Muzaffarabad

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Muzaffarabad
مُظفّرآباد
City
Muzaffarabad.jpg
Muzaffarabad is located in Azad Kashmir
Muzaffarabad
Muzaffarabad
Coordinates: 34°13′N 73°17′E / 34.21°N 73.28°E / 34.21; 73.28
Country Pakistan
Territory Azad Kashmir, Pakistan
Area
 • Total 6,117 km2 (2,362 sq mi)
Elevation 737 m (2,418 ft)
Population (2010)
 • Total 96,000
 • Estimate (2010) 96,000
Time zone PST (UTC+05:00)
Muzaffarabad Local Government
Muzaffarabad
Climate chart (explanation)
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
94
 
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3
 
 
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249
 
31
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108
 
30
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51
 
28
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35
 
22
6
 
 
77
 
16
2
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: [1][2]

Muzaffarabad (Urdu: مُظفَّرآباد‎; Pahari, Potwari: مُظفٌر آباد) is the capital of Azad Kashmir, Pakistan.

It is located in Muzaffarabad District on the banks of the Jhelum and Neelum rivers. The district is bounded by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in the west, by the Kupwara and Baramulla districts of Indian administered Kashmir in the east, and the Neelum District of Azad Kashmir in the north.

According to the 1998 Census, the population of the district was 725,000, and according to a 1999 projection, the population had risen to almost 741,000. The district comprises three tehsils, and the city of Muzaffarabad serves as the cultural, legislative and financial capital of Pakistan administered Kashmir.

History[edit]

Early history[edit]

Muzaffarabad is named after Ishan, the pioneer of the Dissy clan in the region. The family has ruled Muzaffarabad for many generations. Further, the dynasty was distributed among Sultan of Vihaan, Sultan of Santosh, Sultan of Swami, and Sultan of Pradeep. Some of the great names belonging to the family are: Sultan Matwali khan (jageerdar Kathai), Sultan Hassan Ali Khan (jageerdar Boe and the member of parliament of joint India on the seat of landlord), Sultan Qutub-ud-din Khan (jageerdar Lawasi), Sultan Feroz din Khan (son of jageerdar Lawasi), Raja Muhammad Hussain Khan (son of jageerdar Lawasi and son-in-law of jageerdar Boe), Raja Muhammad Nasir Khan (son of jageerdar Lawasi and secretary to Maharaja kashmir), Muhammad Muzaffar Khan (first Muslim judge in Kashmir), Khalid Muzaffar Khan(son of Muhammad Muzaffar Khan), Raja Nassar ud din khan (son-in-law of Muhammad Muzaffar Khan), Zafar Umar khan(Son of Feroz din Khan sahib), his cousin brother Raja Tanveer Hussain Khan(Son of Muhammad Hussain Khan sahib) and many more.

The original name of Muzaffarabad was Udabhanda.[citation needed]

Hieun tsang, the celebrated Buddhist pilgrim who is said to have visited the valley in 633 A.D mentions Pan-nu-tso, i.e., modern day Punch, Ho-lo-she-pu-to i.e. modern day Rajauri. He entered India from Udabhanda, Urasa (present Muzafrabad and Uskara) entered the valley via Baramula gorge.[3]

Udabhanda was the capital of the Shahi dynasty. The Shahi (Devanagari शाही), also called Shahiya,[4][5] dynasties ruled portions of the Kabul Valley (in eastern Afghanistan) and the old province of Gandhara (northern Pakistan and Kashmir) from the decline of the Kushan Empire in third century to the early ninth century.[5] The kingdom was known as Kabul-shahan or Ratbel-shahan from (565 – 670 CE) when they had their capitals in Kapisa and Kabul, and later Udabhandapura (also known as Hund)[6] for its new capital.

The term Shahi is the title of the rulers, likely related to the Kushan form Shao[5] or Persian form Shah and refers to a series of 60 rulers probably descended from the Kushans or Turks (Turshkas).[5] They are split into two eras the Buddhist Turk-Shahis and the later Hindu-Shahis, with the changeover occurring sometime around 870. Later on the name of the town is recorded as Hindu Shikhri until the early to mid Mughal period and during the late Mughal period it was called by its present name Muzaffarabad.

Modern history[edit]

The name "Muzaffarabad" (meaning Muzaffar's Town) comes from the name of Sultan khan Muzaffar Khan. After the 1948–49 war, Muzaffarabad was made the capital of Azad Jammu & Kashmir.

On October 8, 2005, the city was struck by an earthquake measuring a magnitude of 7.6 on the Richter Scale.

