Kashmir Valley : Passes
The Great European Explorer Godfrey Vigne was one of the first outsiders who managed to travel into Kashmir in the period of 1835 to 1838 and write at great lengths about. That was indeed a very interesting time in the History of the region as the power of the Indomitable Sher – e – Punjab was reaching its Zenith and within just a little more than a decade the mighty Empire built by the Great Ranjit Singh would lie in shambles and it would see the emergence of Maharaja Gulab Singh as the first Dogra Raja of Jammu and Kashmir. To understand the history of present day Kashmir one has to go right back to the time of Ranjit Singh to really get a grasp on facts.
But as we focus on Geography rather than history let me get back to Vigne. During his contant travels in and out of the Valley, Vigne listed atleast 20 Passes from all directions from which one could enter or exit the Valley. As I have not read his epic Travels in Kashmir, Ladak, Iskardo, the countries adjoining the mountain-course of the Indus, and the Himalaya, north of the Panjab. Volume I/ II but have just managed to land a PDF copy of the same I was trying to hazard a guess as to what all Passes does Vigne refer to. So here I got to the best of my knowledge. Please add your comments and names that you think that have been missed out.
Note that in/around Kashmir names like Gali/ Top/ La are also used for a Pass.
The Motorable Ones go first
1. The Banihal Pass : On the main Highway from Srinagar to Jammu. Of course now the Tunnel makes it very accessible.
2. The Pir Ki Gali : On the newly opened for traffic Mughal Road from Jammu to Srinagar
3. The Sinthan/ Simthan Pass : On the road linking Kashmir to Kishtwar
4. The Margan Top : Recently opened connects Kashmir to Warwan Valley in Kishtwar
5. The Zoji La : Pretty well known connecting the Kashmir Valley to the Ladakh region
6. The Razdhan Pass : Also called Tragbal Pass. Connects the Kashmir Valley to Guraiz which is actually a part of Baltistan of the old.
7. The Pir Panjal Pass : Connects Kashmir to POK. Not under Indian control
8. The HajiPir Pass : Connects Uri in Kashmir to Poonch. Not under Indian control
Other historical Passes in the Pir Panjals (South and West of the Valley). Just came across the names as classical passes which
traverse the Pir Panjal into the Kashmir Valley.
9. The RatanPir Pass
10. The Bairam Gala Pass
11. The Gulabgarh Pass
Some Passes mentioned on the Poonch/ Reasi side into the Konsarnag area in the Pir Panjals
12. Nalla Shergadi
13. Ropri Pass
14. Konsargali Pass
15. Zamian Pass
Some Passes on the Poonch to Gulmarg/ Yusmarg , Kashmir axis
16. Jamia Gali
17. Nurpur Gali
18. Choti Gali
19. Chor Gali
20. Nandan Gali
21. Jamianwali Gali
Passes from the East (Warwan Valley in Kishtwar towards Kashmir). Almost all these Passes lead into the adjoining Lidder Valley
22. Gulol Gali Pass
23. Kralsar Pass
24. Rangmarg Pass
25. Odir Gali
North towards Ladakh
26. Burzil Pass : Traditional Pass on the road from Gurez to Skardu (If we consider Razdhan Pass then this one no longer should be
in the list.
Additions by Farooq Sofi Sir
27. Nastichun Pass : Also referred to as Sadhna Pass. Connecting Kashmir with Karnah Valley
28. Tootmar Gali : Connecting Kashmir to Leepa Valley.
Thats my list.