Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Udhampur- Influence of militancy-Political Scenario-Important places-Economy-Topography


Topography: Udhampur is the third largest district of J&K and is situated at an altitude of 2,134 ft. above sea level. It is located at a distance of 66 km. from Jammu on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway. The district is bounded by Rajouri in the west, Jammu in the south-west, Doda in the east and Kathua in the south-east. It also shares boundary with Anantnag in the North. The geographical area of the district is 4,550 Sq. Kms. with 5 Tehsils namely Udhampur, Chenani, Ramnagar, Reasi and Mahore. It has six assembly constituencies namely Gulabgarh, Reasi, Gool Arnas, Udhampur, Chenani and Ramnagar. The literacy rate is 23.50 per cent - male 32.37 per cent and female 13.76 per cent. 

Economy: The principal occupation of the people are agriculture and daily wage labour. There are few industries in the district. While unemployment and inflation have adversely affected the common man, the business community in Udhampur town is quite prosperous and feels secure because of heavy deployment of forces. About 20,000 Kashmiri migrants are living in Udhampur either in rented accommodation or in camps. 

Important places:

1. Microwave Station 
2. Chenani Hydel Project 
3. Railway Project
4. Air Force Station 
5. Vaishno Devi Shrine, Katra 
6. Sudh Mahadev Chenani 
7. Shiv Khosi Temple, Reasi 
8. Pingia Devi Temple, Ram Nagar. 
9. Northern Command Head Quarters 

Political Scenario: The Congress, NC(F) and BJP are the main political parties active in the district. The Janata Dal and the Samajwadi Party also have some influence in the district. The Congress is the most dominant party in the district. The BJP is the main opposition party though it is confined to the towns including Udhampur, Ramnagar, Chenani, Katra and Reasi. The RSS have around 450 Swyam Sewaks in Udhampur and has close relations with the Purva Sainik Seva Parishad. The Shiv Sena, Panther's Party and CPI, though functional have negligible influence in the district. Abdul Gani Malik, Jagjiwan Lal (both JD), Ab. Wahid Shwal (NCF), Lal Shiv Charan, Prithivi Chand (both BJP) and Harshdev Singh (PP) won the 1996 Assembly Elections. Chaman Lal Gupta (BJP) was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1998. 

Influence of militancy: The Hizbul Mujahideen is the most active militant outfit in the district and has extended its influence to many parts of the district, including Gool Gulabgarh and Mahore, Gangeda, Samroli, Latti Duna, Sailon Ka Talab, Dandyal, Badola and Manpa.

Text of India's Complaint to the Security Council, lst January 1948.

Text of India's Complaint to the Security Council, lst January 1948.

This complaint made by India placed the Jammu & Kashmir problem before the world body. The intention was to ask the world community to acknowledge Pakistani aggression on the people of J&K and to force Pakistan to vacate its troops from that state so that a final solution to the question of the state's accession to India could be found.

Letter Dated 1 January, 1948, from the Representative of India to the President of the Security Council (S/628).
The Government of India have instructed me to transmit to you the following telegraphic communication :

"1. Under Article 35 of the Charter of the United Nations, any Member may bring any situation whose continuance is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security to the attention of the Security Council. Such a situation now exists between India and Pakistan owing to the aid which invaders, consisting of nationals of Pakistan and of tribesmen from the territory immediately adjoining Pakistan on the north-west, are drawing from Pakistan for operations against Jammu and Kashmir, a State which has acceded to the Dominion of India and is part of India. The circumstances of accession, the activities of the invaders which led the Government of India to take military action against them, and the assistance which the attackers have received and are still receiving from Pakistan are explained later in this memorandum. 

The Government of India request the Security Council to call upon Pakistan to put an end immediately to the giving of such assistance, which is an act of aggression against India. If Pakistan does not do so, the Government of India may be compelled, in self-defence, to enter Pakistan territory, in order to take military action against the invaders. The matter is, therefore, one of extreme urgency and calls for immediate action by the Security Council for avoiding a breach of international peace.

"2. From the middle of September 1947, the Government of India had received reports of the infiltration of armed raiders into the western parts of Jammu Province of the Jammu and Kashmir State; Jammu adjoins West Punjab which is a part of the Dominion of Pakistan. These raiders had done a great deal of damage in that area and taken possession of part of the territory of the State. On 24 October, the Government of India heard of a major raid from the Frontier Province of the Dominion of Pakistan into the Valley of Kashmir. 

Some two thousand or more fully armed and equipped men came in motor transport, crossed over to the territory of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, sacked the town of Muzaffarabad, killing many people, and proceeded along the Jhelum Valley road towards Srinagar, the summer capital of the Jammu and Kashmir State. Intermediate towns and villages were sacked and burnt, and many people killed. These raiders were stopped by Kashmir State troops near Uri, a town some fifty miles from Srinagar, for some time, but the invaders got around them and burnt the power house at Mahora, which supplied electricity to the whole of Kashmir.

"3. The position, on the morning of 26 October, was that these raiders had been held by Kashmir State troops and part of the civil population, who had been armed, at a town called Baramulla. Beyond Baramulla there was no major obstruction up to Srinagar. There was immediate danger of these raiders reaching Srinagar, destroying and massacring large numbers of people, both Hindu and Muslims. The State troops were spread out all over the State and most of them were deployed along the western border of Jammu Province. They had been split up into small isolated groups and were incapable of offering effective resistance to the raiders. 

Most of the State officials had left the threatened area and the civil administration had ceased to function. All that stood between Srinagar and the fate which had overtaken the places en route followed by the raiders was the determination of the inhabitants of Srinagar, of all communities, and practically without arms, to defend themselves. At this time Srinagar had also a large population of Hindu and Sikh refugees who had fled there from West Punjab owing to communal disturbances in that area. There was little doubt that these refugees would be massacred if the raiders reached Srinagar.

"4. Immediately after the raids into the Jammu and Kashmir State commenced, approaches were informally made to the Government of India for the acceptance of the accession of the State to the Indian Dominion. (It might be explained in parenthesis that Jammu and Kashmir form a State whose ruler, prior to the transfer of power by the United Kingdom to the Dominions of India and Pakistan, had been in treaty relations with the British Crown, which controlled its foreign relations and was responsible for its defence. The treaty relations ceased with the transfer of power on 15 August last, and Jammu and Kashmir like other States acquired the right to accede to either Dominion.)

"5. Events moved with great rapidity, and the threat to the Valley of Kashmir became grave. On 26 October, the ruler of the State, His Highness Maharaja Sir Hari Singh, appealed urgently to the Government of India for military help. He also requested that the Jammu and Kashmir State should be allowed to accede to the Indian Dominion. An appeal for help was also simultaneously received by the Government of India from the largest popular organisation in Kashmir, the National Conference, headed by Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah. The Conference further strongly supported the request for the State's accession to the Indian Dominion. The Government of India were thus approached not only officially by the State authorities, but also on behalf of the people of Kashmir, both for military aid and for the accession of the State to India.