2005 Kashmir earthquake[edit]

The city was the site of the epicenter of the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, which occurred on October 8, 2005 and had a magnitude of 7.6. The disaster destroyed 50% of the buildings in the city (including most of the official buildings) and is estimated to have killed up to 80,000 people in the Pakistani-controlled areas of Kashmir.

As of 8 November 2005 the Pakistani government's official death toll was 87,350. Some estimates put the death toll over 100,000.[7]


Geography[edit]

Muzaffarabad is situated at the confluence of the Jhelum and Neelum rivers. The city is 138 kilometres from Rawalpindi and Islamabad and about 76 kilometres from Abbottabad. Muzaffarabad city is connected to Islamabad by a motorway, increasing trade between the mainland and the autonomous region. Cradled by lofty mountains, Muzaffarabad reflects a blend of various cultures and languages.

The literacy rate is more than 64%. The entrance to the Kashmir valley faces northwards and passes westwardly through Neelum and down towards Muzaffarabad, where trade had flourished prior to the Kashmir dispute between the India and Pakistan.

Valleys[edit]

Language[edit]

The main language of Muzaffarabad is Hindko a form of potohari and Pahari. The Neelum river plays a dominant role in the microclimate of Muzaffarabad which joins Jehlum River near Domail.

Hindko, Pahari, Potohari, Majhi,Chhachi and Gojri dialects of Kashmiri language are the predominant languages of the city. Other languages spoken include Urdu, Shina and Balti.

Administration[edit]

The district is administratively subdivided into two tehsils.

  • Tehseel Muzaffarabad
  • Tehseel Naseerabad (pattika)

Transport[edit]

The closest railway stations are Murree in Pakistan and Baramulla in Indian adminstered Jammu and Kashmir.[8] Jammu and Kashmir ex-chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said that he intended to extend the Kashmir railway to Muzaffarabad, to facilitate movement of people and goods much easier across the LoC Line of Control.[9]

Sports[edit]

In terms of sports, Muzaffarabad is very popular in Cricket, football and Volleyball. There is also a cricket stadium in Muzaffarabad with the capacity of 8,000 person. The stadium hosted 8 matches of Inter-District Under 19 Tournament in 2013.

Sites of interest[edit]

Red Fort[edit]

There are two historical forts on opposite sides of the Neelum River, known as the Red Fort and the Black Fort.

The construction of the Red Fort was finally completed in 1646 by Sultan Muzaffar Khan, the founder of Muzaffarabad city. After the Mughals took over Kashmir, the fort lost its importance. The Mughals were more interested in Kabul, Bukhara, and Badakhshan. During the period of Durrani rule, however, the fort once again assumed its importance.

Maharaja Gulab Singh and Rambir Singh, the Dogra rulers, reconstructed and extended the fort for their political and military operations. Towards the middle of 1947, the Dogra forces were forced to leave due to happenings of 1947 in the princely state of J&K.

The architecture of the fort shows that great experts in design and structure participated in its construction. It is surrounded on three sides by the Neelum River, formally known as the Kishenganga River. The northern part of the fort had terraces with steps leading to the bank of the river. The eastern side was well protected from the hazards of flood waters, but some parts on the north side have suffered damage. There used to be an inn at the entrance to the fort, but only traces of that structure remain now. The 2005 earthquake damaged this fort at large scale and now it is in very poor condition.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Muzaffarabad at Sunmap. Sunmap.eu. Retrieved on 2012-07-03.
  2. ^ World Weather Information Service. Worldweather.wmo.int (2006-10-05). Retrieved on 2012-07-03.
  3. ^ Poonam, Chaudhary (2005) A study of cultural routes of Jammu Region. In: 15th ICOMOS General Assembly and International Symposium: ‘Monuments and sites in their setting – conserving cultural heritage in changing townscapes and landscapes’, 17 – 21 oct 2005, Xi'an, China.
  4. ^ Sehrai, Fidaullah (1979). Hund: The Forgotten City of Gandhara, p. 1. Peshawar Museum Publications New Series, Peshawar.
  5. ^ a b c d "Shahi Family". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 16 Oct 2006.
  6. ^ Sehrai, Fidaullah (1979). Hund: The Forgotten City of Gandhara, p. 2. Peshawar Museum Publications New Series, Peshawar.
  7. ^ Stuart, Julia. (2006-01-01) IoS Appeal: Last chance to donate to quake victims. News.independent.co.uk. Retrieved on 2012-07-03.
  8. ^ Google Maps. Maps.google.co.uk. Retrieved on 2012-07-03.
  9. ^ Azad's Vision: A train to Muzaffarabad. News.oneindia.in (2007-07-17). Retrieved on 2012-07-03.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°21′N 73°28′E / 34.350°N 73.467°E / 34.350; 73.467