Anantnag, locally known as Islamabad, is a district in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is one of eight districts which make up the Kashmir Valley. The district headquarters is Anantnag city. As of 2011, it was the third most populous district of Jammu and Kashmir (out of 22), after Jammu and Srinagar.
Anantnag district comprises Kokernag, Shangus, Anantnag (town), Bijbehara, Doru, Pahalgam and Qazigund tehsils. The district consists of seven blocks: Breng, Shangus, Achabal, Dachnipora, Qazigund, Khoveripora and Shahabad. Each block consists of a number of panchayats. Anantnag District has six assembly constituencies: Anantnag, Verinag, Kokernag, Shangus, Bijbehara and Pahalgam.
Places of interest in Anantnag district:
The district consists of many tourist places, viz., Verinag, Achabal, Kokernag, Daksum, Pahalgam,Dandipora(under process), Chatabal, Martand and Sinthan top. Of these places, Pahalgam and Kokernag are the most famous places just 50 km from Anantnag Town.
Amarnath Temple, a famous shrine in Hinduism dedicated to Shiva is located in Phalgam. It is the site of an annual pilgrimage, Amarnath Yatra.
Historic sites and remains:
Martand Sun Temple:
The Martand temple is one of the important archaeological sites of the country. The temple was attacked by Sikander Butshikan. It took one year for Sikander Butshikan to fully damage and destroy this Martand temple. Even today one gets surprised over art and skill of the builders of this world famous Martand temple by looking at its ruins.
Its impressive architecture reveals the glorious past of the area. After Independence, the government developed many beauty spots of the district, but of their noble and magnificent edifices only faint traces survive. This temple has the typical Aryan structure as was present in Aryan Kashmir.
The Martand temple is situated at Rambirpora Kehribal, nine kilometres east-north-east of Anantnag city.
This world-famous hill station is 45 km from the Anantnag and located on the banks of river Lidder at an altitude of 7200 ft. from sea level. Pahalgam is one among the five tehsils(also known as taluka or mandal) of Anantnag district and tehsil headquarters are located in the main town of Pahalgam. Once a great tourist puller and favourite place for shooting of Bollywood films is perhaps the best health resort in the country. Pahalgam also serves as base camp for the famous Amarnath Ji Yatra. The Pahalgam Valley presents glamorous look due to its pine forests, snow clad mountains, healthy climate and vast meadows and pastures. Pahalgam skirts Lidder river and torrential flow of water in Lidder river enriches the awesome beauty of the Valley. Besides tourist huts, several hotels in private sector have come up here and these hotels provide modern facilities to their guests. A number of treks in this region also begin from Pahalgam, as the 35 km trail traverses through pinewoods to the spectacular Kolahoi Glacier.
The Village of nomad is un-spoilt by the ravages of progress. This place is an angler’s delight and even an amateur can catch a rainbow trout from the rushing streams. The large brown bear is a natural inhabitant of the thick Pine and Cedar forests. Pahalgam has a golf course at 2400 meters above the sea level. Camping equipment, ponies and skiing equipment is readily available. Kolahoi is a popular destination via Aru a charming meadow. Around Pahalgam are many places of interest, and because the resort is set between fairly steep hills, it is worth hiring a pony rather than walking. Pony fares are posted at prominent locations.
The most beautiful of these is the huge, undulating meadow of Baisaran, surrounded by thickly wooded forests of pine. Hajan, on the way to Chandanwadi, is an idyllic spot for a picnic. Filmgoers will recognise it instantly as it has been the location of several movie scenes. Pahalgam has within it no fewer than eight tiny villages, one of which is Mamal. There is a Shiva temple here, generally considered to be Kashmir’s oldest existing temple, dating to the 5th century.
Pahalgam is also associated with the annual Amarnath Yatra. Chandanwari (2,895 m), 16 km from Pahalgam, is the starting point of the yatra that takes place every year in the month of Sawan (July to August). The road from Pahalgam to Chandanwari is on fairly flat terrain and can be undertaken by car. From Chandanwari onwards the track becomes much steeper, and is accessible on foot or by pony. About 11 km from Chandanwari is the mountain lake of Sheshnag (3,574 m), after which, 13 km away is the last stop, Panchtarni. The Amarnath cave is 6 km from there. During the month of Sawan, an ice stalagmite forms a natural Shivling in the Amarnath cave, which waxes and wanes with the moon.
This world famous hill station is 45 km. from the District Headquarters at Anantnag and located on the banks of river Lidder at an altitude of 7200 ft. from sea level.