" 6. The grave threat to the life and property of innocent people in the Kashmir Valley and to the security of the State of Jammu and Kashmir that had developed as a result of the invasion of the Valley demanded immediate decision by the Government of India on both the requests. It was imperative on account of the emergency that the responsibility for the defence of the Jammu and Kashmir State should be taken over by a government capable of discharging it. But, in order to avoid any possible suggestion that India had utilised the State's immediate peril for her own political advantage, the Government of India made it clear that once the soil of the State had been cleared of the invader and normal conditions restored, its people would be free to decide their future by the recognised democratic method of a plebiscite or referendum which, in order to ensure complete impartiality, might be held under international auspices.

"7. The Government of India felt it their duty to respond to the appeal for armed assistance because :

(1) They could not allow a neighbouring and friendly State to be compelled by force to determine either its internal affairs or its external relations;

(2) The accession of the Jammu and Kashmir State to the Dominion of India made India really responsible for the defence of the State.

"8. The intervention of the Government of India resulted in saving Srinagar. The raiders were driven back from Baramulla to Uri and are held there by Indian troops. Nearly 19,000 raiders face the Dominion forces in this area. Since operation in the Valley of Kashmir started, pressure by the raiders against the western and south-western border of the Jammu and Kashmir State has been intensified. Exact figures are not available. It is understood, however, that nearly 15,000 raiders are operating against this part of the State. State troops are besieged in certain areas. Incursions by the raiders into the State territory, involving murder, arson, loot, and the abduction of women, continue. 

The booty is collected and carried over to the tribal areas to serve as an inducement to the further recruitment of tribesmen to the ranks of the raiders. In addition to those actively participating in the raid, tribesmen and others, estimated at 100,000, have been collected in different places in the districts of West Punjab bordering the Jammu and Kashmir State, and many of them are receiving military training under Pakistani nationals, including officers of the Pakistan Army. They are looked after in Pakistan territory, fed, clothed, armed and otherwise equipped, and transported to the territory of the Jammu and Kashmir State with the help, direct and indirect, of Pakistani officials, both military and civil.

"9. As already stated, the raiders who entered the Kashmir Valley in October came mainly from the tribal areas to the north-west of Pakistan and, in order to reach Kashmir, passed through Pakistan territory. The raids along the south-west border of the State, which had preceded the invasion of the valley proper, had actually been conducted from Pakistan territory, and Pakistan nationals had taken part in them. 

This process of transmission across Pakistan territory and utilisation of that territory as a base of operations against the Jammu and Kashmir State continues. Recently, military operations against the western and south-western borders of the State have been intensified, and the attackers consist of nationals of Pakistan as well as tribesmen. These invaders are armed with modern weapons, including mortars and medium machine-guns, wear the battle dress of regular soldiers and, in recent engagements, have fought in regular battle formation and are using the tactics of modern warfare. Man-pack wireless sets are in regular use and even mark V mines have been employed. For their transport the invaders have all along used motor vehicles. They are undoubtedly being trained and to some extent led by regular officers of the Pakistan Army. Their rations and other supplies are obtained from Pakistan territory.

"10. These facts point indisputably to the conclusion
"(a) That the invaders are allowed transit across Pakistan territory;
"(b) That they are allowed to use Pakistan territory as a base of operations;
"(c) That they include Pakistan nationals;
"(d) That they draw much of their military equipment, transportation, and supplies (including petrol) from Pakistan; and
"(e) That Pakistan officers are training, guiding, and otherwise actively helping them.

"There is no source other than Pakistan from which they could obtain such quantities of modern military equipment, training or guidance. More than once, the Government of India had asked the Pakistan Government to deny to the invaders facilities which constitute an act of aggression and hostility against India, but without any response. The last occasion on which this request was made was on 22 December, when the Prime Minister of India handed over personally to the Prime Minister of Pakistan a letter in which the various forms of aid given by Pakistan to the invaders were briefly recounted and the Government of Pakistan were asked to put an end to such aid promptly; no reply to this letter has yet been received in spite of a telegraphic reminder sent on 26 December.

"11. It should be clear from the foregoing recital that the Government of Pakistan are unwilling to stop the assistance in material and men which the invaders are receiving from Pakistan territory and from Pakistan nationals, including Pakistan Government personnel, both military and civil. This attitude is not only un-neutral, but constitutes active aggression against India, of which the State of Jammu and Kashmir forms a part.

"12. The Government of India have exerted persuasion and exercised patience to bring about a change in the attitude of Pakistan. But they have failed, and are in consequence confronted with a situation in which their defence of the Jammu and Kashmir State is hampered and their measures to drive the invaders from the territory of the State are greatly impeded by the support which the raiders derive from Pakistan. 

The invaders are still on the soil of Jammu and Kashmir and the inhabitants of the State are exposed to all the atrocities of which a barbarous foe is capable. The presence, in large number of invaders in those portions of Pakistan territory which adjoin parts of Indian territory other than the Jammu and Kashmir State is a menace to the rest of India. Indefinite continuance of the present operations prolongs the agony of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, is a drain on India's resources and a constant threat to the maintenance of peace between India and Pakistan The Government of India have no option, therefore, but to take more effective military action in order to rid the Jammu and Kashmir State of the invader.

"13. In order that the objective of expelling the invader from Indian territory and preventing him from launching fresh attacks should be quickly achieved, Indian troops would have to enter Pakistan territory; only thus could the invader be denied the use of bases and cut off from his sources of supplies and reinforcements in Pakistan. Since the aid which the invaders are receiving from Pakistan is an act of aggression against India, the Government of India are entitled, under international law, to send their armed forces across Pakistan territory for dealing effectively with the invaders. However, as such action might involve armed conflict with Pakistan, the Government of India, ever anxious to proceed according to the principles and aims of the Charter of the United Nations, desire to report the situation to the Security Council under Article-35 of the Charter. They feel justified in requesting the Security Council to ask the Government of Pakistan :

(1) To prevent Pakistan Government personnel, military and civil,

from participating or assisting in the invasion of the Jammu and Kashmir State;

(2) To call upon other Pakistani nationals to desist from taking any part in the fighting in the Jammu and Kashmir State;

(3) To deny to the invaders : 
(a) access to any use of its territory for operations against Kashmir,
(b) military and other supplies, 
(c) all other kinds of aid that might tend to prolong the present struggle.

"14. The Government of India would stress the special urgency of the Security Council taking immediate action on their request. They desire to add that military operations in the invaded areas have, in the past few days, been developing so rapidly that they must, in self-defence, reserve to themselves the freedom to take, at any time when it may become necessary, such military action as they may consider the situation requires.

