Thursday, July 2, 2020
Jammu and Kashmir


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Jammu Province

The strip of level land at the northernmost extremity of the plains of the Punjab which touches the low ridges of the hills and spreads over a large tract, constitutes what is called the "region of the outer hills." Varying in height  from 60 m to 1,200 m above the sea level, these rugged hills run parallel to one another enclosing small, narrow valleys.

The province of Jammu lies between the "outer hills" region bounding the valley of Kashmir in the south, and the hilly tract extending to the plains of the Punjab. The river Ravi flows in the east of this region and the river Jhelum in the west. The river Chenab issues forth from the mountain into the plains near the town of Akhnur and flows through the Jammu district before entering the plains of the Punjab.

The "outer hills" region consists of Kdhampur, Ramnagar, and Rampur. The rugged hills give way in the north and north-east to the outer hills of the Shiwaliks, 1,200 m to 3,600 m above the sea level. There is a continuous rise in elevation to what are conveniently called the "middle hills" or the middle Himalayas. In this region lie the districts of Batote, Bhadarwah, Kishtwar, Doda, and Ramban.

Jammu city, the winter capital of the state, stands on the spurs of a rugged hill overlooking the plains and the river Tawi. The city is about 300 m above the sea level and about 4 km wide. According to 1991 census, the city had a population of 1,207,996. The prominent features of the city are its temples, whose pointed spires can be seen from afar. Other towns in this plain, and to the east of the river Chenab are Basoli, Ramkot, Ramnagr, and Samba and to the west of Chenab, Akhnur and Bhimber.

The Jammu district occupies an area of 26,089.4 sq km. The relief features of the province provide interesting climatic as well as floral phenomena. There is a sort of wind divide starting from Poonch and extending to the southern edge of  the Pir Panjal. The area has summer precipitation. As in the plains, the south-west monsoons cause rain in the "outer plains" area and the "outer hills" region. As the altitude rises towards the "middle mountains" area of Batote, Bhadarwah, Kishtwar, Padar, and Banihal, the summer rainfall averages 45 inches (113 cm).  Riasi and Poonch get more than 60 inches (150 cm) of rainfall annually. The "outer plains" areas of Ramnagar, Ramkot, Samba, Basoli, Akhnur, and Bhimber experience the extremes of tropical heat. The average annual rainfall in Jammu district is nearly 45 inches (113 cm). The hot season lasts from April to June, followed by the rainy season from July to September. Winter lasts from October to March.

There is a luxurious growth of vegetation all over the "outer hill" and the "middle mountains" areas which is mostly of tropical variety. The upper reaches of the mountains are thickly covered with coniferous forests. The lower regions have forests of silver fir, deodar, spruce, oak, and pine. The best varieties of pine and deodar are found in the dense forests of Kishtwar and Bhadarwah. The "plain area" bounds in cactus varieties of bushes and trees.

The main crops in the Jammu valley are maize, rice, millet, barley, and wheat.

Jammu province is rich in minerals coal, bauxite, copper, zinc, and lead are abundant. Sapphire mines are located at higher elevations in the Papar valley. Semi - precious stones like beryl and aquamarine and crystals like quartz and felopar are also found in the region. Riasi has coal, gem stones, gypsum, clay, copper, bauxite, and iron ore.

Though little known, the tableland of Kishtwar is flanked by the high and steep mountains of the "middle mountains" region, the highest point being 4,089 km above sea level.  It has an area of 7,311 sq km. Kistwar is famous for mines of sapphire and rubies. The climate is pleasant and bracing in summer and cold in winter. 

Kishtwar and Bhadarwah, with heavily forested mountains are regular haunts of hunters. They can  hunt  panthers, black and  red bear, wild goat, ibex, musk deer, wolf, barasingha, pig, Himalayan chamois, leopard, etc. In the river beds, swamps and low forests, a variety of winged game-duck, goose, chakor, monal pheasant, partridge and snipe are found in preserves for sportsmen.

Saffron is grown here. Black cumin, medicinal herbs like banafsha, kahzaban, dhoop, musk, bala, artemesia and belladonna are grown in the region. Narcotic herbs are also found. Blankets and  leather  goods of the region are famous.