Monday 28 October 2013

2--My Motor-Biking Expedition through Old Mughal Road - 2


 Our Proposed en-route plan for the day-2 ride (22nd july 2012.) is--

 Jammu---Akhnoor---Chooki choora---Kalidhar---Bhamla---Sunderbani---Baripatan---Nowshera--- Chengus---Rajouri---Thanamandi---Deera Gali

Since the whole stretch of the Mughla Road is narrow and very dangerous. And on top of this, the month of July is a rainy season with a heavy  down pour of slashing torrential rains and frightening thunder storms. That too all along the whole stretch, it is full of dangerous landslides, endless stretches of mud roads that too are full of sticky, sliding mud slush with endless invisible big & deep potholes. At some places, practically there are no visible roads at all (the proof of these you can see in my picture photographs that I have pasted in my, this blog). So, for all of us, It was a dreadful anxiety of mixed feelings of fearful trauma that in case of any fatal road accident, en-route there is going to be no medical facilities available and no villagers  will come to our immediate rescue, because en-route the whole stretch of road  is hardly uninhabited. And even In case of any break down of our motor bikes, no mechanics would come to our rescue, because en-route there exists no motor bike mechanics at all. Same time we were dreadfully scared to travel on this route, because nearly all these mountainous terrines are  densely infested by dreadful, hardcore, trigger-happy, Pakistani trained terrorists.  But still the thrill of braving the unknown dreadful dangers, pumped more adrenaline into our mind, body and soul and just like the dare devils, all of us were game for any dangerous natural and unnatural challenges. Like any die-hard motor biking enthusiasts, We just rode without thinking any negative. To boost our morals, all of us lifted our tight fist-arms, high up into the sky and roared in unison, “ Lets GO”. It was some thing like a conviction of a Dare-Devil like, unbroken pledge that come what may we will bravely face the un-predictive en-route challenges.

 Starting From Jammu on 22nd July 2012

Previous night we couldn't sleep well, may be because all of us were equally anxious with the anxiety, what worst may happen en-route.  So because of that anxiety, all of us got up earlier than at what time we had scheduled to wake up. After cold water bath, we packed our baggage and roped them to our respective motor bikes. It was a clear day, so we just kept rain Jackets handy, in case of rain.

So, today on 22st of July 2012 morning, after our heavy breakfast at our Parimoo house, round about at 9:30 A.M. under the combined banner of our Royal Enfield motor Biking club called as “(URU) United Riders Udupi ”, as well as Environment Awareness Form, (J & K), under the SLOGAN of “SAVE HIMALAYA”, we, Ashok Parimoo, Bushan Parimoo, Krishna Hebbar, Kiran Kinni, Ganesh and Abhimanyu, with best wishes for our safe Journey, we were flagged off, by our neighbors, friends & relatives, at UNO lane Talab-Tillo, Jammu Tawi- (J & K state). 

Note :-- This Road from Akhnoor all along up to Poonch runs through highly volatile (LOC) India Pakistan Boarder. The crow flying distance, all along this Mughal Road that runs in between  India and Pakistan highly volatile boarder, varies from 3 to 5 Km. only. The hostilities of volatility is in  this picture.


With the full thrilling excitement, we moderately throttled our motor-bikes on fairly fine road from Jammu to Akhnoor . Since Krishna Hebbar, Abhimanuyu, Ganesh and Bushan Parimoo were ridding on their maiden adventurous ride that too on the toughest mountainous rugged and dangerous roads. So, in their maiden riding excitement it was a mixed feeling of the unknown danger and thrilling adventure.

Though the distance from Jammu to Akhnoor is only about 30 Km, but because of very heavy traffic of continues  running of Army convoy of trucks as well as endless civilian transport systems on either side of this road, we took nearly little more than one hour. All along on the both sides of the road, there were endless rows of good concrete houses in the villages. Looking around at the cluster of TV dish antenna discs, fitted on roof top of practically every village house, I am sure all these villages must be having the basic modern amenities such as electricity,  TV set, a Refrigerator, etc. Now since there is a new  big cemented bridge constructed on river Chenab, so just to avoid the congested and  narrow main town of Akhnoor, we took the route of the new bridge, which acts as a bypass for Akhnoor town.