"15. The Government of India deeply regret that a serious crisis should have been reached in their relations with Pakistan. Not only is Pakistan a neighbour but, in spite of the recent separation, India and Pakistan have many ties and many common interests. India desires nothing more earnestly than to live with her neighbour-State on terms of close and lasting friendship. Peace is to the interest of both States; indeed to the interests of the world. The Government of India's approach to the Security Council is inspired by the sincere hope that, through the prompt action of the Council, peace may be preserved.

"16. The text of this reference to the Security Council is being telegraphed to the Government of Pakistan."

Source: Government of India documents

U.N.Resolution August 13, 1948 on the state of Jammu & Kashmir

U.N.Resolution August 13, 1948.

This is the most significant resolution passed by the UN on the state of Jammu & Kashmir. It clearly states that Pakistan was to vacate its troops from the whole of the state. It also mentions, albeit indirectly, that Pakistan had consistently lied on the question of whether or not its troops were involved in the fighting in Jammu & Kashmir. Once the then Pakistani Prime Minister conceded that Pakistani troops were indeed involved, the UN had no option but to ask for their withdrawal. That the withdrawal never took place, is another story.

The United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan.
Having given careful consideration to the points of view expressed by the representatives of India and Pakistan regarding the situation in the State of Jammu and Kashmir; and
Being of the opinion that the prompt cessation of hostilities and the correction of conditions the continuance of which is likely to endanger international peace and security are essential to implementation of its endeavors to assist the Governments of India and Pakistan in effecting a final settlement of the situation;

Resolves to submit simultaneously to the Governments of India and Pakistan the following proposal:


A. The Governments of India and Pakistan agree that their respective High Commands will issue separately and simultaneously a cease-fire order to apply to all forces under their control and in the State of Jammu and Kashmir as of the earliest practicable date or dates to be mutually agreed upon within four days after these proposals have been accepted by both Governments.

B.The High Commands of the Indian and Pakistani forces agree to refrain from taking any measures that might augment the military potential of the forces under their control in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. ( For the purpose of these proposals forces under their control shall be considered to include all forces, organized and unorganized, fighting or participating in hostilities on their respective sides.

C.The Commanders-in-Chief of the forces of India and Pakistan shall promptly confer regarding any necessary local changes in present dispositions which may facilitate the cease-fire.

D. In its discretion and as the Commission may find practicable, the Commission will appoint military observers who, under the authority of the Commission and with the co-operation of both Commands, will supervise the observance of the cease-fire order.

E. The Government of India and the Government of Pakistan agree to appeal to their respective peoples to assist in creating and maintaining an atmosphere favourable to the promotion of further negotiations.


Simultaneously with the acceptance of the proposal for the immediate cessation of hostilities as outlined in Part I, both the Governments accept the following principles as a basis for the formulation of a truce agreement, the details of which shall be worked out in discussion between their representatives and the Commission.

1. As the presence of troops of Pakistan in the territory of the State of Jammu and Kashmir constitutes a material change in the situation since it was represented by the Government of Pakistan before the Security Council, the Government of Pakistan agrees to withdraw its troops from that State.

2. The Government of Pakistan will use its best endeavour to secure the withdrawal from the State of Jammu and Kashmir of tribesmen and Pakistani nationals not normally resident therein who have entered the State for the purpose of fighting.

3. Pending a final solution, the territory evacuated by the Pakistani troops will be administered by the local authorities under the surveillance of the commission.

1.When the commission shall have notified the Government of India that the tribesmen and Pakistani nationals referred to in Part II, A, 2, hereof have withdrawn, thereby terminating the situation which was represented by the Government of India to the Security Council as having occasioned the presence of Indian forces in the State of Jammu and Kashmir, and further, that the Pakistani forces are being withdrawn from the State of Jammu and Kashmir, the Government of India agrees to begin to withdraw the bulk of its forces from that State in stages to be agreed upon with the Commission.

2. Pending the acceptance of the conditions for a final settlement of the situation in the State of Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian Government will maintain within the lines existing at the moment of the cease-fire the minimum strength of its forces which in agreement with the commission are considered necessary to assist local authorities in the observance of law and order. The Commission will have observers stationed where it deems necessary.

3. The Government of India will undertake to ensure that the Government of the State of Jammu and Kashmir will take all measures within its powers to make it publicly known that peace, law and order will be safeguarded and that all human political rights will be granted.

4. Upon signature, the full text of the truce agreement or a communique containing the principles thereof as agreed upon between the two Governments and the Commission, will be made public.

The Government of India and the Government of Pakistan reaffirm their wish that the future status of the State of Jammu and Kashmir shall be determined in accordance with the will of the people and to that end, upon acceptance of the truce agreement, both Governments agree to enter into consultations with the Commission to determine fair and equitable conditions whereby such free expression will be assured.

Source: United Nations

Resolution on Assurances adopted by U.N. Commission for India and Pakistan(UNCIP) 1948

Resolution on Assurances adopted by U.N. Commission for India and Pakistan(UNCIP) 1948
This resolution was in the form of an assurance provided to India before the main U.N. Resolution of August 13, 1948, was to be implemented.

The Resolution on Assurance said:-
1. Responsibility for the security of J&K rests with Government of India.
2. The sovereignty of the J&K Government over the entire territory of the State shall not be brought under question.
3. There shall be no recognition of the so-called Azad (Free) Kashmir Government.
4. The territory occupied by Pakistan shall not be consolidated to the disadvantage of the State of J&K.
5. The administration of the evacuated areas in the North shall revert to the Government of J&K and its defence to the Government of India, who will, if necessary, maintain garrison for preventing the incursion oftribesmen and for guarding main trade routes.
6. Pakistan shall be excluded from all affairs of J&K in particular in the plebiscite, of one should be held.
7. If a plebiscite is found to be impossible for technical or practical reasons, the Commission will consider other methods of determining fair and equitable conditions for ensuring a free expression of people’s will.
8. Plebescite proposal shall not be binding upon India if Pakistan does not implement Part I and II of the resolution of 13th August, 1948. (The resolution had called upon Pakistan to withdraw troops from occupied Kashmir).

Note: The UNCIP could not make Pakistan accept these assurances with the result that the very basis of U.N. resolution of 13thAugust, 1948 collapsed.

Train to Udhampur- 53 km track connecting Jammu to Udhampur

53 km track connecting Jammu to Udhampur Cost: 550 crore 20 tunnels, 158 bridges, has a 2.5 km tunnel longer than NH1 (Jammu-Srinagar highway) Gambhir bridge is an engineering feat and is 77m above sea level. which is higher than even Qutub Minar

My travel experience to Patnitop and Jammu-- Meenakshi Gaur via YouthKiAwaaz

My travel experience to Patnitop and Jammu
April 4, 2010 @ YouthKiAwaaz 
Meenakshi Gaur

It was a one day trip, which I took to Patnitop, a hill station in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. In the morning, I woke up to the call of a laundry man in the train who declared the arrival of Jammu Tawi station. Half asleep I got down the train believing to experience fresh gush of mountain air in my face but was greeted by railway platform’s permanent residents, flies and loitering dogs. 

