Kupwara is the backward frontier District of Kashmir Valley, full of scenic beauty. Dense forests and rich wild life make it significant from tourism and wildlife point of view. Nature has been very kind to Kupwara. District Kupwara was carved out form erstwhile District Baramulla in the year 1979. The District Headquarter “Kupwara” is situated at a distance of 90 kms from the summer capital of state, i.e. Srinagar.The District is situated at an average altitude of 5300 feet from the sea level. The geographical area of the District is 2379 sqkms The north west part of the District is bound by line of actual control (L.O.C) while the southern portion is bound by the District Baramulla. There are three bad pocket areas, namely, Machil, Keran and Karnah located near L.O.C which remain land locked for more than six months in a year. There are some other areas located at barbed distances and remain cut off from District Headquarter for a considerable time, like Kumkadi, Lashdat, Jumgund, Kethanwali and Budnambal.
According to Census 2011, District Kupwara has a population of 8,75,564 souls comprising of 4,75,126 males and 4,00,438 females with a Sex Ratio of 843.
The rural population of the District is 7,76,322 and the urban population is 99,242.
The District has a literacy rate of 66.92% with male literacy rate of 77.10 % and female literacy rate of 54.79%.
Places of Interest
Every locale of district Kupwara is enchanting, mesmerizing and beckons the nature lovers. All spectacles of nature be it a village, plain, hill, mountain, pasture, river, meadow is eye catching and worth seeing. Although every inch of district is a health resort the places likely to be developed as tourist resorts are as under :-
Ancient holy place of Hindus located on a motorable road leading from Handwara to Rajwar. There is a dormant volcano in the vicinity and Hindus revere it and is known by the name Soyamj.
This enchanting and fascinating 20 x 15 Kms plain is full of wild orchids, with carpet of green grass, surrounded by high snow clad mountains, rivulets in cascades flowing from the mountains, chirping of colourful birds, grazing of cattle and sheep. This gives the semblance of a dream world. It can be approached form Handwara Tehsil through Satkoji with a foot journey of 12 Kms. Second approach to it is through Chowkibal Marsari and again a foot journey of 15 way the Kms ahead. A Golf Course is proposed to be here which is likely to be the Asia’s biggest golf course.
This attractive, worth seeing place is located in the west if Chowkibal on the way to Karnah.There is rest house facility provided by District Administration.
It is 5 km in the South of Tangdar. A P.W.D rest house has been constructed there. We can have a view of Shamsbari mountain from this place.
It is a charming valley located on the banks of sacred river Kishan Ganga. To reach the valley we have to cross 8000 feet high pass of Farkyan. Kishan Ganga forms the actual line of control between India and POK at Keran. There is a rest-house in Keran for the visitors.
This attractive and beautiful valley full of magnificient blue prints has been praised by many poets .Dr. Allama Iqbal says, “pani teray chashsmoon ka tadapta hua seemab,´murgani sahar teray fizawoon main hai beetab aye wadiya Lolab’’, Fazil says, “wesiye su gulfam yad aam yad aam, yad aam Lolab Sogam yad aam yad aam”. Varnow village is home to renowed Kashmiri Islamic scholar Allama Anwar ShahRA Kashmiri. Sogam, Chandigam, Diver, Anderbug, Lalpore and Kalaroos are some of the noteworthy areas with rest house facilities. Historical LOV Nag spring is in Anderbug. One of the most attractive places in the area is a cave located in the jungles of Madmadow. It is believed that the cave known as Kalaroos leads us to Russia.
The Machil valley is to the east of Kupwara. To reach there we have to cross the Noonwani Gully which is motorable in summer, but cut off in winter. There are rest-house facilities for the visitors.
Muqam Shah Wali
The shrine of famous Saint Zaiti Shah Wali, located in village known after him as Muqam Shah Wali has been selected as a spot of tourist pilgrimage and is being developed accordingly. Zaiti Shah had been an army commandant of famous Chak ruler, Ali Shah Chak and a disciple of Hazrat Hamza Makdoomi. A three day mela is held at the Shrine in May every year in which Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs participate.
It is situated near Chowkibal on the way to Karnah. There are rest house facilities available for the visitors provided by the administration.
This charming place is located in Nowgam area of Handwara Tehsil, 25 kms from Handwara. The area is motorable. Two tourist Dak Bungalows are available there for tourists.