Gurez, or Gurais[1] (Guráai in the local Shina language),[2] is a valley located in the high Himalayas, about 86 kilometres (53 mi) from Bandipore and 146 kilometres (91 mi) from Srinagar in northern Kashmir and southern Gilgit-Baltistan. At about 8,000 feet (2,400 m) above sea level, the valley is surrounded by snow-capped mountains. It has diverse fauna and wildlife including the Himalayan brown bear and the snow leopard. The Kishanganga River flows through the valley.[3] The road to Gilgit runs through Gurez.

Gurez is divided into three regions. The area from Toabat to Sharda Peeth is administered by Pakistan as Neelum District, that between Kamri and Minimarg is administered by the Pakistan as Astore District, Gilgit-Baltistan, and that from Toabat to Abdullae Tulail is known as Gurez tehsil, and is part of the Indian-administered Bandipora district.

Being situated very close to the Burzil Pass, which leads into Astore District of Gilgit-Baltistan, the inhabitants are ethnic Dards/Shins. They speak the Shina language and have the same styles of dress and culture as their kinsmen in Pakistani- administered Northern areas.[4]

Dawar.the central township

Dawar is the central township in the area. The population of the area is estimated to be about 30,000, and is scattered among fifteen villages. Due to heavy snowfall and closure of Razdan Pass in winter, (approx. 6-7 fts) the valley remains cut off for six months of the year.[5]

Skyline of Gurez
Gurez is located in Jammu and Kashmir
Location in Jammu and Kashmir, India
Gurez is located in India
Gurez (India)
Coordinates: 34°38′00″N 74°50′00″E / 34.6333°N 74.8333°ECoordinates: 34°38′00″N 74°50′00″E / 34.6333°N 74.8333°E
Country India
StateJammu and Kashmir
2,580 m (8,460 ft)
 • Total37,992
 • OfficialUrdu, Shina
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)


Historically, Gurez was part of ancient Dardistan, stretching between Sharada Peeth in the west, Minimarg in the north, Drass in the east, and Baghtor in the south. The valley falls along the ancient Silk Route, which connected the Kashmir Valley with Gilgit, before continuing further to Kashgar. Archaeological surveys in valleys north of Gurez have uncovered hundreds of carved inscriptions in Kharoshthi, Brahmi, and Tibetan. In particular, the carvings provide insights into the origins of the Kashmiri people and the early history of Buddhism.

The ancient capital of the Dards, Dawar, is located in the Gurez Valley and is an important archaeological site. Other archaeological sites of importance in the valley include Kanzilwan, where the last council of Buddhism is believed to have been held and, further downstream, the ruins of the ancient Sharada University are preserved along the Kishenganga/Neelum River.

Prior to the partition of Kashmir, Gurez had been a popular destination for foreign tourists, including Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who is known to have visited some time before he became the US president.[6] During the colonial period, Gurez was often visited by trekkers. Nehru and Indira Gandhi, accompanied by Sheikh Abdullah, were among those who visited the area in the 1940s, fishing for trout at Naranag, one of the lakes in the mountains above the valley.[7]


While describing the Kishenganga Valley (Gurez), Walter R. Lawrence writes in his book The Valley of Kashmir,

"Perhaps Pahalgam, the village of the shepherds that stands at the head of the Liddar valley with its healthy forest of pines, and Gurez, which lies at a distance of thirty-five miles from Bandipora, the port of the Wular Lake, will before long rival in popularity the other margs. Gurez is a lovely valley five miles in length lying at an elevation of about 8000 feet above the sea. The Kishenganga river flows through it, and on either side tower mountain scraps of indescribable grandeur. Perhaps one of the most beautiful scenes in the whole of the Kashmir is the grove of huge poplars through which the traveller enters the Gurez valley. The climate is dry and mild, excellent English vegetables can be grown, and the wild raspberries and currants are delicious."[8]

"The valley is extremely picturesque, as the river comes dashing along through a rich meadow, partly covered with lindens, walnut and willow trees, while the mountains on either side present nothing but a succession of most abrupt precipices, and Alpine lodges, covered with fir trees."[9]

Habba Khatoon

Habba Khatoon Dramatic club
Fareed Kaloo; president Habba Khatoon club presenting a cultural item in Gurez
Hajji Abdul Aziz Samoon at a press conference
Hajji Abdul Aziz Samoon(middle) at a press conference in Srinagar

Gurez's most formidable peak is Habba Khatoon, around which legends abound and at one time, even a film starring Dimple Kapadia was planned.[10] This pyramid shaped peak was named after the Kashmiri poet Habba Khatoon. She was a beautiful and intelligent woman from Saffron village chandhara, and originally known as "Zoon" (which means Moon in English). She was the daughter of a peasant Abuddi Rather, who married her to an illiterate peasant boy named Habba. Zoon was ill-treated by her mother-in-law and husband, because she spent most of her time in poetry and singing. Dejected by her plight, she changed her name to Habba Khatoon.

