The Azad Kashmir map encompasses a vast and diverse region in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent, stretching across the western portion of the larger Kashmir region. Administered by Pakistan as a nominally self-governing entity, Azad Kashmir is a fascinating area with a rich history, natural beauty, and cultural diversity. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the geography, districts, and demographics of Azad Kashmir, as well as its administration, tourism, and economy.
Understanding Azad Kashmir
As a region administered by Pakistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) is often simply referred to as Azad Kashmir. The territory shares borders with Gilgit-Baltistan to the north and the Pakistani provinces of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the south and west, respectively. To the east, it is separated from the Indian-administered union territory of Jammu and Kashmir by the Line of Control (LoC), the de facto border between the Indian- and Pakistani-controlled parts of Kashmir.
Geographically, Azad Kashmir covers a total area of 13,297 km² (5,134 sq mi) and has a total population of 4,045,366 according to the 2017 national census. The region is characterized by its mountainous landscape, with the northern part encompassing the lower area of the Himalayas. This diverse topography contributes to the region’s natural beauty, attracting both domestic and foreign tourists throughout the year.
Azad Kashmir Map and Districts
The azad kashmir map is divided into three administrative divisions which are further divided into ten districts:
- Mirpur Division
- Mirpur District
- Bhimber District
- Kotli District
- Muzaffarabad Division
- Muzaffarabad District
- Hattian Bala District
- Neelum District
- Poonch Division
- Poonch District
- Bagh District
- Haveli District
- Sudhanoti District
Each district has its own unique characteristics, with differing landscapes, cultures, and attractions. Understanding the Azad Kashmir map with district and population will help you navigate and explore this beautiful region more effectively.
Governance and Administration
Azad Kashmir has a parliamentary form of government modeled after the British Westminster system, with the city of Muzaffarabad serving as its capital. The President of AJK is the constitutional head of state, while the Prime Minister, supported by a Council of Ministers, is the chief executive.
In addition to the central government, the azad kashmir districts have their own local governments, responsible for administering and managing their respective areas. The governor of azad kashmir serves as a link between the central government and the local governments, ensuring that the region’s administration runs smoothly.
Judiciary and Law Enforcement
Azad Kashmir has its own Supreme Court and a High Court, which oversees the judiciary system in the region. Law enforcement is the responsibility of the Azad Kashmir Police, a professional and well-trained force that works in collaboration with other law enforcement agencies in Pakistan.
Geography and Topography
The azad kashmir map showcases a diverse landscape, ranging from low hills to high mountains, with several major mountains ranges running in a west-northwest to east-southeast direction. These include the Karakoram Range in Gilgit-Baltistan and the Ladakh Range, Zanskar Range, Great Himalaya Range, and Pir Panjal Range in the Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir.
The region’s geographical location, where the Indian tectonic plate meets the Eurasian Plate, has resulted in the creation of the Tibetan Plateau and the Himalayan Mountains. This has led to some of the highest mountains in the world dominating the landscape of Azad Kashmir.
Climate and Weather
The climate of Azad Kashmir varies with altitude, with the northern and central parts experiencing cold winters and moderate summers, while the southern parts experiencing extremely hot summers and moderately cold winters. The region receives rainfall in both the winter and summer months, contributing to its lush green scenery and diverse flora and fauna.
Economy and Industry
Azad Kashmir’s economy primarily relies on agriculture, services, tourism, and remittances sent by members of the British Mirpuri community. Nearly 87% of Azad Kashmiri households own farm property, and the region has the highest rate of school enrollment in Pakistan, with a literacy rate of approximately 74%.
Agriculture and Livestock
Agriculture plays a vital role in the economy of Azad Kashmir, with the region’s fertile valleys and abundant water resources providing ideal conditions for farming. Major crops grown in the region include wheat, maize, rice, and various fruits and vegetables. Livestock farming is also an important part of the local economy, with cattle, sheep, and poultry being raised for both meat and dairy production.
Tourism and Hospitality
Tourism is a significant contributor to Azad Kashmir’s economy, with the region’s natural beauty, scenic landscapes, and rich cultural heritage attracting visitors from across Pakistan and around the world. The azad kashmir map is dotted with numerous tourist destinations, including historical forts, picturesque valleys, and high-altitude lakes.
The hospitality industry in Azad Kashmir has also grown in recent years, with a wide range of accommodations available to suit different budgets and preferences. From budget hotels and guest houses to luxury resorts, there is something for every traveler in this beautiful region.
Culture and Heritage
Azad Kashmir is home to a diverse array of cultures and ethnic groups, with the majority of the population being ethnic Kashmiris. The region’s rich cultural heritage is reflected in its traditional arts, crafts, music, and cuisine.
Arts and Crafts
The traditional arts and crafts of Azad Kashmir include woodcarving, carpet weaving, and shawl making. The region is particularly famous for its Pashmina shawls, which are made from the fine wool of the Pashmina goat and are renowned for their warmth, softness, and intricate designs.
Music and Dance
Music and dance play an important role in Azad Kashmir’s cultural heritage, with traditional folk songs and dances being performed at festivals, weddings, and other celebrations. Instruments used in Azad Kashmiri music include the rabab, sarangi, dhol, and flute, while the region’s folk dances feature a variety of colorful costumes and energetic movements.
Azad Kashmir’s cuisine is influenced by its diverse population and the region’s agricultural abundance. Traditional dishes include Kashmiri Raan (fried leg of lamb), Rogan Josh, Balti Gosht, Kashmiri Dal Chawal (a mixture of split peas, split red lentils, and boiled rice), and Dam Aloo (fried potatoes). The region is also famous for its Kashmiri tea, a creamy pink milk tea made with special tea leaves, salt, pistachios, almonds, and cardamom.
The azad kashmir map reveals a fascinating region with a rich history, diverse culture, and stunning landscapes. From its mountainous terrain and lush valleys to its vibrant cities and quaint villages, Azad Kashmir offers something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in exploring the region’s historical sites, experiencing its cultural heritage, or simply enjoying its natural beauty, a visit to Azad Kashmir is sure to be a memorable experience.