|— city —|
|State||Jammu and Kashmir|
|Elevation||1,666 m (5,466 ft)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
Banihal Pass 
Banihal Pass (Devanagari: बनिहाल दर्रा) at 2,832 m (9,291 ft) elevation on Pir Panjal mountain connects Banihal with Qazigund on the other side of the mountain. The Pir Panjal mountain range separates the Kashmir valley in the Indian state Jammu and Kashmir from the outer Himalaya and plains to the south. After closure of the Murree-Muzaffarabad-Srinagar road on partition of India in 1947, Banihal pass was the only passage from Jammu to Srinagar after independence until 1956 when a tunnel was bored through the mountain. The pass is accessible only in summer and remains closed rest of the year due to heavy snow.
Banihal Road Tunnels 
Existing road tunnel 
A 2.5 km (1.6 mi) long tunnel through Pir Panjal mountain under the Banihal pass connects Banihal with Qazigund on the other side of the mountain. The tunnel named Jawahar tunnel after the first Prime Minister of India was constructed in early 1950s and commissioned in December 1956 to ensure snow-free passage throughout the year. However, it remains closed for a few weeks in winter due to snow avalanches. It is at elevation of about 2,100 m (6,900 ft). It was designed for 150 vehicles per day but now used by more than 7,000 vehicles per day.. Therefore a new wider and longer tunnel has been planned at a lower elevation.
Jawahar tunnel is maintained by Border Road Organisation (BRO) of the Indian army and guarded 24x7 by the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force), which also monitors it by CCTVs as the tunnel is vital for the Kashmir valley.
Proposed road tunnel 
Construction of a new 8.45 km (5.25 mi) long Banihal-Qazigund road tunnel has started. The new tunnel is at a lower elevation than the existing Jawahar tunnel and, when completed, would reduce the road distance between Banihal and Qazigund by 16 km (9.9 mi). It would also be less prone to snow avalanche as it will be at a lower elevation.
Banihal Rail Tunnel 
A new 11.215 km (7 mile) long Banihal-Qazigund tunnel for the Kashmir Railway line connecting Bichleri Valley of Banihal with Qazigund area of Kashmir Valley has been constructed. The boring was completed in October 2011, its lining and laying of rail tracks was completed in the next one year and trial run commenced at the end of 2012. Commercial runs may start in early 2013. The rail tunnel reduces the distance between Quazigund and Banihal by 17 km (from 35 km by road to 17.5 km by train).
The tunnel’s average elevation at 1,760 m (5,770 ft) is 440 m (1,440 ft) below the existing road tunnel. The rail tunnel will facilitate transportation during winters when inclement weather forces closure of the road tunnel and Srinagar-Jammu highway. Pir Panjal Railway Tunnel is India's longest and Asia's third longest railway tunnel (28 km long Taihang Tunnel in China is the longest and 21 km long Wushaoling Tunnel in Gansu, China is the second longest). Until the Udhampur-Banihal section of Kashmir railway gets constructed in another five years in 2018, people can travel to Banihal by road and take the train to Srinagar from Banihal.
- Encyclopædia Britannica Online. "Banihal Pass.". Archived from the original on 4 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-17.
- "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.