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Kishtwar is located in Jammu and Kashmir
Location in Jammu and Kashmir, India
Coordinates: 33°19′N 75°46′E / 33.32°N 75.77°E / 33.32; 75.77Coordinates: 33°19′N 75°46′E / 33.32°N 75.77°E / 33.32; 75.77
Country  India
State Jammu and Kashmir
District Kishtwar
Founded by Shiva
Named for High mountains
 • Type Democracy
 • Body NCP
Elevation 1,638 m (5,374 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Total 60,000 including 34,982 native and 25,000 from adjoining Tehsils.
 • Official Urdu
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)

Kishtwar is a municipality in the Kishtwar District of the Jammu region in J&K. As the seat of district administration, it houses governmental offices including the Deputy Commissioner, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Assistant Commissioner Revenue, Chief Medical, Education, Horticulture, Agriculture, Sheep Husbandry, Animal Husbandry, DFO, ACD and D.E.


The Chenab River flows through the district and is the site of the hydroelectric power projects of Dul Hasti 780 MW, Ratle 480 MW, Kirthai 1400 MW, Pakal Dool 700 MW, Lower Kalnai 200 MW and Chaudhary 150 MW with the highest per capita wattage production in world for such a small area. Kashmir sapphire was mined at Padder valley. And gypsum is mined at Trigam. The famous Synthan and Margan tops are high motorable road passes. The Steep Brahma mountain peak is situated at Dachhan. Saffron of purest quality is produced in the iron rich soil at Pochhal, Matta, Lachdayaram and Hidyal. Kishtwar National Park, in the northeast region of the district, has a large number of peaks and glaciers. Kishtwar is endowed with dense forests of deodar, pine and fir. There are high altitude mountains ranging between 20,000 feet to 21,000 feet like Num Kum, Burmah and Barnag. Pilgrims and tourists visit shrines in the area including Ziarat Zain-Shah-Sahib, Farid-ud-Din Sahib, Hazrat Asrar-ud-Din Sahib, Athara Bhuja Devi temple, Chandi Mata temple and Hatta Wali Matta.


Kishtwar is first referred to in the Rajatarangini by the ancient name Kashthavata, during the reign of Raja Kalsa of Kashmir (1063–1089), when "Uttamaraja", the ruler of Kashthavata visited the court of the Kashmir King in company with several other hill chiefs to pay their respects to the Raja. The Mehta Family was given the lands of Kishtwar by the King of Kashmir. Their family temple "Hatta Wali Mata" and their heritage can still be tracked back to Kishtwar. The founder of this family was the Commander-in-Chief of the Kashmir Army "Sip-E-Salar Sri Jiya Lal Mehta". Known for his bravery and valour he fought the Mughals and northern raiders who invaded the land.

The current name, Kishtwar, is a combination of the earlier name Kishaswar and "Kishat Rishi", who stayed there.

Kishtwar merged with the State of Jammu and Kashmir in 1821, A.D. With the passage of time Kishtwar became a Tehsil of District Udhampur and remained so until 1948, when it became part of the newly created District Doda in the wake of first re-organization of the state during the post-independence period.


In 1941, Kishtwar had a population of 3,235.[1] As of 2011 India census,[2] Kishtwar had a population of 34,982. Males constitute 63% of the population and females 37%. Kishtwar has an average literacy rate of 78%, higher than the Indian national average: male literacy is 82%, and female literacy is 42%. In Kishtwar, 11% of the population is under six years of age. The main language spoken here is called Kishtwari (related to kashmiri) by locals.

Inter Community relations[edit]

Kishtwar has a mixed history of communal unity and disharmony.


In 1947, conscious collective efforts were made by the elders of both the Hindu and Muslim communities to foster and maintain mutual trust. While communal riots took place elsewhere — in Jammu and in the nearby towns of Bhaderwah and Bhalesa — Kishtwar remained largely unaffected. So safe was this town that Muslims from other parts of the region sought refuge there and continued to live there.

Kitshtwar town hosts a variety of religious, linguistic and social identities and is known not only for its inclusive social and cultural life but also for shared religious spaces. The patron saint of Kishtwar is Hazrat Shah Farid-ud-Din Baghdadi — a Sufi saint who is known to have spread Islam in this area — whose shrine is revered equally by Muslims and Hindus. People here have been united in their varied struggles. One of the prominent places of the town is a memorial with three graves and two samadhis. Five students — three Muslims and two Hindus — were killed in the early 1980s while agitating for a college. People have also collectively agitated for district status for Kishtwar.[3]


On 9 August 2013, after the Eid festival, there were clashes reported in Kishtwar.[4] The trouble started in Kishtwar as a bike rider was trying to make his way through a procession of Muslims going for Eid prayers. The bike rider reportedly entered into a heated argument with members of the procession. Anti-India slogans were raised and this led to clashes between the two sides.[5] Curfew was imposed and Army called out in Kishtwar town in Jammu region on Friday after about 500 villagers raised anti-India slogans that led to clashes between two communities.

A police officer said a procession of around five hundred people from Hullar, Banderna, Punoo Sangram Bhata and Indira nagar villages took out a procession in Kishtwar town, 220 km from winter capital Jammu, raising pro-independence slogans. "Following this, stone-pelting clashes broke out between the two communities at Kulid chowk in Kishtwar," the officer said. "As the news of the clashes spread to the Eidgah grounds where people had gathered to offer Eid-ul-Fitr prayers, many of them joined in the violence," he added. "The mob torched many shops and rest looted in the main market belonging from Hindu, a truck and a scooter. Police used tear gas and batons to control the situation and fired warning shots to disperse the mob," the officer said.[6] These clashes resulted in three people dead and twenty more injured.