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Mund Daji: A lesser known picnic spot

Mund Daji - A lesser known picnic spot

Dr. Zubair Ahmad War

Kashmir is famous for the gardens built by Mughal emperors, mostly located in the capital Srinagar. Hill stations such as Gulmarg, Sonamarg, and Pahalgam are famous for their scenic beauty. It is said that Kashmir’s Emperor Yousuf Shah Chak was fond of Gulmarg and used to frequent it along with Empress Habba Khatoon. Mughals too were interested in this place. During British rule, the Englishmen built Golf Courses and Ski Club in picturesque Gulmarg. Even after the British era, Gulmarg received due attention, and Cable Car Project, Gandola, and other facilities were introduced here.

Similarly, Sonamarg happened to be the gateway of the ancient Silk Route that connected Kashmir with Ladakh whereas Pahalgam is everyone’s favorite. Apart from these established, conventional, and famous tourist places, there are a number of locations in Kashmir Valley with bewitching beauty which for one or the other reason have not received the due fame.

Recently I got an opportunity of visiting Gulmarg. But the exciting trip turned boring as construction work of culverts was going on at certain places leading to traffic jams which spoiled the outing. After that, given the rush of the public, the entry at Gulmarg was curtailed owing to COVID-19 reasons. Few days thereafter I got an opportunity of visiting a lesser-known picnic spot called Mund Daji located in the Rafiabad region of Baramulla. It was my maiden visit to Mund Daji, the trip was smooth and I was astonished by the serene locales.

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There are many attractions in the Rafiabad area including Bosian, Gabiwar, Viji, Khahmoha, Kokarwan, Saterwan, and Gurudwara Tapyana Sahib Shalkote. The topography of Rafiabad is divided into two belts: upper and lower belt. The lower belt is densely populated with many orchards. The upper belt starts from Dangiwacha onwards and is surrounded by beautiful mountain peaks clad with snow throughout the year.

Mund Daji is located 32 km from Baramulla, lies west to Pazalpora village, and is 17 km away from Dangiwacha, a place founded by Sofi saint Khwaja Yousuf Shah around 400 years ago. Mund Dajii is a plain area of around 125 acres surrounded by Pine, Kail, and Burza trees. Mund Daji is almost 8000 feet above sea level and is surrounded by snow-clad Qazinag peaks. Qazinag is at the top of the beautiful valley where the Humal and Gasji streams are formed.

Mund Dajii is said to be a combination of Gulmarg and Pahalgam as it not only has lush green meadows but the beautiful Hamal stream with crystal clear waters adds to the charm of the place. Mund Dajii is frequented by the residents of adjoining places such as the Baramulla, Handwara, and Sopore regions.

We need to explore and promote unconventional and lesser-known areas such as Mund Dajii as picnic spots. Their promotion will lead to the development of these regions, provide livelihood opportunities to the locals, benefit nearby picnickers, and will also lessen the burden on the already famous picnic spots of the Valley.