“Agar firdaus bar roo-e zameen ast,
Hameen ast-o hameen ast-o hameen ast “
“If there is a paradise on earth,
It is this, it is this, it is this”
The origin of these Farsi couplets is debated, some claim it was written by Amir Khsura while others credit Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan for this poetic praise. But one fact is accepted without question, that the heaven on the earth described in these verses refers to none other than the beautiful region of Kashmir. Due to several political and social disputes, Kashmir has been split in two (Jammu and Kashmir and Azad Kashmir) and Pakistan has been fortunate to have gotten itself a little piece of this heaven called Azad Kashmir. The heart of Azad Kashmir and its capital, Muzaffarabad is the largest city in this aweing region. Located on the banks of the Jhelum and Neelum rivers, it is also the 60th largest city in Pakistan. The district is bounded by North-West Frontier Province in the west, by the Kupwara and Baramulla districts on the Indian side of the Line of Control in the east, and the Neelum District of Azad Kashmir in the north.
History of Muzaffarabad
The name Muzaffarabad refers to the founder of this picturesque city, Sultan Muzaffar Khan, the chief of the Bomba tribe who founded it in 1646. Khan is also credited for building the Red Fort that same year with the intention of warding off any intrusion from the Mughal Empire.
Interesting Facts about Muzaffarabad
Handicrafts such as carpets, silk woolen clothing, woolen shawls, wood carving, paper mashie and rugs are some of the bests our nation has to offer. Additionally, mouth-watering produce and fruits such as honey, mushrooms, walnuts, apples, cherries, resin, maple, ash timbers, and medicinal herbs are all found in the abundant city of Muzaffarabad. One cannot think about Kashmir without craving the taste of their infamous pink Kashmiri tea and there’s no better place to find it than Muzaffarabad.
What are some attractions in Muzaffarabad?
1. Red Fort
There exist two historical forts located on opposite sides of the Neelum River, the Red Fort and Black Fort, both of which are a treasure of Azad Kashmir’s rich history. The awe-worthy architecture of the fort is a testament to the talent and hard work that went into its design and construction. It is surrounded on three sides by the Neelum River formally known as the Kishenganga River
2. Jalalabad Garden
A beautiful botanic garden that has a gorgeous variety of tulips. It is also home to lingering animals & the perfect spot to enjoy the breathtaking views of Azad Kashmir.
Patikka is the gateway to Neelum Valley. The tourism department has constructed a guest house which is very popular amongst visitors along with a mini zoo & fish hatchery.
4. Pir Chinasi
The views at Pin Chinsari is a treat for nature lovers & spell bounds tourists & it is an ideal place for hiking, trekking & camping activities.
5. Shaheed Gali
This walking trek will allow you to experience Kashmir to the fullest by giving you the perfect view of the lush green landscape, sparkling streams, clear skies & scenic hills.