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|Door to Kashmir|
Panoramic view of Bhimber
|Established||7th century AD|
|• Total||461,000 (District population)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC+5)|
Bhimber (Urdu: بھمبر) is the chief town of Bhimber District, Azad Kashmir. The town is situated on the border between Azad Kashmir and Pakistan at a distance of about 50 km (31 mi) from Mirpur, about 48 kilometres (30 mi) from Gujrat, about 37 kilometres (23 mi) from Jhelum, about 166 kilometres (103 mi) from Islamabad and about 241 kilometres (150 mi) from Srinagar.
During the seventh century AD, the celebrated Chinese Buddhist monk, scholar, translator and pilgrim to India Hsuan Tsang mentioned Bhimber in his works. The works of Hsuan Tsang were translated into English in 1884 by Samuel Beal a scholar from England.
Bhimber has remained capital city of Chibhal, named after Raja Chib Chand the eldest son of Raja Partab chand Katoch who came to Bhimber and established the state after marrying local ruler`s daughter in 1400 A.D. Chibs are direct descendents of Raja Chib Chand Katoch.
In Chibs, the first who embraced Islam was Shadaab Khan who is famous as Hazrat Baba Shadi Shaheed. His Hindu name was Raja Dharm Chand Chib. The last ruler of Chibhal was Raja Sultan Khan (1800–1840). Bhimber has been important strategically. It lies on the route that was followed by the Mughal Emperors for their frequent visits to the Kashmir Valley. It is also known as "Baab-e-Kashmir" (Door to Kashmir) because of its importance and geographical location which was ideal for Mughal Emperors to enter Kashmir. Therefore, the Mughals used Bhimber as a staging point for journey to Srinagar. Mughal Emperor Jahangir discussed Bhimber in his book Tuzk-e-Jahangiri.
Geography and climate
Bhimber is a valley. Its hot, dry climate and other geographical conditions closely resemble with those of Gujrat, the adjoining district of Pakistan.
When it comes to infrastructure Bhimber ranks at 137, with school infrastructure of 24.64 Retention score is at 42.04. Like most districts in Kashmir , schools in Bhimber don’t habve proper building walls , furniture and other facilities which help aid the student to study. Retention score is also low because of less number of beyond primary schools.
Lack of government school for girls and girls having to travel far away to school daily is one of the issues reported on TaleemDo! App. This is also a reason why less girls are enrolled in the schools in this district.
Bhimber and its surrounding area is very rich in archaeological remains. There is a forest rest house in Bhimber. Famous historical and scenic sites in the town and surrounding area include:
- Baghsar Fort – This ancient fort is built in Samahni Valley close to a place known as Baghsar.
- Baghsar Lake – This lake is situated near Baghsar Fort.
- Famous Haathi Gate – Jahangir's elephant used to enter the town through it.
- Jandi Chontra – This is the place from where Srinagar and Lahore are at the same distance.
- Sarai Saadabad – The Sarai is located near Bandala in the Samahni Valley. It was used as a staging camp during Mughal Era for the caravans moving from Lahore to Kashmir.
- Tomb of Sufi saint Baba Shadi Shaheed.
Bhimber is connected with the rest of the country through well built road network. Common public transport is Hiace. Daily routes include Mirpur, Gujrat, Dina, Jhelum, Gujranwala and Kharian. The coaches and coasters travel to larger cities of Pakistan including Lahore, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi and Gujranwala.
There is no railways station in Bhimber, the nearest railways stations are that of Gujrat, Lala Musa Junction and Kharian City & Cantt.
The nearest commercial airport was the Islamabad International Airport, which is approximately 166 km by road from Bhimber. Recently, Sialkot International Airport has become operational which is about 102 km from town. There is a small military air strip in the town.
- Government of Azad Jammu & Kashmir Website. "Distance from other cities". Retrieved 8 December 2011.
- Gulabnama of Diwan Kirpa Ram: A History of Maharaja Gulab Singh of Jammu & Kashmir, page 41
- History of the Punjab Hill States "by Hutchison and Vogel, reprinted edition, 2 volumes in 1 CHAPTER XX IV. 1933 AD
- The Ancient Geography of India by Alexander Cunningham page 134 1871
- Government of Azad Jammu & Kashmir Website. "Jahangir discussed Bhimber in his book Tuzk-e-Jahangiri". Retrieved 8 December 2011.