This beautiful town is located in Kupwara District of Jammu and Kashmir. The majority of inhabitants here are Muslims, while there exist a small community of Sikhs in both Kupwara and Handwara tehsils. The largest ethnic group consists of Kashmiris followed by Paharis and Gujjars.

Kupwara district has 3 tehsils, namely: Handwara, Karnah and Kupwara. The district comprises of 11 blocks: Sogam, Tangdar, Teetwal, Ramhal, Kupwara, Rajwar, Kralpora, Langate, Wavoora, Trehgam and Kalaroos. Each block again is made up of a number of panchayats. A different form of Kashmiri language is spoken by the people of Kupwara. Although the vocabulary is similar to the other forms of the language, pronunciation differs.

The most attractive feature of Kupwara is that it hosts a number of valleys and is itself situated within a valley with characteristic features exclusive to the area. Each valley here is surrounded by splendid mountains and thick green forests. It has a large scope for adventure tourism due to presence of sprawling meadows with flourishing green grass and attractive flowers that make the surroundings fragrant. Much larger in size than Gulmarg, Kupwara is a popular tourist destination of Kashmir.

Kashmir has the potential of becoming an action-packed tourist resort. This area is becoming accessible day by day and the roads are being upgraded for the purpose of making Kupwara an attractive tourist destination in the valley. Winters in Kupwara are cold with heavy snowfall ranging from 5-6 ft. Although efforts are made to clear the snow immediately, yet the road to Karnah and Keran remains closed for some time due to heavy snowfall and hazard of avalanches. Except for these two areas, the other areas can be visited and enjoyed during snowfall too.


This district is located between 34.17 to 34.21 North Latitude and 73.10 to 73.16 East Longitude. The famous river Kishan Ganga separates Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and Jammu and Kashmir in Machil, Keran and Teetwal areas. Kupwara district lies on the northwest side of Kashmir valley with borders lying on the Line of Control that divides India and Pakistan. On the eastern and southern borders of Kupwara lie Sopore, Bandipore and Baramulla. The District is situated at an average altitude of 5300 feet from the sea level. The geographical area of the District is 2379 sq kms.


Though no recorded proof is obtainable as to why Kupwara is called so. However, there do exist a number of legends associated it.

A story goes that there was a small hut built by an unknown person in the forest nearby. This hut went by the name Kopar, meaning a shabby hut. Many accidents would take place here, especially related to the disappearance of animals. They would either roll down the hill or die or be killed by beasts. The neighboring area was named after this hut called Kopar.

Some elders of the region also say that this name was given to the place by a saint named Zaiti Shah Wali. He referred to the place as ‘Ko-pore’, which meant people of bad repute. He called it so because children here would throw stones at him whenever he crossed it.

Some others say the famed Saint Syed Mohammad Gabi called it Kuferwari, which meant a land of skeptics. The tomb of this well known saint lies in the middle of Kupwara. Later on, the saint changed people here and converted them into believers of Islam. Therefore, the customized and altered name of Ko-por or Kuferwari is Kupwara.

Kupwara was made out form a former District of Baramulla in 1979. The District Headquarter Kupwara is located 90 km away from the summer capital of state Srinagar. This lovely district is located in the farthest northwest of Kashmir valley. This district lies at an average altitude of 5300 ft from sea level. The area of this District stretches about 2379 sq km and the northwest part of this District is bound by the Line of Actual Control (L.O.C), while the southern part is bordered by District Baramulla. People of this district have an aching experience of the partition of India. The painful trauma of that separation remains etched in the memory of its people.

Places of Tourist Interest

Kupwara district has a lot to offer in terms of tourism, especially because it lies between the mountainous regions of Pir Panjal and Shamsbari mountain ranges. It is circled by snow clad mountains and dense green forests. These mountain ranges have many meadows and pastures in their bosom which provide grazing grounds for cattle and sheep.

Some beautiful villages such as Hachmerg Fulmarg, Hafrada and Tumna stretch out to the east of Kupwara. From this district, you can also see Dajalongun Mountain, which is located in POK. It remains snow clad for most of the times and remains concealed among the clouds. Feshiltong Mountain also lies in the north west of Kupwara. This district is also known for the historical Lashdut Pass and Gogalneur meadow.

Babace Gully is another famous mountain pass that connects Nowgam to Baramullah. Another historical route that connects Kupwara to Keran and Drawa regions is called Farkiyan Gully. After arriving at Keran, one can also see the beautiful Neelam Valley, which lies across Kishan Ganga.

Ainch Behak is a compilation of beautiful meadows that lie in Ainch Mountain. There is also a renowned shrine called Char Yar among the meadows here. It is said that some of the pillars in Jamia Masjid of Srinagar have been taken from Ainch.

Amid the many tourist places in Kupwara, Lolab Valley has special importance. This tehsil is a wonderful place worth visiting because of its meadows, mountains, gushing waters, and fresh air.

Almost every inch of this paradise is covered with green meadows. Surrounded by evergreen forests, the beautiful meadows here showcase hundreds of cattle, sheep, goats, horses and buffaloes grazing on thin grass. The chirping of birds, charming surroundings, glittering springs, brooks and rivulets and fresh and stimulating breeze add on to the breathtaking sights.

One of the famous meadows in Kupwara is Bangus. It is said to be the most beautiful and undulating among all the others. Located in the mountain of Bangus, it is worth a visit as it’s is filled with wild flowers and is truly an example of beauty. One can reach this place from Rajwar, Nowgam and Chokibal. It was allocated to lay out the highest golf course in the world, which is still in progress. This place has high prospective as far as tourism is concerned.

Religious Tourism

One can spot a mosque and temples in almost every village of Kupwara. The well known amongst them are:

Jamia Masjid Kupwara

Meant to accommodate around 9000 people at a given point in time, this is a beautiful mandir constructed by Chek rulers. Based in Kupwara, it was constructed near the Shrine of Syed Mohammad Gabi.

Jamia Masjid Tangdar

This mosque is known for the chilla that Shahi Hamdan is said to have performed here. This mosque has a reserved area that has been fenced as well. This place is known as Chilla Kothri of Shahi Hamdan.

Kheer Bawani Temple

Located at Tikker Kupwara, this beautiful temple is close to a sacred spring. The temple hosts a grand festival every year, which attracts a lot of tourists. Accommodation has been provided for yatris or pilgrims over the years.

Badra Kali Temple

Badra Kali Temple is situated close to the Badrakali village of Handwara Tehsil. This temple organizes a fair every year. This village has a spring as well as a dormant volcano. This area has charming beauty and is a great place for pilgrim tourism.

How to Reach

By Air

One can fly to Srinagar and then travel by road to Kupwara.

By Rail

Kupwara does not have a train station. The nearest station is at Jammu, which is at a distance of 210 km from Kupwara.

By Road

Kupwara is connected to Srinagar by road. Buses and taxis are available in Srinagar to reach Kupwara. The town is 90 km from Srinagar.

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