The emperor of Kashmir, Yousuf Shah Chak, was enthralled by her beauty, intelligence and poetry. He arranged her divorce from Habba and married her. According to the story, Shah Chak was imprisoned by his rival King Akbar, Habba Khatoon used to wander near the peak that now bears her name to look for her lover. After her husband's death, she wandered the banks of river Jhelum in mourning. She died twenty years later by drowning into the jhelum and now her tomb is at Athwajan.[11] [12] Habba Khatoon Drama club was founded in 1976 by the poet Late Hajji Abdul Aziz Samoon (Retired Police Officer; SSP). The club played a pivotal role in safeguarding the cultural ethos and traditions of the Dard-Shin tribe. Hajji Abdul Aziz Samoon(KPS) was also Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Dard-Shina Development Organization (JKDSDO), a body representing Dard community in the state JKDSDO [13] [14]



There is no central electricity in Gurez, although, as of 2009, a hydro-electric plant is under construction by the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation. It is unclear if any of the generated energy will be available to the valley itself.[15] India had initially planned to construct a 100-metre-high dam on the Kishenganga, which would have flooded the majority of the Gurez Valley and forced nearly all of its residents to relocate. But due to resistance by the Dard Shin and by Pakistan, which is constructing a dam downstream, the dam’s height has been reduced to 37 metres. Set for completion in 2016, the dam will divert water from the Kishenganga towards Wular Lake via a 20 kilometre concrete tunnel, and will generate electricity for the nearby region. Although construction of the dam will temporarily bring work and money into the area, the Dard Shin have expressed concern that around 130 families will still lose their homes, and more than 300 hectares (740 acres) of land in the valley will be submerged.[16]

Because of the lack of electricity, there is no significant industrial activity in the valley. The only electricity which is available comes from a few diesel generators which provide power to some parts of the area in summer for an hour at a time. The Indian government’s relocation plans are unclear, and it has not yet committed to providing hydroelectricity to those who will remain in the valley.[17]


Kishenganga River, with a length of 150 kilometres (93 mi), supports world class trout with an average weight of 24 pounds (11 kg). As of 2006, there were plans to develop the fishery potential of the area, making it a resource for the surrounding region.

Fish in the river include:[18]


Baba Razzaq
Shrine of Baba Razaaq in the lap of mountain in Dawar[19]
Shrine of Baba Darvaish in Fakirpora near Khandyal

Gurez has an only Sunni Muslim population. Before the arrival of Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani, the region was predominantly Hindu. Hamadani visited the Kashmir valley three times, accompanied by about seven hundred preachers, known as "Sadaats". Of these seven hundred people, seven settled in Gurez and included Baba Abdur Razaq Shah and Baba Dervaish whose shrines are located near the hamlet of Fakirpora. The names of the other saints are unknown, although they also have shrines, located at Chorwan, Bagtore, Dangital Tulail across the Kishan Ganga River, and at Kamri across the border near Dood-Gagi village in Pakistan administered Kashmir.[20]

Peer Baba

Peer Baba
Grave of Peer Baba

The Peer Baba came from Multan (Pakistan) in 1933 and established himself in a cave at Durmat, north of Kanzalwan. He was about 35 years old, and his religion is unknown. He is said to have fasted for months without taking any food or water. On occasion, he came down to Kanzalwan and asked for food in Farsi with an Urdu accent. He never refused mutton offered by local Muslims. He was hard of hearing, spoke very little and was popularly known as "Nanga Baba". In Feb 1940, he came down from Durmat to Rajdhan during a heavy snowstorm, and subsequently died. When the locals tried to bring the Baba’s body to Bandipur for burial, they were attacked by large number of honeybees, and he was instead buried close to Rajdhan Pass.