Wondering why it was called Jammu Tawi station and not New Delhi station as the madness of bustling crowd and filth was the same, I boarded a train to Udhampur. Disappointed with Jammu platform I slept through my journey to Udhampur. Udhampur station stunned me with its natural setting and the smell of fresh air made me realize the difference between a city and a hill station’s railway platform.

The Udhampur Railway Station surrounded by scenic beauty

Nature welcomed me into its fine adobe. My half asleep state seemed trance like while walking through the platform having a natural water spring as the source of drinking water. The day appeared promising. My hotel set right above the railway station, looked like a secluded yet delightful groove. But visiting it evoked the suppressed fear of terrorism. I saw the heavy military presence with massive artillery support guarding the place. Soon, I left my hotel in a taxi to reach Patnitop. The journey liberated me of all my fears and the new spirit of beauty engulfed me. 

By the time I reached Patnitop I was all in awe of nature. Patnitop became synonymous with river Cheab and luscious pine forest. The curvy climb of the road seemed like a fun natural ride and raised my somber spirit rather than making me sick. All thanks to my hotel’s cook, who advised heavy breakfast to avoid any mountain sickness. Patnitop appeared as the big garden set amongst mountains and forest. Its charm lied in the empty yet beaten trekking tracks, which will disappear in the winter season and the pony rides which will stop due to excess of snow and cold. The place has nothing to offer except that it liberates the being of all its worries and burdens. The pony which I rode was called Amir Sharma not Khan, symbolic of the place’s united religious culture rather than sheer influence of an actor’s name.

Skiing at Patnitop

The fast paced time declared the moment to move back to Jammu city to catch my evening train while I stole some time for shopping. My afternoon’s joy in Patnitop prepared me to go back to the noisy, bustling city of Jammu. Around three hours drive tired me but my mental health revived on seeing the fine Kashmiri embroidery. The market, the busy traffic roads and noisy clamor of the city withered in the beauty of its handicrafts and handlooms. The fine intricate designs available at much reasonable price taught me to honor the art and dedication of the weavers towards their work rather than monetarily judging the cost of their work.

A popular market in Jammu

At night, I walked through Jammu platform to board my train; all rejuvenated after the days travel and carrying bags full of sheer divine embroidery. I realized Jammu had lot more to offer than flies and loitering dogs.

THE CONNECTING TRAIN- India’s most challenging railway track—the Jammu-Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla link—picks up steam

THE CONNECTING TRAIN- India’s most challenging railway track—the Jammu-Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla link—picks up steam
Mandakini Gahlot

Posted: Sun May 25 2008, 12:27 hrs
Updated: Sat May 24 2008, 13:56 hrs

As work on India’s most challenging railway track—the Jammu-Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla link—picks up steam, photographer Praveen Khanna travels on a train from Jammu to Udhampur, the section that became functional three years ago and brought the region into the national mainstream
YOU don’t have to be an engineer to see why this track is such a marvel. It weaves its way meticulously through the Shivalik range bypassing all barriers, be they mountains or rivers,” says a frequent traveller on the Jammu-Udhampur line. 

The journey is picture-postcard perfect. Green mountains and steep valleys creep up on you suddenly as the quaint little train chugs along, stopping at stations you never knew existed. Bajalta, Sangar, Manwal and Ram Nagar, tidy little towns nestled among the hilly Shivalik range.

This was the section that first opened three years ago, connecting Delhi and other regions to Udhampur and soon it will extend and travel further into Katra, Qazigund, Srinagar and Baramulla.

With over 36 major and 122 minor bridges on a track that is a little over 53 km long, the one-and-a-half hour journey from Jammu to Udhampur is a delight.

The track runs through almost 10 km of tunnels, the longest of which is 2.45 km. “To put it in perspective, the 2.5-km tunnel is longer than the Jawahar Tunnel on National Highway No. 1 on the Pir Panjal ranges, which connects the Valley to the rest of the country by road,” explains a Northern Railways official.

Digging the tunnels through the mountains was not easy. “It was a real challenge for railway engineers who had never before dealt with the rather strenuous task of laying tracks on a topography that’s so dynamic in nature,” a railway official says.

Perhaps one of the most breathtaking sights on the entire track is the mesmerising view of the Valley as seen from the Gambhir Bridge, which is 77 metre high—higher even than the Qutub Minar.

“I have been travelling daily on this train for almost two years now yet I never tire of seeing the view from up here,” says a passenger. One glance outside and you know what he means. The train seems to be weaving through the clouds.


The rail line was in the making for two long decades but when the first train finally rolled out of the freshly laid Jammu-Udhampur track, it brought in a new age for an entire generation of Kashmiris. They lined the tracks and cheered as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh “dedicated the rail link to the nation,” on April 13, 2005. Since then, the rail link has become an essential part of the lives of Kashmiri businessmen who finally feel like they are “connected” to the rest of the country. Equally grateful for the rail link, the only one connecting the state to the rest of the nation, are the lakhs of pilgrims who make the arduous journey to Vaishno Devi each year.

“Vaishno Devi is located in Udhampur district in Jammu and before the rail link, the only way to get there was a rather treacherous bus ride from Jammu,” says a Northern Railways official.

Built at a cost of Rs 522 crore, a mere pittance going by the size of the railway kitty today, the project was incessantly delayed due to “lack of funds”.

However, most railway officials concede that even if sufficient funds had been available to them, the incredible geo-technical nature of the sub-mountainous region would have ensured that the rail link took as long as it did to be ready. 

A technical study on the design features of the track prepared by the then Deputy Chief Engineer (Construction) of Northern Railways, V.K. Duggal categorically stated, “Construction of the Jammu-Udhampur-Baramulla new rail link is the biggest and perhaps the most difficult project undertaken by the Indian Railways in the mountainous terrain since Independence.”


Much like Mumbai’s local rail tracks, the Jammu-Udhampur rail link has given a boost to Jammu’s economy. 

Businessmen who live in Udhampur use any one of the five trains that ply on this track daily to get to Jammu where they have set shop. “I travelled from Udhampur to Jammu everyday by road before the track was laid but it’s a rather dangerous drive to make and over the past three years I have only be travelling by train,” says Pawan Mehra, a gold merchant who has been shuttling between Jammu and Udhampur daily for the last eleven years. “The track is a lifeline to us businessmen who need to commute daily,” Mehra says.

The track has come as a blessing for students too. “Most of the educational institutes are located in Jammu and before the track was laid, it was difficult for students to commute between Udhampur and Jammu. Now, however, many of us who live in Udhampur, travel to different colleges in Jammu every day,” says Luckey Jamwal, an MBA student at KAWA Institute in Jammu.

