University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir
Muzaffarabad (Urdu: ?; Pahari, Potwari: ?????? ????) is the capital of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan.
It is located in Muzaffarabad District on the banks of the Jhelum and Neelum rivers. The district is bounded by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in the west, by the Kupwara and Baramulla districts of Indian State of Jammu & Kashmir in the east, and the Neelum District of Pakistan administered Azad Kashmir in the north.
According to the 1998 Census, the population of the district was 725,000, and according to a 1999 projection, the population had risen to almost 741,000. The district comprises three tehsils, and the city of Muzaffarabad serves as the cultural, legislative and financial capital of Pakistan administered Kashmir.
Muzaffarabad is named after Sultan Muhammad Muzaffar Khan, the pioneer of the city of Muzaffarabad, who belonged to the Bamba Tribe. The family has ruled Muzaffarabad for many generations. Further, the dynasty was distributed among Sultan of Vihaan, Sultan of Santosh, Sultan of Swami, and Sultan of Pradeep. Some of the great names belonging to the family are: Sultan Matwali khan (jageerdar Kathai), Sultan Hassan Ali Khan (jageerdar Boe and the member of parliament of joint India on the seat of landlord), Sultan Qutub-ud-din Khan (jageerdar Lawasi), Sultan Feroz din Khan (son of jageerdar Lawasi), Raja Muhammad Hussain Khan (son of jageerdar Lawasi and son-in-law of jageerdar Boe), Raja Muhammad Nasir Khan (son of jageerdar Lawasi and secretary to Maharaja kashmir), Muhammad Muzaffar Khan (first Muslim judge in Kashmir), Khalid Muzaffar Khan(son of Muhammad Muzaffar Khan), Raja Nassar ud din khan (son-in-law of Muhammad Muzaffar Khan), Zafar Umar khan(Son of Feroz din Khan sahib), his cousin brother Raja Tanveer Hussain Khan(Son of Muhammad Hussain Khan sahib) and many more.
The original name of Muzaffarabad was Udabhanda.
Hieun tsang, the celebrated Buddhist pilgrim who is said to have visited the valley in 633 A.D mentions Pan-nu-tso, i.e., modern day Punch, Ho-lo-she-pu-to i.e. modern day Rajauri. He entered India from Udabhanda, Urasa (present Muzafrabad and Uskara) entered the valley via Baramula gorge.
Udabhanda was the capital of the Shahi dynasty. The Shahi (Devanagari ????), also called Shahiya, dynasties ruled portions of the Kabul Valley (in eastern Afghanistan) and the old province of Gandhara (northern Pakistan and Kashmir) from the decline of the Kushan Empire in third century to the early ninth century. The kingdom was known as Kabul-shahan or Ratbel-shahan from (565 – 670 CE) when they had their capitals in Kapisa and Kabul, and later Udabhandapura (also known as Hund) for its new capital.
The term Shahi is the title of the rulers, likely related to the Kushan form Shao or Persian form Shah and refers to a series of 60 rulers probably descended from the Kushans or Turks (Turshkas). They are split into two eras the Buddhist Turk-Shahis and the later Hindu-Shahis, with the changeover occurring sometime around 870. Later on the name of the town is recorded as Hindu Shikhri until the early to mid Mughal period and during the late Mughal period it was called by its present name Muzaffarabad.
Muzaffarabad is situated at the confluence of the Jhelum and Neelum rivers. The city is 138 kilometres from Rawalpindi and Islamabad and about 76 kilometres from Abbottabad. Muzaffarabad city is connected to Islamabad by a motorway, increasing trade between the mainland and the autonomous region. Cradled by lofty mountains, Muzaffarabad reflects a blend of various cultures and languages.
The literacy rate is more than 64%. The entrance to the Kashmir valley faces northwards and passes westwardly through Neelum and down towards Muzaffarabad, where trade had flourished prior to the Kashmir dispute between the India and Pakistan.
Being the capital city Muzaffarabad is not only the hub of political and cultural activities but it also serves as a base camp for the tourists. It has various spots of leisure. View point Sathra, a public place, unravels the panorama of the entire city before a beholder. The junction point of the river Neelum and Jhelum presents a majic beauty from here. Lohar Gali, situated 9 kilometers from Muzaffarabad on Abbottabad road. The Red fort is a witness to the ancient history of this great city. The local market in Muzaffarabad can be explored for walnut carvings, kashmiri shawls and other traditional handicrafts. It is always possible to get a good bargain. It has besides official buildings; farms, parks and historic fort standing on the bank of the Neelum. Shopping is an exciting activity in Muzaffarabad and you can shop for Kashmiri shawls and walnut carvings. Touring in the city is also easy and convenient as there are wide modes of transportation available. Travelers who wish to tour Muzaffarabad should have proper information about the city and keep the travel tips in mind for a safe and enjoyable tour. Past the Red fort, crossing Neelum river at Ghori, a few km way is Makra mountain 3,890 meters which is visible from Muzaffarabad and continues on to Shogran in the Kaghan Valley. This is a superb short trek, although you need to camp overnight halfway. The upper Jhelum valley makes another interesting scenic excursion from Muzaffarabad. follow the Jhelum upstream, taking the road beneath the Domel bridge. This was the old route to Srinagar. The valley is broad with raised terraces above the river.