See also


  1. ^ Spelt گُریز in Kashmiri and گورأى in Shina
  2. ^ Schmidt, Ruth Laila; Kaul, Vijay Kumar (2008). "A comparative analysis of Shina and Kashmiri vocabularies". Acta Orientalia. 69: 231–303. In this orthography áa represent a long a with a high falling pitch.
  3. ^ "A Journey to Kashmir's Gurez Valley".
  4. ^ "Gurez an introduction". 4 January 2008. Archived from the original on 10 July 2009.
  5. ^ The Outsider’s Curse: A Memoir of the First “Outsider” Lady IAS Officer.
  6. ^ "Hidden paradise". 6 December 2008.
  7. ^ "GUREZ: KASHMIR: FIRST-HAND REPORT". 27 August 2007.
  8. ^ (P: 16)
  9. ^ Sir Charles Ellison Bates, 1872 AD
  10. ^ "Gurez: Kashmir Untouched". 4 March 2002.
  11. ^ Go to Kashmir. "About Gurez".
  12. ^ Kashmir Images. "Shina conference".
  13. ^ Greater Kashmir. "Shina Poet".
  14. ^ kashmirimages. "Dard community alleges discrimination".
  15. ^ "Electricity still a far-fetched dream for Gurez valley". 30 August 2009.
  16. ^ "Dammed if you do". May 2010.
  17. ^ "Dammed if you do". May 2010.
  18. ^ "Gippsland Aquaculture Industry Network GAIN". 2 September 2006. Archived from the original on 20 February 2012.
  19. ^ "Photos by Zahid Samoon". 16 January 2007.
  20. ^ "Religion in Gurez". 14 June 2008. Archived from the original on 5 July 2009.

External links

2017 Gurez sector avalanche

The Gurez Avalanche Accident was a series of four avalanches that claimed the lives of 24 persons, including 20 soldiers and four civilians in Jammu and Kashmir on the evening of 25 January 2017.

2017 North Indian cold wave

North India was devastated by a cold wave during the month of January 2017. This occurrence had a severe effect on several North Indian states, including Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Harayana, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh. The lowest temperature in Gulmarg due to the cold wave was recorded at −12.4 °C (9.7 °F). The banks of Dal Lake in Srinagar froze. Keylong of Himachal Pradesh and Kargil of Jammu and Kashmir witnessed low temperatures of −13.9 °C (7.0 °F) and −15.6 °C (3.9 °F) respectively. At least 40 people have died as a result of the cold front.

Several army camps in Kashmir bound sectors were damaged and many people died in avalanches in Kashmir districts near the Line of Control during the last few days of January 2017.

Aadil Gurezi

Aadil Gurezi (also known by his birth name Adil Mudasir Lone) is an Indian musician, singer and composer from the state of Jammu and Kashmir, with origins in the Gurez Valley. He first sang primarily in Koshur, but later he added Hindi and punjabi . He is heavily influenced by accalaimed ghazal musician Jagjit Singh, who helped him find his musical path.


Bandipora (English: ) or Bandipora is the headquarters of district of Bandipore in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, India. It is located on the northern banks of Wullar—the second-largest freshwater lake in Asia. Bandipora has a terraced garden similar to that of Nishat Bagh in Srinagar. Bandipora is bound by mountains on three sides and by Wular Lake on the fourth.

Bandipore district

Bandipore district or (also spelt as Bandipora) is one of the 22 districts in Jammu and Kashmir state in northern India. Bandipore town is the administrative headquarters of the district. Bandipore, a township with peculiar scenic beauty is located in the foothills of the snow clad peaks of Harmukh overlooking the schores of Wular has produced hundreds, of scholars and intellectuals. Before, 1947, this town was a big trade and literary centre of Kashmir. Bandipore, the birthplace of great Historian, Hassan Khoehami. This district was carved out from the erstwhile Baramulla district in 2007. The district is bounded by Kupwara district in the west, Baramulla district in the south and Kargil, Srinagar and Ganderbal districts in the east. This district occupies an area of 398 km². The district has a population of 392,232 as per 2011 census.

Baramulla (Lok Sabha constituency)

Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency is one of the six Lok Sabha (parliamentary) constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir state in northern India. Baramulla has 11.5 lakh voters.

Burzil Pass

The Burzil Pass (el. 4,100 m (13,500 ft)) is an ancient pass in northern Pakistan, and is part of the historic caravan route between Srinagar and Gilgit. The pass lies close to the Line of Control demarcating India and Pakistan, which has since closed the Burzil. The crest of the pass is wide and covered in summer with alpine grass vegetation. The Astor river originates from western slopes of the pass.It is the oldest route connecting Gilgit with Srinagar and Skardu through Deosai Plateau. The travellers used horses and ponies to cross the pass. At the beginning of the 20th century a hut of post couriers was situated on the crest of the pass. They brought mail from India to China.Gilgit is some 367 km (228 mi) from Srinagar by road over the Burzil Pass above the northern banks of Wular Lake and Gurez.From Astore to Burzil Pass Road the following main places are in the route: Gorikot , Astore River Bridge , Maikaal , Dad Khitran , and Chilam Chowki .

