ABOUT PEER KI GALI

The name 'Peer ki Gali' indicates: it has some auspicious relevance. As the word 'peer' means a person devoted to religion, as per Muslim faith. This holy place Peer ki Gali is situated between two villages, Poshana and Heer Pur, along Mughal road. Peer ki Gali is more likely to be called as heart of Mughal road. The history of this place dates back to the time of a holy and religiously elevated person named as Alamdaar-e-Kashmir, Sheikh Noor-u-Din Noorani (RA) (1378 to 1441).

The name 'Peer ki Gali' indicates: it has some auspicious relevance. As the word 'peer' means a person devoted to religion, as per Muslim faith. This holy place Peer ki Gali is situated between two villages, Poshana and Heer Pur, along Mughal road. Peer ki Gali is more likely to be called as heart of Mughal road. The history of this place dates back to the time of a holy and religiously elevated person named as Alamdaar-e-Kashmir, Sheikh Noor-u-Din Noorani (RA) (1378 to 1441).

As per written records, this place got its name because of a converted Hindu saint, Sheikh Ahmed Karim. Barnier Francios, the man who visited this place along with the caravan of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in 1665, wrote: "The saint was living here from the of Mughal king Jahangir. The saint could perform miracles by producing horrible voices. He could also bring storms along with hail stone and snow. He was an old white bearded man. He ordered the people not to create noise in this calm place of God, move silently, and also demand offerings from them.

Francois further wrote that the saint happened to met him inside his place of meditation and told him: Mughal king Aurangzeb and Shahjahan were wise enough as they crossed this calm place of God very calmly, unlike Jehangir, who faced doomed outcomes.

The whole population of state still considered Sheikh Ahmed Karim as a saint of high value. Not in ancient times, but even now, he has been called for help whenever people caught in heavy storms. And it is said: he always comes to help the needy.

Saint Karim is also considered as "the living saint". The story of his being famous as living saint dates back to the time when he used to meditate in these hilly tracks. As per oral legends, he was once meditating before his conversion to Islam. A mother who had lost her son visited him with the help. After hearing her out, he told her: Go forward and search her son. Your son might be coming. The lady searched, but failed. She was again ordered by the saint to resume her search. This time, she indeed traced her son. Alamdaar-e-Kashmir had been watching all this happening. He visited the Hindu saint and invited him to accept Islam, "so that, he may reach heaven".

Historical records reveal that the saint refused the invitation and instead challenged Alamdaar: Reach heaven by converting to another religion. Alamdaar accepted the challenge and vowed to bring a water melon from heaven by converting to another religion. Both started their journey to heaven. But before entering inside heaven, Alamdaar had to accept Islam as faith.

According to challenge, he succeeded in bringing water melon but before he left the heaven, the branch of water melon was taken by watchman of heaven. When both appeared before each other and after the clearance of facts, it was known that the watchman of heaven was none other than Alamdaar-e-Kashmir. Holy Hindu saint accepted Islam as his faith and was later named as Sheikh Ahmed Karim.

He also requested to Sheikh Noorani to pray for his everlasting life. Sheikh Noorani (RA) prayed to God and as a result Sheikh Ahmed Karim is still being considered as living saint.

The shrine of Peer ki Gali is not Peer’s grave or Mazar, but it is peer’s meditating place. As the mark of his presence, Shrine has the imprints of his hands on a big stone inside it. His grave is situated near the grave of Makhdoom sahib and in the north of grave of Bahuddin Ganj Bakash in Kashmir. Numerous myth related to peer's miracle are still inhibiting in the subconscious mind of people of state.

The belief that peer being a living saint and spiritually uplifted soul further established by a lady writer who happened to cross this hilly track along with caravan of Sheikh Mohamed Abdullah in 1931-32. "The peer appears on a white horse and says: 'the road is safe,

In addition to a religious spot, the Peer ki Gali is gaining popularity as beautiful tourist spot. The snow covered peaks surrounding Peer ki Gali are incredible. Single look towards these make you feel lasted in them. These attractive mountainous ranges have mesmerizing effect on reaching here. One can feel him or herself in heaven on earth.

