Mystic beauty of Tangdhar

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Sunil Vaid
‘There is a pleasure in the pathless words, there is a rupture in the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the sea and music in its roar; I love not man less, but nature more.’ -Lord Byron. Tangdhar is a small village in Karnah tehsil of Kupwara District in U.T of Jammu and Kashmir. The village is located at a distance of around 67 km from Kupwara. While my posting in Kupwara I visited the beautiful place so many times on official duties. Tangdhar is perfect to make one feel good and comfortable to enjoy the Sun’s scorching rays, water activities, natural beauty, lush green fields with serendipity around. This place has so much to offer to those who look for natural beauty. Remembering my first visit is really nostalgic.
After crossing Kupwara town, one comes across smooth terrain roads with rows of fully grown trees on both sides, farm lands on the plains and peaks of snow-capped mountains at a distance crossing the streams intermittently. Mystic beauty of the pines forests with butterfly soft tarmac was so inviting that I was fascinated by the sheer beauty and calmness of the route. All I could hear was gushing streams towards left and rumblings of pine trees swaying in the wind as of wanting to tell something.
After crossing Tiker (Kheerbhawani temple), Trehgam, Kralpora and Panzgam we reached Sadhna top, the highlight of the journey to Tangdhar. Sadhna top via mountain pass at height of around 10, 000 ft on the way to Tangdhar. It has been named Sadhna pass after a veteran actress Sadhna, who had visited this place after 1971 Indo-Pak War to boost the morale of the brave soldiers. It is one of the major points of interest for locals as well as tourists alike .Sadhna Top gives fascinating panoramic scenes of all the nearby mountain ranges. One can even get glimpse of mountain peaks of (PoK).The pass is a difficult terrain and known to have claimed lives. We had a rest for a while in the Army’s rest-house maintained beautifully. One room has a display of portraits of the veteran actress Sadhna, history of Sadhna pass and stories of the brave soldiers. A cup of tea and warm hospitality of the staff was remarkable. Quality of the road is good upto Sadhna Pass, but after Sadhna pass, the journey is zigzag, treacherous and uncomfortable.
Reaching the foothills of the mountains after a nerve testing decline, the main village of Tangdhar was not very far. I along with my team members reached MES Guest House in the evening. As I sat on a chair in the lawn , keeping my feet on the railing and hands holding cup of piping hot Kehwa, the drizzle had stopped .The only sound I could hear was of gushing stream just behind the guest house, dark clouds gave way to the snow capped mountains peaks. Although I could not see the sunset, the golden glow of the peaks was nonetheless magical. Tangdhar town placed in Tangdhar block of Kupwara District, has 41 persons out of almost 5000 employed. People are lovable, hospitable, cooperative, simple and mostly involved in agriculture.
Next day we visited Teetwal which is special because it is the last Indian village before LoC on the North- West frontier of Kashmir. The place is beautifully maintained by the Army as Brigade headquarters are stationed here. Hats off to our gallant soldiers guarding our borders from the enemy in extreme treacherous conditions. What fascinated me was that from Teetwal I could see thriving village, busy highway, and lush green farmlands in Pakistan (PoK) right across the Krishan Ganga river. Literacy rate of Teetwal is 73.5 per cent. Pakistan troops often violate ceasefire in the sector disrupting the peace in the area. Chilhana Teetwal is the crossing point between India and Pakistan where people cross the bridge built on Krishan Ganga river on foot to reach other side of Kashmir. Usually a huge gathering of people from both sides of LoC is witnessed on designated occasions to welcome or bid adieu to guests by hugging and other gestures.
A sudden gust cool breeze jerks me back and joy of hidden pleasures in all their varied memories of cheerful nostalgia for those lovely days full of passion and longing. Association of lovely people and the scenic beauty are close to my heart. Spring is almost here and I wish visiting Tangdhar again.