So, the daily crowds start flocking at the station early. The first train departs from Udhampur at 6.45 in the morning. They park their motorcycles, and bicycles at the Udhampur station, hop onto the train and set out to seek a living or an education. Some complain that there is no reliable public transport that links the main Udhampur city to the station. “Not all of us have bikes and in the absence of a bus service from the city to the station it sort of dampens the entire purpose of the rail track,” says Sudesh Kumar, an employee at the Government Medical College in Jammu.

Almost 2,000 passengers travel on this line daily. During the pilgrimage season, Northern Railways runs special trains on the route to accommodate the rush of devotees making their way to Vaishno Devi.

Images courtesy: Skyscraper and Wikipedia

source: http://www.jammu-kashmir.com/archives/archives2004/kashmir20040516c.html

The Jammu - Udhampur Rail Link

16 May 2004
The Daily Excelsior
Om Prakash

Jammu: Udhampur at a height of 861 meters above sea level in Jammu and Kashmir will soon be on the map of the Indian Railways. Bholu, its mascot, will register the Railways' presence in this hilly district of the State. The 53 kilometre - long railway track between Jammu and Udhampur is now almost complete and just waiting for a passenger train to pass by. Built at a cost of Rs. 550 crore, it is an engineering marvel telling us how we are capable of completing arduous tasks despite hurdles. The project, which was sanctioned by the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi , in the early 80s, was delayed due to geo-technical problems and lack of funds at the initial stages. But in 1994-95 sufficient funds were allocated and the work gained momentum. 

The railway line passing though hilly stations like Bajalta, Sangar, Manwal and Ramnagar Road also touches the hearts of the locals of all age groups who express their joy by merely watching it with the hope that soon they will be able to boost their business activities and save their time while travelling to Jammu and other places in the country. Laying of a railway line on rocks and cliffs has not been an easy task due to the topography of the Shivalik ranges which has always been a challenge. But engineers, labourers, and the railway officials have made it possible with their determination. 

Using the latest technology, the railway line has been laid with 20 tunnels and 158 bridges. It has the longest tunnel of about 2.5 km length which is longer than the Jawahar Tunnel on the National Highway No.1 on the Pir Panjal ranges, connecting the Kashmir valley with the rest of the country by road. The Gambhir bridge is another example of the engineering feat. It is 77 metres high. It is the highest rail bridge in this section. The Northern Railway has devised its own technique for better riding quality with reinforced concrete piers for all viaducts, long-welded tracks laid on heavier rails and ballast-less tracks in tunnels with proper ventilation. The Udhampur district in Jammu and Kashmir has a significant place in the country. This is where the Vaishno Devi shrine is located. It attracts lakhs of devotees round the year. This rail link between Jammu and Udhampur will make the pilgrimage easy for those devotees who cannot make it due to the arduous bus journey from Jammu at present. 

It will be made still easier when Udhampur will be linked with Katra by train, the base camp of the Vaishno Devi Temple. The 25 km-long rail link is likely to be completed by March next year. Nearly 25 lakh cubic metres of earthwork out of a total of about 40 lakh cubic metres has been completed. While the work on 6 bridges has been completed, the construction of 4 bridges is in progress. There will be nine major bridges on this stretch. One of them has been completed. This is the first station on the prestigious 140 km-long Katra -Qazigund section, which is 1728 metres above sea level. The entire alignment from Katra to Baramulla in the Kashmir Valley has been completed. The whole project is estimated to cost Rs.3564.78 crore. 

The construction and maintenance cost of the railways in Jammu and Kashmir is very high compared to the plains. The construction work of the railway station at Srinagar is now in full swing. It will be completed by March next year. The Railways proposes to operate local trains on the Qazigund - Srinagar- Baramulla section until the Katra - Qazigund line is completed. The day is not far when the people in Kashmir would enjoy riding trains. 

The Constitution of India envisages full integration of all its people on the touchstone of their oneness despite their cultural, linguistic and religious diversities. Keeping this in views, the Jammu - Udhampur- Katra- Qazigund- Srinagar- Baramulla rail link will go a long way in integrating the people of Jammu and Kashmir, the strategically important border State, into the national mainstream.

Amarnath yatra--Yatra to the Holy Shrine of Shri Amarnathji in Jammu and Kashmir

Amarnath yatra
This year’s Yatra to the Holy Shrine of Shri Amarnathji in Jammu and Kashmir will commence from Baltal and Pahalgam on 1st July, 2010 and conclude on Raksha Bandhan on 24th August, 2010.

According to Shri R. K. Goyal, Chief Executive Officer of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), the registration of the Yatris for this year’s Yatra will commence on 5th June, 2010, from Registration Counters established in 121 designated Branches of the J&K Bank, located all over the country. The details of these Branches are available on the Board’s Website (www.shriamarnathjishrine.com). 
Because of the longer distance and travel time, the registration of pilgrims from the Pahalgam route will not be allowed after 22nd August, 2010; the registration in respect of the Baltal route, which is much shorter, will close on the 23rd August, 2010. The registration will be done on “First-Come-First-Serve Basis”. The Registration Counters at the designated Branches of the J&K Bank shall remain open from 3 PM to 6 PM on all working week days and 1 PM to 4 PM on all working Saturdays during the aforesaid period of Registration. This year, the number of designated Registration Counters has been increased to 121, from 103 last year. 

For effective security arrangements, no Yatri will be allowed to enter or proceed beyond the Base Camps unless he is in possession of a valid Yatra Permit for a specified date and route. In this context, the C.E.O appealed to all those who intend to undertake the pilgrimage to complete the necessary formalities for registration and timely obtain a Yatra Permit, in their own interest, so that no inconvenience is faced by any Yatri with regard to the date of his / her Yatra and the route to be followed. CEO informed that this year all the labourers, pony and pithuwallahs are also being provided Photo Identity Cards, for effective security.

For the purpose of Registration the requisite Application Form can be collected from any of the designated J&K Bank Branches, across the country, or downloaded from the Board’s website (www.shriamarnathjishrine.com). 

Registration will be done through a Yatra Permit which will be issued on the submission of the Application Form, duly filled in, along with the payment of handling charges of Rs.15/- per Yatri. While this charge has remained the same as recovered for Yatra 2009, a significant change is that this year, the Board is providing, free of cost to the Yatri, an Accidental Insurance Cover of Rupees one lakh to all Registered Yatris who possess valid Yatra permits. For this purpose the Shrine Board has concluded an agreement with the New India Assurance Company Limited. Last year, a Yatri opting for an Insurance cover was required to pay a sum of Rs.24/- at the time of registration.

The Board has also completed the required formalities to provide similar Accidental Insurance Cover to all the Registered Labourers deployed during the Yatra and is in the process of extending a similar facility for the Pony owners in case their pony is involved in an accidental death. The Board thanks the State Government for providing the funds required to provide such insurance cover to the labourers and pony owners. This decision was taken in a recent discussion between the Board Chairman, Shri N. N. Vohra, and the Chief Minister, Shri Omar Abdullah. The Board undertook to handle the entire processing work to conclude the requisite agreement with the Assurance Company.