Doru Shahabad

Doru Shahabad (also written as Dooru Shahabad or only Doru) is a town and a notified area committee in Anantnag district of the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir. It is also known as historical township in South Kashmir's Anantnag district. Doru shahabad has been known as a place of intelligentia where great scholars like Mehmood shah Gami, Rasul Mir shahabadi, were borne who contributed to the literature and culture of kashmir. In present times shahabad has produced chief minister like syed mir qasim and many other politicians, beuracrates and some leading agricultural scientists.


Dras (ISO transliteration: Drās) is a town in the Kargil District of Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir on NH 1 (former name NH 1D before renumbering of all national highways) between Zoji La pass and Kargil town. It is often called "The Gateway to Ladakh". The government of Jammu & Kashmir's official spelling of the town is Drass.


Gures may refer to:

Gurez, a region in Kashmir

Güreş, Polatlı, a village in Ankara Province, Turkey

Güreş, a Turkish surname

Doğan Güreş (1926–2014), Turkish general and politician

Nilbar Güreş (born 1977), Turkish artist based in Austria

Gurez (Vidhan Sabha constituency)

Gurez (Vidhan Sabha constituency) is one of the 87 constituencies in the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir a north state of India. Gurez is also part of Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency.


Gurëz is a village in the former Fushë Kuqe Commune, Lezhë County, northwestern Albania. At the 2015 local government reform it became part of the municipality Kurbin.

History of Gilgit-Baltistan

Gilgit Baltistan is an administrative territory of Pakistan, with many titles to its Itself.

The names all refer to a place of strength, beauty, character, boldness but above all to its most different and unique customs, history and stories. It has been called as Yaghistan, meaning ‘land of the untameable or unruly people” (Gilgit, Astore, Diamer, Kohistan) by the Kashmiri neighbours during the British rule in Indian subcontinent, Dardistan (Land of Dards) mostly called by foreigners and term unknown to locals, Paristan meaning “land of giants and fairies” to Kashmir by the Persians, Balawaristan ("Land of the Highlanders") records of which are clearly found in Chinese documents, Northern Areas ‘FANA’ was the name given to Gilgit Agency and Baltistan in 1970’s and in 2009 the name was changed to Gilgit-Baltistan, after much struggle by local indigenous peoples. The head seat of all the mentioned kingdoms and different kings was Gilgit, as well as that borders the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the west, Azad Kashmir to the southwest, Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan to the northwest, the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China to the north, and the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir to the south and southeast.

Dardistan includes Chitral, Kohistan, Gilgit, Ghizaer, Hunza, Nagar, Skardu, Shigar, Ganche, Kharmang, Astore inculding Gurez Valley further divided into Neelum valley in Azad & Jammu Kashmir till Taobat, Minimarg, Kamri, Dawar in the Bandipora district of Jammu and Kashmir, Dras and Kargal in Ladakh region and regions north of Karakoram in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region.

We’ll use Dardistan to represent all these regions, but preferable word or name would be anyone suggested or acceptable to the indigenous peoples.

Owing to factors such as unrepresentation, unrecognition, and may be through a systematic and planned divison on the part of Foreignmen, many pricipal regions of Dardistan were illegally annexed by neighbour states, which not only took territory but contributed to the disintegrating, weakening and loss for the indigenous people.

As can be seen in the most outward Areas Of Xinjian where in Sirikol and other valleys before Yarkand on the Pakistan side much a population floruished but which is no more to be seen or heard of.

