Ft. from sea level.
According to Wikipedia different spellings are used for this city like; Tarar Khel, Tarar Khal, Tararkhel and Tararkhal
Trarkhel is the biggestTehsil of District Sudhnoti. Pallandri is District Head quarter and Deputy Commissioner and staff sit in Pallandri but there are offices of administrations and Assistant Commissioner sits in Trarkhel.
Before 1995 District Sudhnoti with all of its four Tehsils Pallandri, Balloch, Trarkhel and Mang was part of District Poonch whose head quarter is Rawalakot, Azad Kashmir.
It is a hilly area with high pine trees and lush green valley. Along with natural beauty and variety of wild flowers, trees and fruits. People of Trarkhel love to grow flowers in their gardens, in front of their homes. You can see the pictures of few varieties that people grow there.
Trarkhel is connected to other parts of Azad Kashmir with a road. From Rawalakot to Trarkhel the condition of road is good as mostly people use Gouin Nala road to go to Rawalpindi, Pakistan. But the road joining Trarkhel to Pallandri is not that good. Nowadays construction work is under process and hopefully this road will be fine again. Before the construction of Gouin Nala road mostly people going from Rawalakot to Pallandri were using Trarkhel road but after construction of the alternative path people left to travel on this road and many bazaars on the road have vanished that were working just because of local transport and routes of the buses.
Trarkhel is a beautiful place and tourist spot, it is famous for few reasons in Azad Kashmir.
- · Nerian sharif: This was a remote area and house of wild life once. There was nothing but a dense jungle. Long ago a sufi saint Mohiuddin Ghaznavi came here and started teaching Islam to people and after some time, people from all around started travelling to this place to learn about religion and it’s values from him. Until now, long after his death people travel to Nerian for the same purpose as his son is also following his footsteps and doing a lot of social work for the poor and orphans.
- · Mohi-ud-din University: Alauddin Saddiqqi a dignified and intellectual personality of Trarkhel. He has built a private university near Trarkhel, the name of place is Nerian Sharif. The name of university is Mohi-ud-Din Islamic University Nerian Sharif (MU). Visit this link to go to official site of university; http://www.miu.edu.pk/. This university is also recognized by Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC). Ala-ud-din Saddiqi chancellor of MU is also running a TV channel in UK with name Noor TV. More information can be checked on the website; www.thenoor.tv . Alla-ud-din Saddiqui is also founder of Mohi-ud-din trust and Chairman ofAl-Ehya Trust that helps poor, needy and orphans, educate them along with providing them food and accommodation.
- · Tomb of Khwaja Pir Ghulam Mohiuddin Ghaznavi: There is also a shrine of Khwaja Pir Ghulam Mohiuddin Ghaznavi who was a religious sufi scholar and saint in Nerian. An annual praying ceremony is held, where thousands of people visit from around the world. This tomb is now called Darbar Aalia Nerian Sharif. The details can be checked here; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nerian_Sharif . The Allauddin Siddiqui the son of Mohi-ud-din Saddiqui has also constructed a medical college in Azad Kashmir in Mirpur namedMohi-ud-din Islamic Medical College, Mirpur.
- Danna Pothi Mir Khan : The thing that make it a tourist attraction is the place named
Danna Pothi Mir Khan. This place is famous because of 22 Deodar trees that are so closely placed that it seem that there is one tree. These trees were planted in era of Maharaja Hari Singh that was using this route to go to Occupied Kashmir and used to take some rest at this spot during his journey as this spot is situated at a high place. He order for the plantation of Deodar trees here and then these trees were planted. There is a nearby water spring where he, his wife and other soldiers etc. used to drink water, it is called Baei until now.
Many people from Pakistan and Kashmir come to visit this place daily. Many school trips are arranged to visit Deodar and Mohi-ud-din university.
Literacy rate/ Jobs:
In all the areas of Azad Kashmir, literacy rate is very high including Trarkhel. There are many government and private schools and colleges in the area. There are separate government colleges for boys and girls.
Most of the people of District Sudhnoti are serving in army including Trarkhel. There are not much options with the people for earning. Many are government servants in different departments, others run their business and rest are abroad in other countries.
