The enchanting Warwan Valley, Kishtwar

The lesser know place which has fascinated me the most has been the Warwan Valley which could only be reached by trekking in the good old days. I happened to spend 5 nights in this enchanting Lost World. Being born in Kashmir and having familial connections in Himachal I have seen a lot mountains but Warwan was special. Nowadays there is a road which goes over the Margan Pass and takes you to Inshin, the main village in Warwan. As of now I am not aware of how further this road goes. Technically though Warwan is a part of Kishtwar and hence a part of the Jammu Region.

A special note on Warwan Valley : The people of this region are by some accounts the closest that come to the ancient Kashmiris. Their language is the purest form of Kashmiri. The Warwan River runs through this enchanting Valley. This Valley runs parallel to the Lidder Valley and is around 3 to 4 km wide and 30 km long at an average elevation on 8000 to 9000 ft. At a place called Sukhnis the Valley transforms into a Gorge and on reaching Rangmarg you have two options.Taking a left leads you to the Gulol Pass crossing which you can descend into Sheshnag. Going straight takes you to the Botkol Pass going over which you come down to Panikher in the Suru Valley (Zanskar). This is the same route taken by the indomitable General Zorawar Singh when he launched his expeditions into Ladakh. Interestingly there was a Government proposal to make a road from Pahalgam to Panikhar which would technically be 45 kms but would provide unparalleled beauty as for almost half that route would under be the shadow of the fabled Nun Kun Massif. A point of special note is that Warwan as such is not in proximity of the Line of Control as compared with Gurez or Lolab.

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