Baffa

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This article is about the town in Pakistan. For the town in Cyprus, see Paphos.

Coordinates: 34°26′24″N 73°13′15″E / 34.44000°N 73.22083°E / 34.44000; 73.22083

Along the Siran River in Baffa

Baffa is a town and Union Council (an administrative subdivision) of Mansehra District in Khyber-Pukhtoonkhwa province of Pakistan.[1] It is located in Mansehra Tehsil and lies to the north of the district capital, Mansehra.[2]

History[edit]

Baffa might have existed for some time, probably dating back to Sikh rule or even a bit earlier circa 18th century.[3] Baffa was given the status of a municipality in 1873 during British rule, it was principal mart of Northern Hazara and of the neighbouring independent tracts. The population in 1901 was 7,029. The income during the ten years ending 1902–3 averaged Rs. 4,500, and the expenditure Rs. 4,600. In 1903-4 the income was Rs. 5,300, chiefly derived from octroi and the expenditure was Rs. 4,700. A vernacular middle school was maintained by the municipality and the District board. Baffa remained Educational hub for Pakkhal valley, Konsh valley and Siran Valley because of accommodation facility (hostel) with Government Higher Secondary School Baffa. At that time this was only high school for these three big valleys i.e. Pakkhal, Konsh and Siran. Municipal Committee Mansehra most of times took credits from Municipal Committee Baffa to fulfill its expenditures because Municipal Committee Baffa's income and revenue was more than Municipal Committee Mansehra[4]

Location[edit]

Union Council Baffa is situated in the Pakkhal valley of Mansehra District, the town is located on the right bank of the Siran river in the northern corner of the Pakkhli plain.[citation needed] It is 13 kilometres away from the district capital, Mansehra, in the north-west. It is the headquarters of the historical “Pakkhal Valley”. Pakkhal Valley is also known as "Pakkhal Plain". This valley is the last biggest plain area between Pakistan and China(The Deosai National Park is the biggest plain on the Pak-China Himalayan frontier, covering an area of 3000 km²). Beyond Pakkhal Valley is the continuous chain of the world largest mountains the Himalayas. Baffa is situated at the base of the Himalayan mountains. It used to be a big historical market between Gilgit and Rawalpindi. Baffa is the resting place of Mulana Ghous Hazarvi and historically the rally point of the Turks who had established their main cantonment at the village of Guli Bagh. The major tourist attractions are Nanga Baba shrine located at the top of a hillock overlooking the Pakhal Maidan (plain), Khar Maidan, Guli Bagh and Mount Tingalai. A number of crops are harvested, including paddy rice and vegetables, especially tomatoes, onions and potatoes. Finest quality Virginia tobacco is grown which has a major impact in improving local economic conditions. It takes 30 minutes from Manshehra City to Baffa via the historic Karakorum Road. On the way there is a bridge linking the small town Inayat Abad to Baffa. This bridge was constructed by the British government in the year 1935. In the year 2002 floods damaged it badly however it has now been reconstructed. The scenery is very beautiful specially because of Baffa's river, lush green trees and the surrounding mountains covered with snow.[5]

Religion[edit]

By religion 100% population is of Muslim. Nearly all population is of the Sunni sect with exception of a family or two, which belong to the shia sect. The people of Baffa are mostly religious and very much moderate and give great respect to religious customs and culture. There are many notable Ulamas in the town recognized nationwide.[5]

Demography[edit]

The tribes of the town are mostly the Swatis, Awans, Gujjars, and a few Turks[citation needed]. The total population of the town is about one million[citation needed].

Education[edit]

The overall literacy rate in U/C Baffa is satisfactory, and there are plenty of good education institutions serving Baffa and surrounding areas. There is one government Higher Secondary School for boys and one for girls, recently a Graduate level college for girls is also established. Three government middle schools. There are privately owned schools for boys and girls as well. There are Twelve PhD Scholars in different subjects in Baffa. which in fact is a very impressive figure for such a small town. There are considerable number of people having professional degrees in medicine, engineering, business etc. The female literacy rate for elder population is now going to satisfactory in the area, but is very much satisfactory for the young female generation, as parents now prefer to send their daughters to schools and colleges. Recently a new university named Hazara University has been established just few kilometers away from Baffa which has motivated a lot of students to continue their studies specially female students who could not go far or live in other cities for higher studies. Educated Baffa women are mostly engaged in teaching at government and private schools, and few educated women do other jobs. At a time before the partition of the country Baffa remained an educational hub for people of northern Hazara division, The Government Primary School Baffa was established in 1873, Government Middle School Baffa in 1906 and the Government Higher Secondary School of Baffa was established in 1934 before the partition. At that time, in northern part of Hazara division Baffa was the only town had an intermediate level institution. There was a big hostel for boys to accommodate the students of far flung areas. Panorama Detail

Agriculture[edit]

Some Agricultural Lands Of Baffa Main agricultural yields include vegetables, wheat, maize, Rice, Sugarcane, and Tobacco. Tobacco produced in Baffa is of superb quality. “Super Virginia” Tobacco produced in the area is considered as the second best quality tobacco in the world. Two multinational Tobacco companies i.e. “Lacson Tobacco Company Limited” and “Pakistan Tobacco Company” are operating in the area. They purchase the locally produced tobacco and export it to Europe and USA where this is used in world’s top cigarettes Brands like Gold leaf, Marlbro, Capston etc. Tobacco farming is very tedious as well as very risky. Farmers may earn big profits or may suffer from a huge loss.Some families do not find it morally good to cultivate Tobacco so they turn to vegetables. Tomatoes, potatoes and other vegetables are cultivated in large numbers. Unfortunately there are no fruit gardens, as people have not adopted the trend of fruit gardens, even though the climate is very suitable for a lot of fruits. The climate of U/C Baffa is very suitable for tea farming. Research about tea production in Pakistan was first initiated by a local Farmer of U/C Baffa. There were privately owned tea farms in Baffa even in late 70s. Owner of the world leading tea company “Brook Bond” Mr. David Brooks visited Baffa in early 80s and admire the research work of the local farmer on tea production. Government of Pakistan established Pakistan’s first tea research centre “National Tea Research Institute (NTRI)” in Baffa later on it was shifted to a neighbor village. It is honor of land of Baffa that Pakistan's first tea plant was planted at Baffa. Baffa is the agricultural hub and is leading town of the district producing different crops and vegetables in sufficient amount, generating a big revenue for district Mansehra. The Agricultural Extension department and Agricultural Research System department both are established in the town.

Development[edit]

Not much development has happened in the last two decades for such a big town. For example, despite being a top quality cultivator of tobacco, Baffa does not have high quality tobacco leaf roasting facilities using natural gas. Baffa was also affected by the October 2005 earthquake, although not as much as the surrounding areas like Batagram, Alai,Balakot etc., and so hasn't received the same level of development investments. Electricity projects were started in the mid 1950s, Telecommunication sector of Pakistan "PTCL" started its services in mid 70's. There is one public hospital in Baffa. Recently a big restaurant and hotel has been made at a hilly picnic area which is attracting tourists from the surrounding areas. Looking at the peaceful area and the great weather conditions of Baffa town, there is potential for further tourism investment. There are various different markets available. Local commerce is carried out in the city centre specially Adnan Plaza which provides one of the best single stop commercial center available within a radius of 12 km2.

Sports[edit]

Different sports activities carried in Baffa Town include football, volleyball, swimming and cricket. Every year a number of tournaments are held at the Boys High school ground Baffa.The most popular game is cricket.

References[edit]

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