Thannamandi

       Kalakote

       Nowshera

       Sunderbani

 

BUDHAL

THE HILL STATION OF RAJOURI

 

Text Box:  Budhal is a beautiful valley located in between the main Peer-Panchal Range of mountains. The geography of the area is comprised of snow-capped attractive peaks, thick forests, gushing streams, crystal clear lakes, meadows and pastures. No doubt that the area could not be developed properly and no tourism activity is available, but keeping in view the natural scenic beauty, this area can easily be compared with the terrain of Valley and can be developed for tourism purposes by constructing huts/tourist sarais at Koteranka. By this way, the condition of the people can also be improved.

Proper Budhal is a small town comprising of about 100 shops, Police Station and about 300 houses. It is situated on the mound near Gabbar Nallah in between 33 degree 23 mints latitude and 74 degree 41 mints longitude. The town falls on the Southern range of Peer Panchal, which is connected with motor able road with Rajouri. Another road from Budhal to connect Gool Gulabgarh is also under construction. This beautiful spot is existing on route to Budhal pass or Sedhu pass which leads towards the Valley while the Sedhu pass is about 24 kms from Shopaian (Kashmir) and 25 kms from Budhal town. Most of the trekkers are using Budhal as a base-camp and track the Peer-Panchal range via Sedhu pass towards Kashmir.

Budhal records its name on the history in 10th century in Rajtrangni of Kelhan as "Budhiwasa" (place of intellectuals). Lateron, this name changed from Budhiwasa to "Budhal". As per the legend, the Paul Shahi Raja "Budh Paul" established Budhal town in 10th Century AD. He named this town as Budhiwasa, which later on changed to Budhal.

Presently, Budhal comprises of 51 villages. Its Tehsil Headquarter has been shifted to another township Koteranka. As per 1981 Census, the total population of the tehsil was 55720 souls. Out of which 44634 were Muslims, 10905 were Hindus and 134 were Sikhs apart from 1947 Buddhist. Literacy rate was 12.17%. Only 28.40% working force was available while the marginal farmers were 16.35%. All the villages were having educational facilities. 12 villages were having health facilities. All the villages were having potable drinking water facilities. 14 villages were connected with roads and 18 villages were having power supply.

 Presently, 65% population of the tehsil is living below poverty line. Due to locational disadvantages, very less development has taken place in the past. Serious efforts are being made for the development of the area by creating infrastructural facilities like road linkages, construction of school buildings, health institutions, provision of drinking water facilities, electrification of villages etc. Under Beneficiary Oriented Schemes, people are getting full benefit of plan funds while under the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP), old-age pension is being provided to 2500 persons. 725 trainees have so far been trained under various trades enabling them to start their ventures. No doubt that due to militancy related activities, the tehsil has suffered a lot and the officers are not in a position to monitor the schemes in remote areas. Even then, full efforts are being made to help the people, to create infrastructure, to implement various nature of Beneficiary Oriented Schemes and to redress their grievances by solving their problems.

Budhal has good potential from tourist point of view. Its scenic beauty can attract tourists from the State as well as from out side the state. Moreover, this track can be used for adventure tourism also. Therefore, there is need of development of this area for tourism purposes so that the poverty could be removed on one side and area could be developed on the other side.