The Yatris can also register online via the website (http://yatra.jkbank.net/) of the J&K Bank. This facility has been provided particularly for the benefit of those persons who may not have ready access to any of the 121 designated Registration Counters of the J&K Bank.

The aforesaid decisions were taken in an extensive meeting held yesterday by the Shrine Board Chairman, Shri N. N. Vohra with Shri R. K. Goyal, Chief Executive Officer, Shri Saugat Biswas, Additional Chief Executive Officer and all the other concerned officers. 

The Chairman appealed to the pilgrims to strictly adhere to the announced Yatra schedule and, under no circumstances whatsoever, venture on the arduous track ahead of the date for which they are registered for the Yatra. He also urged the Yatris, before commencing Yatra, to most carefully read the instructions (Do’s and Dont’s) which are printed on the reverse of the Yatra Permit and are also available at the Board’s website. In this context, the C.E.O., Shri Goyal, referred to the precious lives lost last year and cautioned that no person who has a serious medical or orthopaedic ailment, or any breathing, chest or heart problem, must undertake this arduous Yatra. He noted that from this year every pilgrim has been required to provide a self-certification that he/she is fit to undertake the arduous Yatra, which involves climbing upto 13,500 feet.

Shri Goyal informed that the helicopter services for the Yatris who wish to avail of such facilities would be available on each of the two routes viz. Baltal - Panjtarni – Baltal and Pahalgam – Panjtarni- Pahalgam. The one way heli-fare for Baltal- Panjtarni and Pahalgam-Panjtarni has been fixed at Rs. 2425/- and Rs. 3800/-, respectively. Children, between the age of 2-12 years, will be required to pay half the aforesaid prices. 

The booking/ reservation of helicopter seats would commence shortly via two modes: Online Booking or through the Travel Agents operating in Jammu and Kashmir, Divisions. Full details of the booking procedure shall be notified on the Board’s website in the next few days. He further disclosed that from Panjtarni the Yatris would need to travel a hilly track of about 6 kms., on foot, Ponies or Palkies, as per their wish, to reach the Holy Cave Shrine. The C.E.O. noted that the helicopter fares this year are substantially lower than those in Yatra 2009. He further clarified that, to reduce inconvenience and delays, the Yatris who travel by helicopter would not be required to separately obtain Yatra Permits as their required details would have been recorded before issue of helicopter tickets which would serve as Yatra Permits.

Notwithstanding the continuing rain and snowfall in the past two weeks the Shrine Board and each of the various concerned Government Agencies have been engaged, round the clock in making the required arrangements at the Base Camps and along both the routes to the Cave Shrine. Special emphasis is being laid on the preservation of the ecology and environment of the Yatra area.

A detailed plan has been drawn up, under the expert guidance of Dr. Sunita Narain, an eminent Environmentalist and the Member of the Shrine Board, to maintain cleanliness at the Base Camps in Baltal and Nunwan and enroute the Holy Cave. It is planned to launch a concerted campaign to effectively prohibit the use of plastic bags / materials. Further, shedders are being installed at both the Base Camps for shredding all plastic materials collected by workers engaged by the Board. The CEO stated that well planned arrangements are being implemented on the ground for the treatment of sewage wastes on scientific lines. 

The CEO appealed to the Yatris not to use polythene bags, sachets and food packets as the use of polythene is totally banned and any infringement of this regulation shall result in placing the violator in avoidable difficulty. The Shrine Board is arranging for the supply, at the shops in the Base Camps and at the Holy Cave, suitably sized jute bags for use by the Yatris.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Army passes intel to Govt: PLA men at pass linking PoK to China

Army passes intel to Govt: PLA men at pass linking PoK to China
Shishir Gupta
Tags : Khunjerab Pass, China, Gilgit, People’s Liberation Army, Xinjiang, Army
Posted: Tue Aug 31 2010, 01:53 hrs
Updated: Tue Aug 31 2010, 08:01 hrs
New Delhi:

The Army has received confirmation that China deployed an infantry battalion of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) at the 15,397-feet Khunjerab Pass on the Karakoram highway this month for the security of its workers engaged in building a railroad. This railroad will eventually connect Xinjiang to the port of Gwadar in Balochistan, Pakistan.
The Khunjerab Pass straddles the border between China and PoK and is 272 km from Gilgit in the Northern Areas. This PLA deployment is expected to be raised to brigade strength (3,000 troops) as work on the railroad progresses in the Northern Areas.

Writing in The New York Times — the article was carried by The Indian Express — Selig S Harrison, director of the Asia Program at the Center for International Policy, reported that 7,000-11,000 PLA troops are already in the Gilgit-Baltistan region.

The Indian Army brass has taken note of the deployment of 1,000 troops at Khunjerab Pass but is not unduly alarmed about the build-up.

According to Harrison, China wants a grip on the region to assure unfettered rail and road access to the Gulf through Pakistan. His report also spoke of the presence of some possible missile silos.

Army sources here said the PLA infantry battalion is presently being acclimatized for long-term deployment at the Khunjerab Pass.

The Army has passed on this intelligence to the departments concerned for independent verification. Given the Parliamentary resolution on Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, India is bound to protest if Chinese PLA troops actually enter Northern Areas.

The PLA deployment is expected to be discussed at a meeting of the Chiefs of Staff Committee scheduled for the first week of September. The meeting, to be chaired by Air Chief Marshal P V Naik, will assess the development and accordingly inform the Defence Ministry or the Cabinet Committee on Security.

The military assessment, based on intelligence inputs, suggests that the PLA battalion is involved in providing security to Chinese Han workers building the high speed rail and road link to Gwadar and ports at Pasni and Omara on the Makran coast.

“The deployment may be to support its infrastructure in the Northern Areas in the long run but the immediate issue is the possibility of Pakistan-based jihadis linking up with the largely Muslim population of the sensitive Xinjiang province,” said a senior official. The PLA keeps the area under strict control to avoid infiltration from the Northern Areas.

Pakistan is now officially a Chinese colony
Pakistan won't allow US troops, but China is no problem. Why? Because they are now officially a part of Peoples Republic of China. Iran is next!

Farooq blames Pak for inciting violence in Kashmir

Farooq blames Pak for inciting violence in Kashmir
Tags : Farooq Abdullah, violence, Kashmir, azadi
Posted: Mon Aug 30 2010, 16:34 hrs

Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Resources Farooq Abdullah on Monday said that Kashmir is an integral part of India and without naming Pakistan blamed it for inciting violence there in the name of "azadi".

"From core of my heart I am saying Kashmir is an integral part of India and will continue to be so," Abdullah told an interactive session of the Bengal National Chamber of Commerce and Industry here.