From Akhnoor right upto the end of Poonch town, i.e. all along the India and Pakistan Boarder, called as LOC (Line Of Control). On either side of the road there are Army camps,  Army cantonments, Army Brigade head quarters and round the clock nonstop activities of Army trucks carrying fresh supplies of Army Jawans, Food, Ration and Ammunition.  When we outsiders, first timers, look at it, to all of us who enter here in this region, we get scared thinking as if we are crossing some kind of WAR Zone. But then at the same time we Indians are very proud of our Jawans, who guard our mother India’s territories, even at the cost of sacrificing their own valuable lives. We all Indians owe them gratitude of very high esteem of respect. We salute them by roaring at the top of our voice “JAI  JAWAN” 

Brief Introduction of AKHNOOR :---

This town is situated on the bank of river Chenab. The popular story of how “VIRAT NAGAR” got its name converted to Akhnoor, is that the Mughal Emperor Jahangir’s wife had a vision problem. It was prescribed by a local Hindu priest who was also a very renowned Ayurveda doctor of his times. He advised if she washes her eyes with the holy water of the Chenab River, using particular Ayurvedic medicine  which he had prescribed, her vision would restore. The queen followed the advise of the Hindu preiest and she regained her vision to perfection. In Udrdu “Noor” means vision and “Akh” means eyes. So the town was renamed as  AKHNOOR.

Kalidhar Ghatty

After  travelling for more than 20 Km from Akhnoor, we start riding on a steep up climbing motor-able road which runs through the mountainous zig-Jag windings road that passes through the dangerous Kalidhar Ghat. Here at this kalidhar Ghat there used to occur  many fatal accidents where many travelers, specially the Army Jawans who while traveling by Army trucks would fall deep down through the mountains deep gorges  and would eventually die.  After the construction of this Kali-Devi's temple at Kalidhar accidental spot, the number of fatal accidents have practically reduced to nil. Almost every one who travels through this ghat, stops here at the Kali Devi's temple, just to take blessings for every ones onward sate journey.

Bushan Parimoo has a friend here by the name SURAJ PRAKASH, who is a retired army officer and is also an ardent environmentalist. Here adjutant to the Kali temple, there is a small time road side tea shop, where we had delicious hot tea, hot Paneer-Pakodas, local sweet barffi  and aloo-parontha. It was so refreshing that we got fully charged for the onward travel with full enthusiasm.  


 Sunderbani is a beautiful small India Pakistan boarder town on Pooch Highway. It’s surrounded by thick pine forest and high mountains. Since there is nothing much of a tourist spots, so we rode through the town without stopping. That's why I have not written any thing more about this small town.  


By the time we reached chingus, it was well passed lunch time and practically all of us were nearly famished. Right opposite to Emperor Jahangir's tomb there is a resturant which severs all types of freshly cooked hot food and also sevrves whatever breverages any one desires. We took nearly one hour's break to refresh and finsh our lunch.

Chingus  Fort or Chingus Sarai, is an ancient fort in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir. The fort dates back to the 16th century. Chingus was used by Mughal emperor as rest camp or transit camp during their annual journey to Kashmir. It is a well planned edifice of Mughal architectural style that having two apartments. The name Chingus carries an interesting history of Mughal kingdom. It has been derived from Persian word 'Chingus', which means intestines. The fort complex houses one of the two graves of Mughal Emperor Jahangir, who died enroute from Kashmir to Delhi. Other one is in Lahore, Pakistan. In order to avoid succession war, Noor Jahan buried the intestine and other abdominal parts of the emperor in the premises of the sarai and protects the body from decay

Ralouri :--

The district Rajouri has distinctive history. The remnants of various structures built during the Moughal era are reminiscent of glorious past of Rajouri earlier known as Rajapura and was an area of importance in ancient times Based on Mahabartha evidence and the evidences from the Chinese traveler Yuan Chawang, the district of Rajouri, Poonch and Abhisara had been under the sway of Republic of Kambojas, during epic times. Around Rajouri district there are plenty of tourist sight seeing spots around here . It's a district head quarter which has many tourist sight seeing spots around here. Few of which are described bellow.  

