Photographer's Note

This road here on the other side connects to the Mughal road. Which is some where across these mountains.

Moghul Road is the road between Bafliaz, a town in the Poonch district, to Shopian district in the Kashmir valley. The road is 84km long, and situated in the Jammu and Kashmir state of India. It passes over Pir Panjal Mountain range, at altitude of 11,500 ft (3505 m), that is higher than Banihal pass (2832 m).
The road brings the Poonch and Rajouri district closer to Srinagar in Kashmir valley. The distance between Srinagar and Poonch will be reduced from 588km to 126km. It makes for alternate road route to Kashmir valley from rest of India, other than over-crowded Jammu-Srinagar Highway through Jawahar Tunnel (Banihal Tunnel) (National Highway 1A). The road passes through Buffliaz, Behramgalla, Chandimarh,Poshana, Chattapani, Peer Ki Gali, Aliabad, Zaznar, Dubjan, Heerpora and Shopian.

The road was historically used by Moghul emperors to travel and conquer Kashmir during the sixteenth century. It was the route used by Akbar the Great to conquer Kashmir in 1586, and his son Emperor Jahangir died while returning from Kashmir on this road near Rajouri

The new road was proposed in the 1950s, with the intention of improving the economy of Poonch and Rajouri districts. Then Chief Minister Sheikh Abdullah had taken up this project in 1979 and named it "Mughal Road", but it came to halt as militancy took over. Bafliaz Bridge on the road was blown up by the militants.

The construction of the prestigious project was started in 2005 with a target of completion in March 2007 and an estimated cost of INR 255 crores. The road cuts through Hirpora wildlife sanctuary. Initially, there was opposition to the construction of the road because it would fragment the wildlife and inhibit movement of animals, especially the endangered Markhor goat in the region. Also, opponents claimed the road will get early snowfall in winter and hence will not serve as an alternate route to existing Jammu-Srinagar highway. Finally Supreme Court gave conditional permission for the construction of the road. The construction work was completed on 4th December 2008, it is proposed to be open to traffic by summer of 2010 for light vehicles. Double lane road has already been completed as of August 2012.

Beginning 2010, Mughal Road Car Rally is being organized every year covering 600 km including the picturesque stretch through Pir Panjal.

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