Deploring the violence that claimed 64 lives in the state, the National Conference leader, without naming Pakistan, accused it of "unleashing a second wave of violence in Kashmir in the name of azadi".

"Some people think of bringing azadi, but they hardly know what azadi is all about. Our neighbour is behind it and fishing in troubled waters," Abdullah said.

Trouble first started with the killing of people and throwing Kashmiri Pandits out of the state, but the plans did not succeed, he said.

"Their plans will not succeed," he said.

2 Muslim girls missing from Kishtwar, recovered from Madarsa in Jammu

2 Muslim girls missing from Kishtwar, recovered from Madarsa in Jammu
by Vijay Kumar    August 05, 2010

Jammu August 5 (Scoop News) -   Kishtwar Police worked out the missing case within shortest period of time by recovering the two girls and handed over to their parents in Kishtwar district today.

              According to Police that  reports revealed that on 20th July 2010, Ali Mohd Zarger r/o Malwari, Sarthal, Kishtwar and Qasim Din r/o Tipri Pathshalla Kishtwar reported that their daughters namely Shagupta Bano d/o Ali Mohd and Fatima Bano d/o Qasim Din have disappeared from Kishtwar where  they were putting up study purpose. Both girls were friends and were studying at different coaching centres at Kishtwar. Fatima is a student of 12th and Shagufta is a student of 10th standard.

              Police said that there was absolutely no clue regarding the girls and even the family and friends could not provide any clue in this regards. General public was shocked and desperately demanded their early recovery. Many times delegation and groups protested against the Police at Police Station Kishtwar. Police immediately lodged the missing report and launched a massive search in the area. All the Police stations and Police Posts of the District were immediately informed about the missing and the descriptive roll of the missing girls. 

Even the SHOs of all Police Stations of Jammu and Kashmir state were informed about the matter and requested to have a sharp look out in their respective areas. Even the call details of the girls were thoroughly worked out but no clue struck out. The photographs of girls were also widely publicized by the Police.  Further the activation of human sources was done which finally helped in tracing the girls in a Madrsa  in Bhathindi area of  Jammu. 

The questioning of girls revealed that they had gone to Jammu on their own for further studies at Madrsa, Jammu without consulting their parents. They further disclosed that there is no role of anybody in taking them away from Kishtwar. They revealed that they are fond of travelling and ventured this trip to Jammu. They had already heard of the Madrsa at Bhatindi, Jammu wherein they had told the management of Madrsa that they are poor and orphan girls and intend to study there. The girls so recovered, after legal formalities have been handed over to their parents in presence of few respectable of Kishtwar. Further inquiry in the matter is still going on.

              The efforts of Kishtwar Police in recovering both the girls have been hailed by the parents and general public of Kishtwar 

J K Mulling Tourist Circuit In Kishtwar

J K Mulling Tourist Circuit In Kishtwar

J-K mulling tourist circuit in Kishtwar
Wednesday, 16 June 2010 00:07

Srinagar,(PTI) The Jammu and Kashmir government is contemplating to form a tourist circuit in Kishtwar district connecting Sansari, Sohal and Ahtholi areas to boost tourism in the backward district.

"These areas have vast tourism potential and efforts are on to bring Kishtwar on the tourist map of the country to attract domestic as well as foreign tourists", Minister for roads and buildings G M Saroori said addressing a public gathering in the district after inspecting Machail-Gulabgarh road coming up at a cost of Rs 16 crore.

Saroori said it is imperative to be providing adequate tourism infrastructure for the tourists and announced that a Dak Bungalow would be constructed in Machail for this purpose.

Saroori said that special attention is being given to bring Machail, a revered Hindu pilgrimage, on the tourist circuit to facilities the travel of the devotees.

J K Govt To Organise Motor Sports Rally To Boost Tourism

J-K govt to organise Motor sports rally to boost tourism
Saturday, 12 June 2010 13:27

Srinagar, June 11 (PTI) The Jammu and Kashmir government is sponsoring first Motor Sports rally from June 24 to exploit adventure tourism potential, its tourism minister Nawang Rigzin Jora said today.

40 top national level motorists will participate in the four-day Mughal Road-2010 rally, Jora said addressing a high level meeting of officers to discuss the arrangements for the event.

He said the rally will traverse through Srinagar, Kishtwar, Patnitop, Mansar, Suransar, Jammu, Rajouri, Bufliaz, Peer-ki-Gali and Shopian.

Jora said the event will give tremendous boost to tourism, trade and commerce in the State.

Add Add Fresh Snowfall In Upper Reaches Of Bhaderwah In Jammu

Fresh snowfall in upper reaches of Bhaderwah in Jammu
Sunday, 13 June 2010 08:48

Bhaderwah, June 12 (PTI) Fresh snowfall today in upper reaches of Bhaderwah valley in Doda district of Jammu division caused winter-like conditions in many parts of the hilly district.

The snowfall since this morning in the upper reaches of Dev Chatter, Padri Gali, Chatter Gali Pass, Kailash Kund, Rashapati Glacier and Ram Kund brought down the temperature due to chilly winds lashing Bhaderwah, about 200 km from Jammu.

Many other areas of Doda district also experienced cold wind due to fresh snowfall in higher reaches of Bhaderwah today. The fresh snow was preceded by overnight rains in different areas of Doda district.

Buddhist Spiritual Leader Dalai Lama Visit Paddar In Kishtwar

Buddhist spiritual leader Dalai Lama to Visit Paddar in Kishtwar
Saturday, 05 June 2010 09:33

Kishtwar: Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama is reaching mountain locked Gulabgarh town of Paddar area in Kishtwar district on a two days visit on 5 June to address a religious congregation organized by the Himalayan Buddhist Cultural Society (HBCS). He will also inaugurate a Buddhist centre at Paddar, which has been set up by the Society especially for the Buddhist leader’s visit.

Chief Minister Mr Omar Abdullah will fly to Gulabgarh a couple of hour before the arrival of Dalai Lama to receive the spiritual leader, who is on his first visit to Kishtwar. The Tibetan leader is scheduled to land at Gulabgarh at about 10 am and will have a night halt in the mountainous region before returning to Dharamsala on Sunday afternoon.

The State Government has deputed Tourism Minister Rigzin Jora, R&B Minister and MLA Kishtwar besides senior officers of civil and police administration to assist in making arrangements for the Tibetan leader.

A number of Buddhist leaders from different parts of the country especially Dharamsala and Ladakh have already reached Gulabgarh to make arrangements for the visit of Dalai Lama and accord him a warm welcome.

Dalai Lama will inaugurate a Buddhist centre, hold prayers and address a large gathering at Gulabgarh, Paddar, the only place in Jammu region where about 7000 Buddhists live. Paddar, known for its sapphire mines, borders the picturesque Zanskar valley in Kargil district.

