The Landscape And Physical Features Of The Area
The area now comprising the “Bagh” district had been a part of the “Poonch” state (occupied Kashmir) before independence and had been a tehsil of the “Poonch” district till 1987. The same year Bagh district was created consisting of three sub-divisions namely Dhirkot, Bagh, and Haveli with its headquarters at Bagh. It is said that a Bagh (garden) was set up by the landowner, where now the premises of the Forest Department are located. Resultantly, the area was named “Bagh”, which is now the district headquarters. It is bounded on the north by Muzaffarabad district, on the east by the occupied state of Jammu and Kashmir on the south by Poonch District, and on the west by Rawalpindi and Abbottabad Districts of Pakistan
Topographically, the entire Bagh district is a mountainous area, generally sloping from northeast to southwest. The area falls in the lesser Himalayas zone. The main range in the district is Pir-Panjal. The Haji-Pir Pass is situated at a height of 3421 meters above sea level. The general elevation is between 1500 and 2500 meters above sea level. Mountains are generally covered with coniferous forests. Mahl Nala in the Bagh sub-division and Betar Nala in the Haveli sub-division are the two main streams. However, other numerous rivulets flow in the district.
The climate of the district varies with altitude. The temperature generally remains between 2°c to 40°c. The main eastern part of the district is very cold in winter and moderate in summer. However, in lower valleys, the localities bordering Bagh at Kohala and its adjoining areas (Mongbajri and Ajra-Bagh) remain cold in winter and hot in summer. May, June, and July are the hottest months. Maximum and minimum temperatures during the month of June are about 40°C and 22°C respectively. December, January, and February are the coldest months. The maximum temperature in January is about 16°C and the minimum temperature is 3°C respectively. The annual precipitation is about 1500 millimeters.
Pine, kail, fir, and other trees like poplar, shisham, kikar, willow, walnut, ban-ashore, chinar, and mannu are found in abundance in the district. Among flowers zianna, dahlia, merry gold, cosmos, daffodil, aster, and roses of different kinds are found in the district. Mostly the population of the rural areas is eagerly devoted to a plantation of fruit plants to meet the needs of people. For this purpose, agricultural and fruit nurseries have been established by the Agriculture Department. Wildlife of the district is mostly confined in the Haveli range where Markhore, Himalayan thar, leopard cat, and bear are found. Among birds murgh zareen, chakore, and moned pheasant are available. Murgh zareen and shahin are confined to forests at high hills and chakore is commonly found in the lower plants.
The major crops of the district are maize and wheat but in some places rice, gram, bajra, and jawar are also cultivated. Pulses of different kinds are also grown in different areas of the district. Similarly, the soil of the district is also ideal for sunflower, mustard, and basmati rice. Ponies and donkeys are kept for carrying loads. Buffalos and sheep/goats are kept almost in every home for milk and other dairy products.
The major tribes of the district are Mughals, Rajputs, Gujars, Syeds, Abass Sudhans, Awans and Khawajas. They all live peacefully like brothers. The people of the area are known for their valor, chivalry, and shrewdness. They are martial people, hospitable and considerate, although poor.
Bagh is linked with Pakistan’s national grid system. The distribution network within the city and the rest of the district is the responsibility of the AJ&K Electricity Department. According to DCR 1998, overall 68.27% of the district area enjoys the benefit of electricity as the source of lighting. In rural areas, the percentage stood at 66.53% and for urban it was 97.78%. However, reportedly prior to the earthquake and even after the earthquake, almost 100% population of District Bagh had access to electricity. There are two 33KV Grid Stations in the Electricity Division Bagh i.e. one at Bagh and the other at Minhasa.