Females do not have much options for jobs with them. Normally they become teachers in private/government schools colleges and university. Few go in medicine as there is limited quota in medical colleges for females.
Trarkhel is winter station and due to rain and snow in winter all the schools/colleges and university is closed for winter. Rest the market and offices remain open.
Social Life & Living :
- · Religion: Almost 100% population is Muslim. Hardly with few homes of Christians. Many masjids are constructed by the locals to facilitate the public to perform religious rituals and prayers. There are few grand masjids in market where Friday prayer is offered and people from surrounding area travel to market to offer special Friday prayer. There is much hustle and bustle in the market area on that day. Many seem busy with grocery after the prayer.
- · Dress: Male use a long shirt till their knees, shirt normally as collars and cuffs with a trouser. Females also wear long shirt but it do not have collar and cuffs with trouser. Females also wear a long piece of cloth to cover hair and upper part of body called dupatta.
- · Marriages: In whole Kashmir people are conservative and stick with their traditions. They normally do not allow cross cast marriages. Members of a certain cast prefer marrying with people of their own cast. If not all, more than 95% marriages are arranged by family members. Main tribe of the Trarkhel isSudhan.
- · Houses: Few decade before people were living in mud houses but now mostly concrete houses are constructed. After earth quake of 8th Oct 2005 people prefer to build concrete walls as majority of mud houses fell in a massive shake with the magnitude of 7.8 in Richter scale with center near Capital Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir.
· Roads: There is a network of roads on hills to join small towns together. People have their cars who can afford, rest travel by local buses, Suzuki and jeeps. At few places there are no means of transportation and roads are not constructed/carpeted. There are mud roads and jeeps move on them. At some places people also use donkeys and horses to carry goods and construction material to build houses. People also prefer walking on foot to their homes from main market place.
- · Water: Mostly people use water for household use from natural springsand there is a water scheme by government that is limited and few get its benefit. Some also have hand pumps to use at homes. Females carry pitchers on their heads full of water from the springs for drinking purposes.
- · Gas: Gas of cylinders is used for cooking near market area and away on hilly side people prefer burning wood from the jungle as they cut the tree for free.
- · Electricity: People have electricity at their houses who are near markets, still there are some places where electricity has not reached. People suffer heavy load shedding in summer and do not have electricity for more than 18 hours. Even having a Mangla Dam in Mirpur people of Kashmir suffer most power shortage and many businesses are effected due to power break down.
- · Mobiles & Internet: After the earth quake, permission was granted to mobile companies to operate and set up their towers in Kashmir. Before that, no mobile company was in Kashmir and people were relying on landline and there is a SCO digital exchange in town to provide people with facility. After earth quake all mobile companies set up their towers and people started using mobiles with ease and soon came the internet facility with wireless networks. Many are using internet on their mobiles and few use PTCL devices to connect with the world through net.
The weather is pleasant in summer, temperature range from 25-30C. In winter there is heavy rain and snow. All the nearby mountains are covered with a sheet of white snow.
- · Crops: People grow wheat and corn in their fields with some seasonal vegetables. The crops they grow are normally for their own use or just to feed chicken they have at homes for eggs and meat. The soil is very fertile but due to lack of use of technology people do not make much profit from land and normally people do not have much land with them and what they have, is hilly.
- · Fruits: Whole Kashmir is a fruit paradise. There are many fruits trees grown naturally and in many places people grow themselves. Apple, orange, walnut, plum, peach, pear and pomegranate trees can be seen everywhere. People enjoy different the juicy fruits in different seasons.
- · Pets: People have chicken, pigeons, cows, buffalos, goats, lamb and dogs as pets at home.
Rest House/ Market:
There is a rest house for tourist, hospital, market having few hundred shops with all basic necessities of life and many other government and private schools and offices are situated in the town.
People are very hospitable. They are always happy to welcome the guests; serve guests with traditional food and drinks.
For the pictures of Trarkhel and surrounding open below link;
Google satellite image of Trarkhel can be checked here;
Photos of nearby place Madhole Azad Kashmir
List of cities near Trarkhel;
For map of Danna Pothi Mir Khan click here;
All the pictures are sent by my Friend Bazga who is from Trarkhel.