This is the first ever religious congregation being organized at the centuries old Lossany monastery. It will be attended by more than 25,000 Buddhists from Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh region of the State besides few other parts of the country.

This would be the first visit of Tibetan spiritual leader to the area as his visits so far have remained confined to Ladakh where Buddhism is the main religion.

It was raining in Gulabgarh late this evening. Sources hoped that the weather will improve by tomorrow morning to ensure landing of the helicopters and holding religious congregation in the open ground to accommodate a large number of visitors.

Tight security arrangements have been made for the visit of Dalai Lama in Gulabgarh.

Sources said though Gulabgarh and Paddar areas in Kishtwar district are presently free from militancy, their surrounding areas have presence of some militants of Hizbul Mujahideen outfit. Police and para-military personnel have surrounded entire Gulabgarh area for past four days. Police and para-military personnel have also been deployed in mountains overlooking Gulabgarh. Senior officers of police and civil administration were camping at Gulabgarh to ensure that the VVIP visit is passed off peacefully.

Army organizes cricket tournament at Patnazi Bonjwah-Sadbhavana Akhtar Memorial Cricket Tournament at Devigol, Patnazi (Kishtwar)

Army organizes cricket tournament at Patnazi Bonjwah-Sadbhavana Akhtar Memorial Cricket Tournament at Devigol, Patnazi (Kishtwar)
Thursday, 17 June 2010 12:11

Kishtwar: Army organized a cricket tournament in Patnazi village of Bonjwah, once known as hub of militancy. Army has been actively involved in organizing various extracurricular events & campaigns to promote awareness amongst locals & especially the youth in the state. In one such occasion, 26 Rashtriya Rifles (KUMAON) under the aegis of Headquarters 9 Sector Rashtriya Rifles organized ‘Sadbhavana Akhtar Memorial Cricket Tournament at Devigol, Patnazi (Kishtwar) from 03 June 2010 to 09 June 2010.

A total of 16 teams of Kishtwar region participated in the Cricket Tournament. A total of 19 matches were played. The finals were played between Friends Cricket Club, Patnazi & Mohammaden Cricket Club, Jarwar which was very keenly contested match. Team of Friends Cricket Club, Patnazi won the toss & elected to bat first. They made a total of 135 runs in 15 overs. In reply, Jarwar team was all out for 42 runs. The event was witnessed by approximately 500 locals who cheered up both the teams. Commanding Officer 26 Rashtriya Rifles (KUMAON) distributed the prizes & handed over the Trophy to Winners & Runners Up team on behalf of Commander 9 Sector Rashtriya Rifles. Master Sunil Kumar was declared the Man of the Match for his excellent performance in the finals. 

Devigol is a remote area of Kishtwar & till about a few years back dominated by the militants. By the concerted efforts of the Army, the area has got rid of militancy. On the request of locals, a Cricket Tournament was organized for the first time by the Army in the area. Such gestures by Army are aimed at motivating the youth to join progressive mainstream activities thus inculcating the spirit of bonhomie, sense of belonging & togetherness & slowly weaning them away from terrorism. Holding a Tournament of such a magnitude in a remote area in which 16 teams participated shows that era of peace & tranquillity has ushered in the region. The local populace appreciated the Army’s humane approach & commitment towards engagement of youth in sports activities. Such events carry the message of peace, harmony & progress & motivate the youth to become an integral part of the society.

Folk Dances in District Udhampur- Kud, Fumenie, Heren

Folk Dances in District Udhampur- Kud, Fumenie, Heren

Folk Dances
The Dugger culture is scattered in the hilly area. The folk dance of the district Udhampur are Kudd, Fumenie, Surma etc. The Kudd and Phumanian are performed by the peoples residing in the Mountainous region of the District Udhampur. These dances are performed both by men and women on the special occassion like marriages, local fairs & festivals.

It is basically a ritual dance performed in honour of Lok Devatas. This dance style is performed mostly during nights. It is spontaneous dance and people of all ages and sexes participate in this folk dance form. Instruments used during this dance are Narshingha, chhaina, flute, drums etc. It is the rhythm of music which controls the movement of participants. This dance continues for the whole night. Number of participants ranges from 20 to 30 members

This dance style is performed by the ladies on the eve of groom's departure to in-laws house. Both the songs are sung by a group of females consisting 15-20 members. This traditional dance form depicts the feelings and emotions of women folk.

It is a traditional theatre form performed during Lohri festival by 10-15 members. This style is mostly performed in hilly regions of Jammu.

Folk Songs in District Udhampur- Bhakh, Bhar, Gwatri, Karak (Jogies)

Folk Songs in District Udhampur

Folk Songs in District Udhampur- Bhakh, Bhar, Gwatri, Karak (Jogies) 
Folk songs are sung in various occasions such as Marriages, Festival. These songs are divided into different categories.

The Bhakh  is a chorus narrative song by a group of 10 singers without the accompaniment of any musical instruments. The Bhakh reflects the true Dogra Culture. Generally the theme of the Bhakh is the separation of young lady whose husband has gone out to win the bread.

Bhar is like the Bhakh in which the story of daring deeds are told. It is generally love story ends in the tragedy

It is a singing/ dance combined tradition in which the singers narrate some text which is enacted by the Gwatari dancers.

It is a tale ballet singing form sung by a community called 'Jogies'. They narrate a popular folk tale in their dance style, performed by three members with accompaniment of typical folk instrument called 'Rabab'.

Literature in District Udhampur- Dogri Poets and writer of Dogri Literature such as Jia Lal Jia, Uttam Chand, Sant Ram Shastri, Jitender Udhampuri, Prakash Premi, Dinu Bhai Pant

Literature in District Udhampur- Dogri Poets and writer of Dogri Literature such as Jia Lal Jia, Uttam Chand, Sant Ram Shastri, Jitender Udhampuri, Prakash Premi, Dinu Bhai Pant 

Dogri, the mother tongue of Dogras, has rich tradition of folk literature. These deals with every aspect of life from the cradle to grave. The rich literature of Dogri consists of folk tales, riddles and proverbs. There are also number of narrative poems in the praise of God known as Bhetas.

District Udhampur has produced number of Dogri Poets and writer of Dogri Literature such as Jia Lal Jia, Uttam Chand, Sant Ram Shastri, Jitender Udhampuri, Prakash Premi, Dinu Bhai Pant etc. Few of them were well renowned by the Sahitya Academy.

Writer Book Year
Srivats Vikal Phull Bina Dali (Novel) 1972
Kunwar Viyogi Ghar (Poetry) 1980
Jitendra Udhampuri EK Shehr Yaaden Da (Poetry) 1981
Deshbandhu Dogra "Nutan" Qaidi(Novel) 1982
Dinoo Bhai Pant Ayodhya (Drama) 1985
Prakash Premi Beddan Dharti Di (Epic) 1987
Abhishap Lalsa 1995

Jammu Kashmir & Laddakh

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