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Azad Kashmir

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For the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir, see Jammu and Kashmir

Azad Kashmir
Azad Kashmir in Pakistan (disputed hatched) (claims hatched).svg
Flag of Azad Kashmir.svg
Quick Facts
Capital Muzaffarabad
Government Pakistani federal disputed territory
Currency Pakistani rupee (PKR)
Area 13,297 km2
Population 4,567,982 (2008 est.)
Language Pothowari, Kashmiri, Urdu and English.
Religion Islam
Time Zone UTC +5:00

Azad Kashmir (Urdu: آزاد جموں و کشمیر‎ PAK o Kashmir) abbreviated PAK (literally "Free Kashmir") is the southernmost and the smaller of the two political entities which together constitute the Pakistani-controlled part of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, which ceased to exist as a result of the First Kashmir War (1947) and Indo-Pakistani War of 1948. The northernmost and the larger of the two political entities is the Pakistani-controlled territory of Gilgit-Baltistan. Both PAK and Gilgit-Baltistan are self-governing political entities and, constitutionally, do not form liberated parts of Pakistan. For all practical purposes, though, both PAK and Gilgit-Baltistan act like parts of Pakistan.

AJ&K Divisions.png


  • Muzaffarabad - the capital of the state
  • Mirpur - the second largest city of PAK. Popular for its nearby Mangla view resort.
  • Bagh -the fourth largest city of PAK

Other destinations[edit]

  • Neelum Valley is a scenic valley located 240kms from Muzaffarabad. It runs parallel to Kaghan valley and is separated by snow covered peaks. It offers the panoramic view of hills on both sides of the river, lush green forests, enchanting streams, high altitude lakes and attractive surroundings. It is also ideal for Mount tourism. A scenic road opens this valley to tourists up to Kel, 155 kilometers from Muzaffarabad. Buses ply daily on this route and accommodation facilities are also available in the rest houses at places of tourist attraction.
  • Jhelum Valley is another scenic valley located 59kms from Muzaffarabad
  • Palandri in Sudhnati: Baral is the village near Plandri is a Beautiful Place. There is a fort of Dogra (Sikh) period.
  • Billan Nar is a small, beautiful place.
  • Niyarain sharif is a religious place.


It is a town of District Bagh. It is located at a distance of 132 kilometers from Islamabad via Muree-Kohala route. It offers the panoramic view of hills, lush green forests, and attractive surroundings. It is also ideal for mountain tourism. A scenic road opens this valley to tourists up to Kohala, 107 kilometers from Islamabad. Buses ply daily on this route and accommodation facilities are also available in the rest houses at places of tourist attraction. Dheerkot is famous for fruits, especially apples and apricots.


Some parts of PAK are off-limits to tourists, especially the 15-mile-wide buffer zone along the Line of Control that separates the Occupied territory from the Indian State of Jammu & Kashmir. Large portions of PAK were devastated in the October 2005 earthquake, which leveled entire villages and towns and killed over 75,000 people. The inhabitants of this region are Kashmiri citizens of ethnic Punjabi origin {Mirpur} however inhabitants of Northern Mirpur are ethnic Kashmiris, and most of Azad Kashmir are ethnic Kashmiri Muslims. About 4 million people live there.


Urdu is the official language, but in practice, people speak a mix of Pahari, Gojri, Pashto, Mirpuri and Hindko. As elsewhere, English is fairly widely spoken among the educated classes and those involved in the tourist industry.

Note that Koshur, the native language of Kashmir, is not spoken here, only in the Vale of Kashmir controlled by India.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

There are no direct flights to Azad Kashmir.

  • Islamabad International Airport [2] in Islamabad is currently scheduled to be expanded and modernized to meet future passenger needs, as the demand for air travel has increased dramatically. There are many airlines flying into and out of Islamabad, including Ariana Afghan Airlines, British Airways, and China Southern Airlines. When the Islamabad airport is used by local government officials and foreign diplomats, however, other travelers might find the airport temporarily closed to them for security reasons.

By land[edit]

Traveling by road to Azad Kashmir is itself an attraction as you come across the most beautiful scenes of winding rivers and hills. It takes about 4 to 5 hours from Islamabad to Muzaffarabad in a car or van. You also pass through the beauty of hills the Murree during the journey. This is the shortest route to this city.

Buses and MPVs leave from Islamabad, Pakistan approximately every 20 minutes for different destinations in Azad Kashmir.

Get around[edit]

By bus[edit]

Muzaffarabad and Mirpur have the busiest bus network in PAK , running from early hours of the morning to late at night. Daily routes include Bhimber District, Dina, Gujrat, Jhelum, Kharian & Kotli District.

The new coaches in Muzaffarabad / Mirpur travel to the larger cities of Pakistan including Bahawalpur, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Karachi, Lahore, Multan, Peshawar, Quetta, Rawalpindi & Sialkot.

By taxis[edit]

Also by car hire

See[edit][add listing]

PAK is rich in natural beauty. Its snow-covered peaks, forests, rivers, streams, valleys, velvet green plateaus and climate varying from arctic to tropical, join together to make it an excellent tourist attraction.

Visit scenic valleys like Neelum, Jhelum, Leepa, Rawalakot, Banjosa, Samahni & Baghser.

Do[edit][add listing]

PAK has varied mountainous landscape ranging from low hills to high mountains (2000 to 6000 m) which are suitable for adventure sports like climbing, trekking, mountaineering, summer camping, hiking, and paragliding.

Its rivers & streams are suitable for white water sports, especially rafting, canoeing, and kayaking.

It has a varied wildlife to see which includes Leopard, Himalayan Bear, Ibex, Grey Goral, Musk Deer, Kashmir Stag, Monal Pheasant, Western Tragopan, Snow Pheasant, Red-led Partridge, Black Koklas Pheasant, Peacock, Dusk Markhor etc.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Kashmiris celebrate the first snowfall of the season by socializing over a goat barbecue. They relax in the cold crisp evenings with a cup of warm 'Kahwa'... a black tea brewed with cinnamon, cardamom, and honey. Also, a perennial favorite is the pink colored 'Nun Chai' made with a special salt. Rich and redolent with the flavor of cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and saffron, Kashmiri food is suitable for all palates.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Pakistan is mostly a dry country and PAK is no exception. However, Kashmiris, and especially 'Pahari' speakers, are known for their slow-steeped milk tea, known to non-Azad Kashmiris simply as "Kashmiri Chai" known as Noon chai. Kashmiri chai is fairly sweet, with crushed almonds and a creamy pink complexion.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Mir continental
  • Muzaffarabad Inn, situated in Naluchi, +92 3443023069, [1]. Equipped with all basic necessities. A perfect family guest house, tour guide, rent a car, BBQ, Car parking also available  edit

Stay safe[edit]

PAK is considered to be relatively safe, but some parts of it are off-limits to tourists, particularly the 15-mile-wide buffer zone along the Line of Control that separates the Occupied territory from the neighboring so-called Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Domestic tourists can visit PAK without any restriction but, however, are advised to keep their identity papers with them. Foreign tourists are only allowed to visit following places with a permit; Dheerkot, Rawalakot, Chotta gala, Chikkar, Darkhan, Muzaffarabad, Mangia & Sehnsa. Permits are issued by the AJK Home Department at Muzaffarabad.

Get out[edit]

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