Along with blessing of Sheikh Ahmed, people from the whole state can enjoy the charming scenery here. The refreshing meadow during summer adds the beauty of the place. One can swim in big clouds of mist here while enjoying the matchless bliss of nature.

Above all, availability of horse ride enables you to feel the everlasting scene of Peer ki Gali at its peak. You can also get a chance to traditional tribes of Jammu and Kashmir who live in open huts called Taraas. You can enjoy calm, peaceful, simple and real tribal life here. These tribes have made possible the unending supply of meat and milk for us by carrying this way of life. The spot of Peer Gali is multidimensional in beauty and attraction.

Apart from Peer ki Gali shrine, there are some main historical spots along Mughal road which can entertain the visitors. Ali Abad Sarai is one of Mughal forts constructed by emperor Shahjehan. It is situated in the south of Peer shrine. When the constructor, Ali Mardan Khan, who also constructed the track from Lahore to Kashmir started working on Sarai, he was told by the inhabitants that the place is haunted by a man-eater, Lal Ghulam, who throws everyone to death from this peak and later on eats them. But the constructor, it is said, was strong enough that busted the fear psychosis created by Lal Ghulam. And later on, he completed his work, very calmly.

Shopian
Shopian is situated at a distance of 51 Kms from Srinagar 20 Kms from Pulwama. It has decades old road connectivity with Anantnag as well as Kulgam. In The era by gone, Shopian was located on the famous Mughal road connecting Lahore and Srinagar. This old route has suffered from neglect during the last couples of centuries, expect being traversed Bakerwals and Gujjars on the eve of their seasonal migrations. The currently under construction Mughal road is now expected to link District Shopian with the Districts of Poonch and Rajouri. In the event of its completion this road would be an alternative link between the two administrative divisions of the state and likely to boost the economy of this proposed hill District besides increasing the administrative responsibilities of the District administration in the times to come.
Jamia Masjid Shopian
The mosque is said to have been built during the Mughal period. Shopian was an important stopover on the Mughal road across the Pir Panjal used by the Mughal to visit Kashmir. Five Time Prayers are held in the mosque and on Fridays people in large numbers respond to the call of the Mouzin and bow before the Almighty.
Hurpora
About 12 Kms from Shopian Hurpora commands a beautiful scenic view. The place is situated on the historical Mughal Road and is accessible by car and bus.
Behramgala
Situated at the foothill of 8,600 ft. high Rattan peak on the historic Mughal Road about 45 Kms from Poonch Town. Behramgala is small picturesque spot in deep gorge. It is small plateau surrendered by mountains and forests. Just near to it is the confluence of Thatta pani and Parnai stream which further adds to its otherwise scenic and natural beauty.
Noori Chamb
A famous water fall in the district also connected with the Mughal Emperors is located in the north east of Behram Gala. This water fall is yet another scenic spot which has tremendous tourist potential. The fall of the stream gives rise to dense clouds of water vapours which engulfs the area and spread all over. The emperor Jahangir had developed so much fancy and liking for this fall that he named it Noori Chamb after the name of his beloved queen Noorjahan.
Loran
A small town situated 34 Kms north of Poonch town was once the capital of Poonch state under Hindu ruler up to 1542. According to Rajatarangini, it was then know as Lohar Kote. There are ruins of the Lohar Kote fort which was called as Gateway of Kashmir but now it is destroyed. At this fort, Raja Trilochan Pal defeated Sultan Mohmood Gazanavi. This spot is surrounded by b forests and some snow clad peaks. The remnants of fortified Mughal inns are a pleasant reflection of the glorious days of the place when it used to be a camping site for the royal Mughal entourage proceeding toward Kashmir valley.
Dhandidhar Fort.
It is a historical monument located on a hill in the vicinity of Rajouri town. This fort was probably constructed by Mughal king during the reign of Emperor Jahangir nearly 400 years back. It is just 2 Kms away from Rajouri presenting panoramic and impressive view of the entire area.