Baramulla District, one of the 22 districts of the state of Jammu & Kashmir, is further divided into 8 tehsils and 16 blocks and covers a total area of more than 4190 sq km. This district shares its borders with Pakistan occupied Kashmir on its western side. Baramulla is situated to the south of the town of Kupwara and north of Pooch and Budgam with Srinagar and Ladakh bordering its eastern side.
This ancient city was founded by Raja Bhimsina in 2306 BC. The region was visited by the great Mughal emperor Akbar in 1508. Jahangir, in appreciation of the beauty of the place, decided to stay here while on his journey to the Kashmir Valley. Hieun T’Sang, the well known Chinese traveller, had also once visited the district of Baramulla.
This district has derived its name from two Sanskrit words, namely ‘Varrah’, meaning Boar, and ‘Mul’, meaning Molar, which together mean ‘boar molar’. The legend behind the name of the place has been written in the Nilmathpurna, the ancient epic of Kashmir.
According to the epic, the region of Kashmir was originally a lake named Satisara which was under the control of a demon, Jalodbhava. In order to get rid off the demon, the Hindu god of preservation, Vishnu, disguised himself as a boar and burrowed an opening into the mountain with his molar, letting the water flow out.
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Baramulla is popular among tourists for its gurudwaras, temples, monasteries, and shrines. While, on a trip to the region, tourists must visit the town of Gulmarg, situated at an altitude of 2730 m above sea level. The town was originally named Gaurimarg but was later renamed Gulmarg; meaning valley of flowers, in the 16th century.
Gulmarg is renowned for its golf course that has been declared as the world’s highest green golf course. The management of this golf club has been assigned to the Jammu & Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation (JKTDC). Apart from the golf course, travellers can visit other popular sites of Gulmarg, namely Khilanmarg, Acchabal, Gondola Lift, Tangmarg, Verinag, and the Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve, to mention a few.
The town of Parihaspora is another famous tourist attraction in the district. This town acted as the capital of Kashmir during the reign of Raja Shankervarman. Travellers frequently visit Parihaspora for archaeological monuments like the Parihaspora Pattan and Pattan Bazaar.
Tourists can even explore the Vishnu pilgrimage sites, the Raj Bhavan and the Chaitya that were found there during an excavation in 1914.
Tourists are recommended to explore the Wular Lake, Manasbal Lake and Alpather Lake, if time permits.
Religious sites in Baramulla
There are numerous religious places in Baramulla such as Zeyarat Baba Reshi located at Tangmarg, Zeyarat Tujjar Sharief located at Sopore Imambara Goom located at Ahmadpora, and Zeyarat Janbaz Wali that merit a visit. Zeyarat Dastigeer Sahib, Zeyarat Baba Shakoor-ud-din at Watlab and Zeyarat Ahim Sharief located at Bandipora are other popular shrines in the destination.
If time allows, travellers can try exploring the Shiva Temple, also known as the Maharani or Mohineshwar Shivalalaya Temple.
This temple was constructed in the year 1915 by Mohini Bal Sisodhia, the wife of the King of Kashmir, Maharaja Hari Singh. The idols of the Hindu god of destruction, Shiva, and his consort, Goddess Parvati are enshrined here. Apart from Hindu and Muslim religious sites, travellers can visit the Sikh shrine, Chatti Padshahi.
The presence of streams, mountains, valleys, lakes, springs, and waterfalls make Baramulla the perfect site for travellers who wish to spend time amidst the lap of nature.
Travellers planning a trip to Baramulla can reach the destination via any means of transportation, namely airways, railways and roadways.
The ideal time to visit the destination is from April to July which is summer season there. Tourists interested in undertaking skiing can choose to visit Baramulla during the initial days of winters.