Ultimate adventure destination to the north of Kashrnir, Gurez, is a gateway to the famous silk route across central Asia. The pyramid shaped peak named after famous Kashmiri poetess Habba Khatoon is most fascinating peak of Kashmir. The emperor Yousuf Shah Chak who is said to be a Dard from Gilgit entered into Kashmir through Gurez. It is believed that when emperor was imprisoned by the King Akbar, his beloved Habba Khafton used to wander near the peak to look for her lover.
The roar of mighty Kishan-Ganga River flowing across the valley, resonotes with surrounding mountains that lulls a visitors to sound sleep.The traditional log wood houses make Gurez no less than a European country side.
People of Gurez valley are Dards, they speak Sheena language and have their ancestral connection with Gilgit valley now in Pakistan. The feature and attire of the Dards are similar to Kashmiri people of mountain region. Though Gurez is a far flung area but the people of the Dard race have uplifted themselves by the hard work and proper education. Dard women are fair with athletic built, who spend the summer in collecting wood from mountains for the harsh winter; when it is impossible to move in 20 feet out side.
The trekking Routes from Gurez and Tilel lead upto Gangabal and Sonamorg to its east and Drass , Dahanu and Zanskar to its north.
The Kishen Ganga River in Gurez offers easy level of stream for Rofting and tough ones from Tilel. Some of the mountains have absolutely challenging scope for Rock Climbing.Trout fishing is a frequent sport among locals who through in a line to get decent meal for the day. Anglers con be delighted to catch a brown trout in the Kishen Ganga River or the streams coming down from the mountains. Gurez has lovely compsites where the tents can be pitched near the river.
20 km from Gurez, the awesome villages of Tilel have log wood houses which perfectly add to the magnificent view of mountains full of pine and fir trees. The road from Gurez to Tilel is just 7 years old, which has been extended upto Drass in Kargil region. The rugged and tough life of people of Tilel can make a visitor to contribute for promotion of the destination in one way or the other.
Gurez's most formidable peak is Habba Khatoon around which quaint legends abound and at one time, even a film starring Dimple Kapadia was planned. This pyramid shaped peak has been named after famous Kashmiri poetess Habba Khatoon. She was a beautiful & intelligent damsel from Saffron village "Pampore". Zoon (which means Moon in English) was Habba Khatoons earlier name. She was daughter of a peasant who got her married to an illiterate peasant boy (Habba) . Zoon was ill-treated by her mother-in-law and husband as she spent most of her time in poetry and singing. Dejected by her plight she approached "Peer" who changed her name as Habba Khatoon and presumed her as the queen of Kashmir. The emperor of Kashmir Yousuf Shah Chak (18th century) was enamored by her beauty, intelligence and poetry. He got Habba Khatoon divorced and married her. Emperor Yousuf Shah Chak was a Dard Shin from Gilgit and entered into Kashmir through Gurez. It is believed that when emperor was imprisoned by the King Akbar, his beloved Habba Khafton used to wander near the peak to look for her lover. "Meha karl schoi kith, poshe daswanoi, Chhou mean danai posh have done up myself with flowers for you, relish the beauty of the flowers oh my love" Arrested by the army of emperor Akbar, Yousf Shah Chak breathed his last at Patna in Bihar and was buried there. This devastated Habba Khotoon, she wandered on the banks of river Jhelum, fields and valleys. Her songs uttered the words for lost love and said "Ghoh choun wuchan gotti, aki latti yeham naa" I look for you oh my love in storms. I wish you to come once. Twenty years later the great poetess of Kashmir, Habba Khatoon, died in grief & sorrow and was buried in Athawajan. Her poetry still remains alive in the hearts of Kashmiri people.
Fishery in Gurez Valley
There is great scope for the development of fishery resources in Gurez valley so as to overcome the prevailing animal protein deficiency in the diet of the local people as well as to generate revenue out of it. There is already a branch of fisheries department in Gurez Valley but it has not been able to work up to the mark for various reasons. If the aquatic resources available in the Gurez valley are properly utilized for the capture and culture of fisheries, the day is not far when we will be in a position to export the fishery products to other parts of the state and country as well. Kishenganga River, 150 Kms in length is famous for having world class trout in it. Average weight of these trout being 24 pounds. There are many varieties of trout and other fishes in it.
The most prominent amongst them are: Snow Trout (Shizothorax): It is found predominantly in Tilail area (above40%). they are highly esteemed for their deliciousness, standing second only to trout. Brown trout (Salmo trutta fario L.): 90%. Brown trout is a stenothermal cold water fish which needs fresh water and does not withstand high temperature variations. They like pure, running water rich in oxygen. They spawn in the autumn or at the beginning of winter, that is to say from November to January in the northern hemisphere. The size of brown trout depends on the medium and the richness of its food. Brown trout rarely pass 18 inches in size. Rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneri): 10%. Rainbow trout are salmonids best suited for raising industrially and for the production of trout for the table. They are less difficult to feed, less demanding with regards to temperature and the quality of the water. Consequently they are to be found in cold water fish farms throughout the world where they have become the principal salmonids for eating. Shuddgurn: It is in abundance everywhere in Gurez. Anyour: 1-2% mostly present in aasthan nallah.