Muzaffarabad district consists of Muzaffarabad city, which is the capital of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and suburban areas. The name Muzaffarabad is derived from its founder’s name Sultan Muzaffar Khan. The district was administratively divided into three sub-divisions: Muzaffarabad, Hattian, and Authmaqam up to 2004. After the establishment of District Neelum, it retained two sub-divisions as Authmuqam was included in District Neelum. As a result, now district Neelum, too, has two sub-divisions: Sharda and Athmuqam.
The city of Muzaffarabad is located at the confluence of the Jhelum and Neelum rivers. North of The district Muzaffarabad is much colder than the south. The mean maximum and minimum Temperatures during the month of July are about 35°c and 23°c; and in January 16°c and 3°c respectively. The average annual precipitation of the district is 1511mm. Among the mountains are valleys and terraces used for cultivation. The main crops are maize, Wheat, rice, oil seed, potato, pulses, and a variety of vegetables. Besides, the area is famous for Fruits such as apples, walnuts, pears, plums,s and apricots.
The two rivers passing through the valley, Jehlum and Neelum, originate from Indian-Occupied Kashmir. There is no extensive canal system and farming is largely dependent on Rainwater and small channels connected to perennial water sources. The district is blessed with rich forest which covers 59% of the area and is a major source of income. Important tree species are Deodar, Blue Pine, Fir (Spruce), and Chir among the coniferous trees, and Walnut, Ash, Maple, Poplar, Willow, and Oak among the broad-leaved trees.
Muzaffarabad also has rich mineral deposits such as Limonite, Marble, Ruby, Green Tourmaline, and Dolomite.
Being the capital city Muzaffarabad is not only the hub of political and cultural activities but also serves as a base camp for tourists. It has various spots for leisure. Viewpoint Sathra, a public place, unravels the panorama of the entire city before a beholder. The junction point of the rivers Neelum and Jhelum presents a magical beauty from here. Lohar Gali, situated 9 kilometers from Muzaffarabad on Abbottabad road. The Red Fort is a witness to the ancient history of this great city. The local market in Muzaffarabad can be explored for walnut carvings, Kashmiri shawls, and other traditional handicrafts. It is always possible to get a good bargain. It has besides official buildings; farms, parks, and a historic fort standing on the bank of the Neelum. Shopping is an exciting activity in Muzaffarabad and you can shop for Kashmiri shawls and walnut carvings.
Touring in the city is also easy and convenient as there are wide modes of transportation available. Travelers who wish to tour Muzaffarabad should have proper information about the city and keep the travel tips in mind for a safe and enjoyable tour.
Past the Red Fort, crossing Neelum River at Ghori, a few km away is ‘Makra mountain’ 3,890 meters which is visible from Muzaffarabad and continues on to Shogran in the Kaghan Valley. This is a superb short trek, although you need to camp overnight halfway.
The upper Jhelum valley makes another interesting scenic excursion from Muzaffarabad. Follow the Jhelum upstream, taking the road beneath the Domel bridge. This was the old route to Srinagar. The valley is broad with raised terraces above the river.