|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2014)|
|State||Jammu and Kashmir|
|Elevation||1,582 m (5,190 ft)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|modified By Roni owais|
Handwara is located at sea level.. It has an average elevation of 1,582 metres (5,190 feet) above
Handwara is a Municipal Committee city in district of Kupwara, Jammu and Kashmir. The Handwara city is divided into 13 wards for which elections are held every 5 years. The Handwara Municipal Committee has population of 13,600 of which 7,379 are males while 6,221 are females as per report released by Census India 2011. It has its own Tehsil office, ADC office, District Hospital and a police station. An additional Sessions court has been sanctioned for Handwara, but it is yet to function.
Handwara is an electoral constituency of Distt Kupwara located in the extreme north of Jammu and Kashmir. It comprises the main town consisting of 13 Municipal Wards and various other blocks. The main Blocks are the Rajwar and Ramhal block. The thirteen Wards of Handwara Municipal Committee include Durashpora, Herpora, Banday Mohalla, Zargar Mohalla, Khanbal A, Khanbal B, Bagatpora, Kachiwara, Gonipora, Braripora A, Brariporra B and Bagatpora.
In Handwara, some of the well-known political parties are J & K, National Conference, J & K, Peoples Conference, J & K, Peoples Democratic party besides some other parties. Some other small and newly formed political parties like J & K, Awami Ittihaad party etc. are also making in roads into Handwara and other adjacent constituencies.
Handwara is a politically volatile area of District Kupwara. It has been the home constituency of Late Abdul Gani Lone and Chowdry Mohammad Ramzan besides some other prominent personalities. The current MLA of Handwara is Sajad Gani Lone(JKPC) who won against Chowdhary Mohammad Ramzan(JKNC) by a margin of more than 5000 votes in the 2014 assembly elections.
In the coming years, this town is going to contribute a lot towards the politics and other areas. Some new political faces are going to emerge on the political scene.
Handwara is connected to the rest of the state with macadamized roads. A bypass has been constructed overseeing Handwara town to relieve the main roads of growing traffic.
Handwara has remained educationally backward till the near past but more recently it has emerged as a state leader in education. In the year 2013, it got to top positions in the Matriculation examination which largely speaks the standard of education.
There are more than 15 private schools of a very good repute besides plenty of Govt run schools in Handwara. A Boys and a Girls Hr Secondary School (one each) is located in Handwara town itself besides a Govt Degree College located at Handwara Kulangam Road. Thousands of students study in these schools and are going for higher education within and outside the state in large numbers as well. Some students even went abroad for studies like London, US, and Dubai etc., which speaks volumes about the raising educational standard of this place.
Handwara is a town with great dignitaries and educationalists. As per Census 2011, literacy rate of Handwara city is 77.26%, higher than state average of 67.16%. In Handwara, male literacy is around 87.40%, while female literacy rate is 64.91%.
Like other parts of the country, cricket is the most followed sport in the town, and at present there are three major cricket clubs operating, viz. Jamia Sports Club, Handwara Sports Cricket Club and Star Eleven Cricket Club.
Proposed Bungus Valley Biosphere
One of the relatively unknown areas of Kashmir with vast tourism potential is the valley of Bungus. The valley, which lies at an altitude of around 10,000 ft above sea level, lies in the northern border district of Kupwara within the Handwara sub district. Occupying an estimated area of 300 km2 (20x15 km) the principal valley locally known as Bodh Bangus (Big Bungus) consists of an linear elliptical bowl aligned along the east–west axis. Eco tourism is an increasingly popular form of tourism in which tourist’s seek out wild and scenic areas such as mountains for an active and educational trip. Most of the tourist engaged in eco-tourism in Kashmir are from the North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand often venturing the unexplored areas of the developing world.
The prerequisite for development of eco-tourism is the identification of a natural biome, a condition that is easily met in Bangus Valley. Lying within the Trans-Himalayan area, Bungus is a part of a unique ecological area, comprising Mountain Biome, which includes Grassland Biome with flora at lower altitudes, and Taiga or Coniferous forest. The area also contains wetlands in the form of a Fresh Water Marsh located within the Bungus valley. The Bungus Valley that lies at an altitude of 10,000 ft ASL and located in the northern border district of Kupwara, Kashmir presents ideal conditions for creating a biosphere. Bungus comprises a Mountain Biome, which includes Grassland Biome with flora at lower altitudes and Taiga or Coniferous forests at a higher altitude. The area also contains wetlands in the form of a fresh water marsh located within the Valley. For the sustainable development of Bungus, it is proposed to allocate the area comprising approximately 300 km2 as a part of a protected biome, under the name of Bungus Valley Biosphere. The biosphere will be divided into three following zones:
Core Zone: Around 76 km2 of area, comprising Bodh and Lokut Bungus.
Buffer Zone: Comprising around 300 km2 of area, including surrounding mountain ranges of Shamsbari etc.
Transition Zone: Includes the settlement of Pothwari, Reshwari, and Nowgam where most of the supporting infrastructural facilities will be set.
Some activities proposed for the biosphere are as following;
Guided Natural Hikes Night-time Hikes Biodiversity Games Project Description
It is expected that the setting up of the Bungus Valley Biosphere will result in a gradual increase in the number of tourists in the area. In order to cater to this expected visitor influx a number of supporting infrastructural facilities will have to be set up in the area. The proposed facilities are
Guest Lodges within local residences Aaram Gahs Tourist Information Centre Improving Tracks / Trails and Construction of wooden foot bridges. Interpretation Centre at Bungus.
Landscaping and setting up of leisure spots at Reshwari-Pothwari stretch along the river Mawar Capacity building and research Chair lift from Mohuldhar to Bungus Gali (0.3 mile stetch) The various projects will; be implemented in phases. It is presumed that the successful implementation of these projects would generate the much needed revenue for the local inhabitants of the area in particular and the state in general.
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