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|State||Jammu and Kashmir|
|Elevation||1,638 m (5,374 ft)|
|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 Officer, Chief Education officer, Chief Horticulture Officer, Chief Agriculture officer, Sheep Husbandry, ChiefAnimal Husbandry officer, DFO, ACD, Executive Engineer (Xen) PWD, Xen PDD, Xen PHE, GM NHPC, GM CVPP and other district officers. The town is the only municipality of the district and center of business and learning in the district. The town has been the seat of the historic kingdom of Kishtwar and has faced many great Indian military campaigns including that of Mughals. The king of Kishtwar was the subsidiary of Kashmir Kingdom and owe its cultural and linguistic similarity to the Kashmir valley. The Muslims of this area speak Kashmiri language ,while the Hindus speak Kishtwari , a dialect of Kashmiri. Being a part of Dogra kingdom certain customs and words of Dogri have also been incorporated in the native language.
The Chenab River flows through the district and is joined by tributaries such as Marvisudar ruver of Mawah, Fambar Nallah, Chingam Nallah which meet at the confluence near Bhandarkoot. The rivers have given a unique look to the area with steep gorges and wide plains on the way. Padder Tehsil has breathtaking mountain landscape which are a treat to the eyes of travellers. Warwan valley and Marwah valleys are unique in being located in the way of river Marusudhar giving a mesmerizing look to the area.The area is also famous for its high mountain passes which have been the mountaineer's delight since British era. Many illustrations are found in the travelogue written by British writersincludin Otto Rothfields With pen and Rifle in Kashmir. The Kishtwar Anantnag National Highway passes through the famous Synthan Pass and Daksum Nowpachi Road passes through the Margan top a 13 km long and 5100-metre-high pass. The Steep Brahma mountain peak is situated at Dachhan which is documented by British mountaineers. The Warwan Valley has been rated among India's top ten trekking destination with a wide range of landscape. 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. The town has a small Air Landing ground under the control and management of Indian Army which caters to civil and military Helicopters. The 33 hectare Chowgan is the largest natural ground located in the center of city and is used as a venue of recreation and religious and political gatherings. Mini Secretariat housing all the offices of Kishtwar District Administration besides world class Conference Hall is located 3 km from the main bus stand in Kuleed area. 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 Nun Kun, Burmah and Barnag. Pilgrims and tourists visit shrines in the area including shrine of Sufi saint Shah Abdal sahab located at Village Dugga which is 5 km from the main Bus Stand. The shrine of Sufi saint Shah Muhammad Farid-ud-Din Sahib Baghdadi who arrived in Kishtwar during the reign of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb Aalamgir from the kingdom of Baghdad is revered as one of the holiest shrines in Jammu province after Baba Ghulam shah Badshah, The sons of Shah Muhammad Farid-Ud-Din Baghdadi were also the awliya namely Shah Muhammad Akhyar-ud-Din, Shah Muhammad Anwar-ud-Din who are laid to rest alongside their father and mother at Astan Bala Kishtwar just 1 km from Bus stand Kishtwar Another son Hazrat shah Muhammad Asrar-ud-Din Sahib is laid to rest at Astan Payein on southern edge of Parade ground or Chowgan Kishtwar. Every year on 9th November or 25 Kaartik of Bikrami era a grand Urs is celebrated at Astan Payein where more than 1,00,000 devotee from all.kishtwar is well known for its saffron cultivation faiths and religion come to pay the obeisance at the grave of Shah Muhammad Asrar-ud-Din Baghdadi. Department of Tourism j & k govt. And awkaf make elaborate arrangements for pilgrims on this eve. At Bhandarkoot the ziarat of Zain-ud-Din wali of Kashmir is located at the confluence of River Chenab which sees a rush of devotees every day. At Rakna palmar there is also a ziarat of zain shah sahab. Kishtwar has also the holy Hindu pilgrimage sites of Athara Bhuja Devi temple, Chandi Mata temple and Asthadash bhuja Sathal Mata Temple. Every year the pilgrimage is arranged for Machail yatra a mega event attended by more than hundred thousand people from all over the country. The annual sarthal yatra is also attended by thousands of devotees. Hatta Wali Matta.
The economy of area is not regularized with no visible investment from government. The area being rural in nature has agriculture based economy. The Padder area produces world class Pine nuts called chilgoza which is a delicacy and costly dry fruit. In Marwah, Chatroo, Mughalmaidan and Bounjwah Tehsils wall nut production of best quality walnuts in thousands of tons is recorded but due to absence of any fruit Mandi the exact figures are not available. Besides walnut, Marwah Tehsil produces thousands of tons of kidney beans which is the cash crop of the area. Villages of Pochhal, Matta and Hidyal produce saffron of good quality. The rural households are also abundantly gifted by nature through cash crops of eatable mushrooms and morchella called guchhi in local language. Some families have been reported to earn more than Rs1,00,000 per year by just selling the dried morchella in local markets. The eatable ferns are also a natural cash crop of the area. The apples are produced in some areas however the quality of Kishtwar apple is not of world class. Due to dry nature of the climate the village peasant population usually grow wheat and barley in Rabi season and kidney bean and maize in Kharif season. The rivers are rich source of electricity and the site of the hydroelectric power projects of Dul Hasti 390 MW, Ratle 850 MW, Kirthai 1400 MW, Pakal Dool 1,000 MW, Lower Kalnai 48 MW and Chaudhary 15MW, Keeru HEPP and Kwar HEPP with the highest per capita wattage production in world for such a small area.These projects have been the largest source of employment and have immensely contributed to the prosperity of the area. Kishtwar has the distinction of producing world class blue Diamond Sapphire and its Kashmir sapphire was mined at Padder valley. The area is although rich in natural mineral resources but poor infrastructure has posed difficulty in its extraction. Mineral gypsum is mined at Village Trigam. The river sand of Chenab is of best quality and used extensively for construction purpose.
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.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.
As of 2011[update] India census Kishtwar had a population of 14,865. 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 by the Muslims is Kashmiri where as the Hindus speak Kishtwari which is a dialect of Kashmiri.
Muslim 69.21%, Hindu 29.59%, Sikh 0.65%,