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Location of Namli Maira (highlighted in red) within Abbottabad district, the names of the neighbouring districts to Abbottabad are also shown
|• District Counselor||Sardar Waqar Nabi PTI|
|• Tehsil Counselor||Dildar Awan PTI|
|• Chairman UC||Sardar Shafqat Elahi PTI|
Namli Maira is a mountainous rural area located in Abbottabad District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan. It is one of the 51 union councils of Abbottabad District, and takes its name from the two largest hamlets in the Union Council, Namli and Maira. These settlements are nestled on mountain ridges about 20 kilometres from the city of Abbottabad, in the foothills of Miranjani, the highest peak in the district. A metalled road connects Namli Maira to the main Abbottabad—Nathia Gali road and is an alternate route to reach Nathia Gali from Abbottabad. Namli Maira is around 3 kilometres away Bagnotar on the main road.
Villages in the area include:
Climate and crops
As this area is away from sea and is above sea level its winters, which last from October to April, are extreme. In April the climate tends to be quite temperate. The summer season is much warmer and more humid, with the temperature rising to a maximum of 25-30C degrees.
From mid July to mid August is the fifth season, monsoon, providing relief for local people after the hot months of May and June. Farming is the main occupation of the population. The farming is done by oxen in remote areas but in villages with better accessibility the land is ploughed by machinery. The two crops grown there are rabi and kharaif. The major rabi crops grown in the area are potato and maize, and the kharaif crop is only wheat, in a very small area of village. The wheat is used for cattle and for grain only. Some vegetables are also found here, including turnip, radish, peas, pumpkin, beans and mustard.
Fruits like pear, apple, black grapes, grapes, fig, peach, damson plum, mulberry, wild fig, lemon, apricot, charry are found in abundance in Namli Maira. As the hill people lack awareness of the markets, they are unable to get a proper return. These fruits are therefore used for subsistence.
Most of the area around these mountain villages is covered with trees. Peaks are covered with evergreen trees including pine, walnut, oak and maple trees. Herbs, shrubs, wild flowers and thorny bushes can be seen in abundance. Goats and other pet animals graze the pastures.
Livelihood and economy
The main occupation of the people is subsistence farming and cattle breeding. Farmers cultivate one crop per season as climatic conditions do not permit double cropping. The other occupation is cattle breeding. Cows, sheep and goats are kept to supply milk for daily use of the household. Bullocks are used to work the plough. Poverty has forced many people to seek economic opportunities in the plains. Besides earning livelihood doing odd jobs in nearby towns, many have joined the army and civil service. Hotels in the nearby hill towns of Nathia Gali, Ayubia and Murree provide another source of employment to the locals. After turmoil in Swat, Namli Maira is gradually becoming popular with tourists from down country.
Wood is the primary source of fuel and home construction, as there is no gas in Namli Maira. People go to forests and cut trees so that they can light fires for cooking and other activities. Those who can afford them use LPG gas cylinders.
The mother language of the people of Namli Maira is Pahari پہاڑی slightly different from Pothwari. They can also speak and understand Hindko, Urdu, Pashto and English. The elderly people of the area can also speak and understand Persian and Arabic.
Namli Maira village has one of the highest literacy rates for the district. The literacy rate of Namli Maira is about 92%. Government and private schools cater to the elementary educational needs of the residents. There are Primary schools for boys and girls, Government Boys High School and Girls High School. A number of private schools are also available. Habib Public School 2000, Model Public Schoo(l987) is the oldest and famous school of the village, Abaseen Public School are the oldest schools and have been extending free education to hundreds of poor students since 1987. Al-falah Public School in Chanati and Iqra Public School in Upper Maira Kalan are the smallest private schools.
Since the earthquake of 2005 tourists prefer Nathi Gali and surrounding areas like Namli Maira, Kala Bagh, Thandiani and Mushkpuri. The approach to Namli Maira is the same from Murree and Abbottabad (32 km from either side). Miranjani (also known as "Choki") is one of the most popular sites of Namli Maira. Mirajani stands approximately 9,000 feet above sea level. There is an old track adjacent to Mirajani which connects Nathia Gali to Thandiani. Along the track lies a British-era forest rest house, called Dagri Bangla by the locals. The location of the building, in the middle of thick forest, colonial style of construction and remoteness give it an aura of mystery.
On 8 October 2005, an earthquake of magnitude 7.6 struck the northern areas and Kashmir, causing significant damage to housing and a large number of deaths. Aftershocks were felt through December. As some houses were damaged in the earthquake, the Pakistani army donated money and funds for the people.