|State||Jammu and Kashmir|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
Bandipore (ˌbændɪˈpɔː) (also spelled Bandipora, Bandipur, Bandipura) (Kashmiri: بنڈ پُور,Urdu: بانڈی پور) is the administrative headquarters of the new district of Bandipora in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, India. It is located on the northern banks of Wular Lake - the biggest fresh water lake in Asia. Bandipore has a terrace garden similar to the Nishat Bagh in Srinagar. In Kashmiri there is a famous phrase about Bandipora or in other words Bandipora is famous for three A's - A'lim (knowledge), Adab (good habits or literature) and Aab (water). As can be known from the folklore, the name of Bandipora( pronounced as Band e pur) has originated either from Band of Wullar Lake, due to the Bands of place or due the Closed (Band in Kashmiri) geographical location( i.e. Bandipora is bound by Mountains on three sides and by Wullar Lake in the fourth).
Bandipore is situated on the banks of the Wular, the largest fresh-water lake in Asia which is home to a lot of migratory birds. Inadvertent dumping of the polluted river waters and sewage affluence has led to a pandemic growth of algae in the waters of the Wular which is threatening the lake and its supporting life itself. Bandipore is also a stepping town to the higher reaches of Razdan, Gurez and Tragbal.
The famous lolab valley in Kupwara district is adjacent to the Bandipora. It is just 30 km from Bandipora via Aaloosa village. Once this road is upgraded it will become a lifeline of the lolab valley and it will provide an additional route to the Kupwara district.
Bandipora was the connecting link between North India and Central Asia via the Silk Road. At Pazalpora village there was a custom and immigration department which is presently there as a forest check post. There are strong links between skardu gurez and Bandipora.
Bandipore is divided into three tehsils
As of 2001[update] Indian census, Bandipore had a population of 25,714. Males constitute 54% of the population and females 46%. Bandipore has an average literacy rate of 57.82%, lower than the national average of 59.5%; with 65% of the males and 35% of females literate. 12% of the population is under 6 years of age.
It has a Muslim majority though there are a few villages where Pandits also lived before their migration to the other parts of the country. The Pandit population were in large numbers at Ajar, Kalusa, Kharapora, Mantrigam Aragam etc. Some Pandit families at Ajar and Kaloosa did not migrate. They are living happily next to their Muslim neighbors. The temple at Kaloosa (or Kaloosa) is known as Sharda Mandir dates back to old times. It has a very big and old tree which is a few hundred years old and is a rare tree of its type. This is popularly known as Bran, a revered tree. There are many villages in this newly formed district named after Hindu gods and goddesses such as Chittarnar, named after Chakerishwar. The forest training school of Kashmir is located in Bandipore. It was established in 1905. This institute is a premier body in the conservation process of the forest department.
The majority of the population speaks Kashmiri. Gojri and Pahari is also spoken. Tehsil Gurez is Shina-speaking and has a Shina majority. There are few Pashtun villages on the Line of Control. The famous Kishan Ganga Hydro Electric Project is also located in the Gurez Tehsil of Bandipore. Project is worth Rs. 2700 Crore (Rs. 27 billion).It will generate electricity of 330 MW, which will be distributed from Kashmir.
The literacy rate in the main town of Bandipore and adjoining areas is quite high. The Pandit population had nearly 100 percent literacy. Waseem Bilal Shah, hailing from a small village Rampore, Bandipore, becomes the first Global business head for Adobe Systems Incorporated (EMEA) region. Waseem is the first Kashmiri who has been directly nominated by the owner of the company "John Warnock" for this position while he introduced few plugins for the newly released Adobe Flash player in 2012 kick off. He is considered to be a role model in the organization and has been awarded multiple times for his innovative work.
Towns and villages
The important villages of Bandipore are Nowpora,Naz Colony Nowpora, Lowdara,Dachigam,Ahamshareef, Ajar, Aloosa, Aragam, Arin, Ashtangoo, Ayathmullah, Barazullah, Bonakoot, Binleepora, Doban, Gamroo, Garoora,Gundpora (pore), Gurez, Kalusa, Kehnoosa, Kemah, Khayar, Kharapora,Konan, Lazwaypora, Mader, Mangnipora, Mantrigam, Muqaam, Nadihal, Nusoo, Panar, Panzigam, Papachan, Patushai, Pathkoot, Qazipora, Quil, Sonarwani, Sumlar, Tangath, Turkpora, Wanagam, Watapora, Waven, etc.
One of the sacred places of Hindus is Danishwar, locally also called as Chota Amar Nath. It a cave in dense forests of Erin. Pilgrim have to crawl about 60 meters to reach a cave where there are engraved features of Lord Shiva. People used to go there on the Sharvan Purnima, the date on which Amar Nath Yatra is being performed.
Bandipora plays host to one of the famous Forest Training and Research Institute in Jammu and Kashmir. Its a 3km distance from the main town. Apart from being beautiful, the Darul-Ullom-Rehamia [School for Philosophers] is the largest religious Institution in Jammu and Kashmir. It is the largest Islamic institution of Valley and Second largest in India.
Bandipora is known for tracking, mountaineering and fishing. The famous Arin Nallah is home to one the most exotic Trout [Rainbow Trout, Silver Trout and Gray Trout]
For Mountaineers The Mt Harmukh remains the main attraction, It is located in the eastern side of the town. Commercial Cabs ply on that route till Kodara that is the farthest point where the cabs stop, and there onwards the terrain becomes hilly and one has to track [17km] till the higher reaches of Mount Harmukh, Sheera Sir [Lake of Spirits] acts as a base camp for all the mountaineering expeditions for Mt Harmukh. In the north Lies Gurez, One of the most beautiful places in Jammu and Kashmir is 86 km from Bandipora. Commercial Cabs ply on this route during summers, however in winters the route remains closed due to heavy snowfall.
The place is surrounded by areas of scenic beauty and ranges such as Sarendar, Kudara, Vewan, Mowa and Tresangam, all of which are inhabited by the Gujjars ("Bakarwals"). Although being a scenic place where peace and tranquility is in the environment, Bandipora has never been considered a tourist place and does not figure anywhere on the tourist map of Jammu and Kashmir.
- "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
|Kupwara district||Kargil district|
|Baramula district||Ganderbal district|
edited by asrar onagam bandipora (video journalist)