                                                      Usman Memorial;---

Usman Memorial, has been constructed at Jhangar in the memory of Brig. Usman who was mainly responsible for freeing the captured area around Jhangar, in 1947 war by Pakistani army. After having captured this strategic area, Brig. Usman convened a conference of army officers to decide future course of action. Meanwhile, he fell to heavy shelling of the enemy on 3rd July 1948. This great memorial is maintained by the Infantry Unit located at Jhangar. The heroic deeds of army men as well as civilians who died while fighting in this area are commemorated every year on 3rd July as “Jhangar Day.”  

Dhandidhar Fort.:---

Dhandidhar is a historical monument located on a hill in the vicinity of Rajouri town. This fort was probably constructed by Mughal king during the reign of Emperor Jahangir nearly 400 years back. It is just 2 Kms away from Rajouri presenting panoramic and impressive view of the entire area. This is a tourist spot.


L oran is a small town situated 34 Kms north of Poonch town. It was once the capital of Poonch state under Hindu ruler  up to 1542. According to Rajatarangini, it was then known as Lohar Kote. There are ruins of the Lohar Kote fort which was called as Gateway of Kashmir but now it is destroyed. At this fort, Raja Trilochan Pal defeated Sultan Mohmood Gazanavi. This spot is surrounded by thick forests and some snow clad peaks. The remnants of fortified Mughal inns are a pleasant reflection of the glorious days of the place when it used to be a camping site for the royal Mughal entourage proceeding toward Kashmir valley


Surankot is called as mimi Kashmir, and is always compared with Phalgam of Srinagar, There are not much of tourist spots around here..

Deera Gali

Deera Gali is a very scenic small hamlet which is thickly surrounded with lush green pine forests and is situated at top tip of the mountain. It’s the place where we stayed for the first night. Here forest department has constructed four beautiful cottages naming them after the Himalayan forest trees, PINE, FIR, DEVDAR and OAK . By the time we reached here at Deera Gali, it was around about 6:30 in the evening, that for this lonely place was quite late. Ater checking in, for the first time we realized that the fasting month of Muslims called as “Ramdan” had started. And during this fasting month no cooked foods are available in whole of the Kasmiri valley. Since it was sun set by the time we reached these cottages. Kiran had to rush back some 8 Km. down to the town to buy some available provisions for cooking. The dinner was cooked by the government employed care taker of those cottages. The delicious dinner was served by 8:30. It was Yummy hot vegetarian dinner. The night stay in these cottages was amazingly refreshing and cozy. All of us slept like a dead man.

Deera Gali is a lesser know place. It’s actually a narrow pass which connects Rajouri and Surankote to Buffliaz. Though the road is fully tarred, but the gradient is so steep that it may be easily somewhere in between 60 to 70 degree up. 

All along the district of Rajouri & Poonch, the dialects such as Gujri, Pahari and Dogri are much spoken at the informal level. Gujri is mainly spoken by the Gujjars and Bakarwals tribes who are known for herding goats, sheep and horses. However, the fine line between Gujjar and Bakarwal tribes is that the former trade in Milk and milk products and are farmers also as they own pieces of land. While latter are nomads who trade and herd sheep and goats. The population is officially divided along the religious lines – though religiously diverse masses normally live in peace and harmony. The total population  roughly is 60% Muslim, 37% Hindu, 2% Sikhs and others

Chapter-1, Mughal Road link

Chapter-3, Mughal Road link




  1. I feel like going through these places, of course, not in a bike, Quite descriptive and thrilling. Thank you for taking us to unknown regions. Keep informative.

  2. Amazing.... dad....keep up this great work....

  3. picture of hillock adjutant rather part of Dera Gali, called Tooudaa, in Gujjari means fog, this mount is in early morning covered usually in a fine white blanket of fog, which Ashok had clicked but is not found here , any way narration is as superb as pictures

  4. Though I clicked the pictures in the morning also but maybe on that particular day there was no fog.
    Any way Bushan Parimoo thanks for the complements

  5. Very nice blog Ashok sahib. Keep writing. We have a lot in common!
    Gharib Hanif