Dardistan lost territory in all directions to China, KPK, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Indian Jammu and Kashmir, not because it was a weak rather history and facts state that the people are rather brave, martial, fearless, excellent mountaineers and marksman who will take on anyone and everyone, but are not blood thirsty rather only because they were ill informed, illetrates, trustful to the State and unaware ‘atleast to the modern world’, they had no say in the decisions at any levels, whose history can be easily seen after its independence and annexation with the newly born state of Pakistan, which treated it with different systems, setups and political experiments none of which have yet ended the voilations in terms of civil, judicial, political, property and fundamental human rights, the only things that the Dards (People of Dardistan) have maintained are their social and personal image, status, culture, traditions and their laws on their lands, which is evident from the Dogra and Sikh times in which meat was banned in Kashmir, Jammu and Punjab but was thoroughly enjoyed by the Mountain tribes of the North at all times, that though they paid taxes and tributes to the Rulers, they never were in any other means subjugated by the Dogras or the Sikhs combined with the British who had brough on multiple occasions the infamous Gurkhas and Pashtuns support without which never would the Dards and Baltis have lost regions of baltistan, astore and Gilgit to the Dogras, whose roadways were once shown the roadways and passes by the welcoming natives of some areas of Dardistan who we tyrannised and harmed by local rulers.

No King of Kashmir or any foreign region has ever in history captured or subjugated whole of Dardistan or has physically or personally sat on the throne of Dardistan in Gilgit, but the Chak rulers of Kashmir who ruled directly and physically by gaining and sitting on the throne of Kashmir, were from Dardistan Gilgit and Chilas.

Kishtwar National Park

Kishtwar National Park is a national park located in the Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir, India. It is bounded to the north by Rinnay river, south by Kibar Nala catchment, east by main divide of Great Himalaya and west by Marwa river.

List of national parks of Pakistan

Pakistan has 29 protected areas known as national parks (Urdu: پاکستان کی ملی باغ‎). As of 2012, 22 of these are under supervision of respective provincial governments and remaining are in private care. Only some of these are under the conservation scope of IUCN. Protection and conservation of the environment of Pakistan was included in the concurrent constitution of 1973. As a result, Environment Protection Ordinance was enacted in 1983, which was mainly regulated by the Environment and Urban Affairs Division. Later, a new system of 'Modern Protected Areas' legislation began at the provincial level which assigned the protected areas with designations such as national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and game reserves. Further recommendations of the national parks of the Indomalaya ecozone were highlighted in the IUCN review of 1986. Nevertheless, the development of national parks was mainly carried out by National Conservation Strategy of 1992. Due to more awareness about their importance in conservation of biodiversity, 10 national parks have been established during the time period from 1993 to 2005.According to the 'Modern Protected Areas' legislation, a national park is a protected area set aside by the government for the protection and conservation of its outstanding scenery and wildlife in a natural state. It is accessible to public for research, education and recreation. In order to promote public use, construction of roads and rest houses is permitted. Use of firearms, polluting water, cleaning of land for cultivation, destruction of wildlife is banned in these areas. The oldest national park is Lal Suhanra in Bahawalpur District, established in 1972. It is also the only biosphere reserve of Pakistan. Lal Suhanra is the only national park established before the independence of the nation in August 1947. The main purpose of this area was to protect the wildlife of Cholistan Desert. Central Karakoram in Gilgit Baltistan is currently the largest national park in the country, spanning over a total approximate area of 1,390,100 hectares (3,435,011.9 acres). The smallest national park is the Ayub, covering a total approximate area of 931 hectares (2,300.6 acres).

Neelum District

Neelum District (also spelt as Neelam; Urdu: ضلع نیلم‎), is the northernmost district of Azad Kashmir, Pakistan. Taking up the larger part of the Neelam Valley, the district has a population of 191,000 (as of 2017). It was badly affected by the 2005 Kashmir earthquake.

Neelum River

The Neelum River (Hindi: नीलम नदी, Urdu: دریائے نیلم‎), or Kishanganga (Hindi: कृष्णगंगा नदी, Urdu: کرشن گنگا ندی‎), is a river in the Kashmir region of India and Pakistan; it starts in the Indian city of Gurais and then merges with the Jhelum River near the Pakistani city of Muzaffarabad.

Shina language

Shina (ݜݨیاٗ Šiṇyaá) is a language from the Dardic sub-group of the Indo-Aryan languages family spoken by the Shina people, a plurality of the people in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan, as well as in pockets in Jammu and Kashmir, India such as in Dah Hanu, Gurez and Dras.Until recently, there was no writing system of the language. A number of schemes have been proposed and there is no single writing system used by all of the speakers of Shina language.

Tulail Valley

The Tulail Valley is a Himalayan sub-valley of Gurez in the State of Jammu and Kashmir in India. The Valley lies 120 kilometres (75 mi) northeast of Bandipore and 200 kilometres (120 mi) from Srinagar the capital of Jammu and Kashmir.

and politics
Culture and
Districts and divisions
Legislative Assembly
Other topics
Municipalities of Jammu and Kashmir


This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.