Pahalgam is one among the five tehsils of Anantnag district and tehsil headquarters are located in the main town of Pahalgam. Once a great tourist puller and favourite place for shooting of Bollywood films is perhaps the best health resort in the entire India. Pahalgam also serves as base camp for the famous Amarnath Ji Yatra. The Pahalgam Valley presents glamorous look due to its pine forests, snow clad mountains, healthy climate and vast meadows and pastures. Pahalgam skirts Lidder river and torrential flow of water in Lidder river enriches the awesome beauty of the Valley. Besides tourist huts, several hotels in private sector have come up here and these hotels provide modern facilities to their guests. A number of treks in this region also begin from Pahalgam, as the 35 km trail traverses through pinewoods to the spectacular Kolahoi Glacier.
Achabal is an important tourist place about 8 kilometres away from Anantnag. The place is famous and attractive due to an ancient spring surrounded by a garden terraced and developed by the Mughals . The place has got some historical background also. The upper portion of the garden is called ‘Bag-e-Begum Abad’ developed by Malika Noor Jehan Begum in 1620 AD and renowned as Sahib Abad in which there was a Hamam (treasure of water) getting heat from a logical lamp (Tosng).
It is famous for its trout streams and the largest fresh water spring in Kashmir, Trout hatchery department which has constructed pools in series where in trout is reared. Different pools have got trout with different weights and ages. Departments sells it to the tourists who find it a delicious dish and enjoy it. Kokernag is eight miles form Achabal and famous for the curative properties of its beautiful springs. The total area of Kokernag is 300 Kanals of which 129 kanals is for the purpose of gardens and the rest is forest area. Kokernag has some historical importance also. Kokernag has been mentioned in Ain Akbari, where in it has been mentioned that the water of Kokernag satisfies both hunger and thirst and it is also a remedy for indigestion. The author of Ain Akbari notices that touch-stone is found in Kokernag.
Verinag spring is of great importance and beauty, with deep blue water which issues from the bottom of a high scrap of a mountain spur and here also Emperor Jehangir built a garden and pleasure house. The Verinag spring is about 26 kilometres away from Anantnag and is considered as the original source of river Jehlum. The spring is situated at the bottom of hill covered by pine trees and evergreen plants. The wonderful and charming construction of the spring as well as its adjacent garden compel the visitors to see it again and again. The construction of the banks of spring as well as its surroundings is of rare shape.
Located in the dense forests, this scenic spot falls on the Anantnag-Sinthan-Kishtwar road. A gushing stream flows through Daksum which is rich in trout fish. It is a forest retreat girdled by mountains. The surrounding forests are famous for fauna and flora. This famous tourist sport is in the south east of Anantnag City and is about a distance of 40 kilometres from Anantnag city.
Shiva Bhagwati Temple Akingam:
It is a famous Temple in village Akingam of this district. It is located near the foot of a forest.
Sinthen top is a hill station, a popular tourist destination located in South Kashmir’s Breng Valley (Sub-District Kokernag) in Anantnag district in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Anantnag features a moderate climate (Köppen climate classification. Anantnag’s climate is largely defined by its geographic location, with the towering Karokaram to its east and the Pirpanjal range to the south. It can be generally described as cool in the spring and autumn, mildin the summer, and cold in the winter. As a large city with a significant differences in Geo location among various districts, the weather is often cooler in the hilly Areas of east as compared to the flat northern part of anantnag.
Summer is usually mild and with a little rain, but relative humidity is generally high and the nights are cool. The precipitation occurs throughout the year but no one month is particularly dry. The hottest month is July (mean minimum temperature 6 °C, mean maximum temperature 32 °C) and the coldest are December–January (mean minimum temperature -15 °C, mean maximum temperature 0 °C).
Weather conditions are unpredictable. The record high temperature is 33 °C and the record low is -18 °C. On 5–6 January 2012, after years of relatively little snow, a wave of heavy snow and low temperatures shocked the city covering it in a thick layer of snow and ice, forcing them to officially declare a state of emergency and calling the following two days (6 and 7 January) off for the whole valley.
Anantnag has seen an increase in the relative humidity and annual precipitation in the last few years. This is most likely because of the commercial afforestation projects which also includes expanding parks and green cover. The suburb parts of Anantnag are more lush than the central part. Anantnag District possesses all the typical characteristics of the climate of Kashmir Valley as a whole. In his introduction to the Rajtarangini Kulan or Kakhana Pundit says about the climate of Valley: ‘It is a country where the sun shines mildly, being the place created by Kashayapa as if for his glory. High school-houses, the saffron, iced water and grapes, which are rare even in heaven, are common here. Kailasa is the best place in the three worlds, Himalaya the best part of Kailasa, and Kashmir the best place in Himalaya’.
Sir Walter Lawrence writes in his book The Valley of Kashmir that in latitude Kashmir corresponds with Peshawar, Baghdad and Damascus in Asia: with Fez in Morocco: and South Carolina in America, but it presents none of the characteristics of those countries. People have linked the climate of Kashmir to that of Switzerland until the end of May, and of Southern France in July and August. But it is impossible to speak of Kashmir as possessing any one climate or group of characteristics. Every hundred feet of elevation brings some new phase of climate and of vegetation.