Mirpur district comprises partly plain and partly hilly areas. Its hot climate and
other geographical conditions closely resemble those of Jhelum and Gujrat, the adjoining
districts of Pakistan. The people of this area are basically farmers. Since the 1960s, a
large number of people from this district have gone abroad , especially to the United
Kingdom and the Middle East, for economic reasons. As such they are today the major
foreign exchange earning source for Azad Kashmir and Pakistan. Around 50,000 people were
moved from this district in the mid-sixties to make way for the construction of Mangla
Dam. Most of these people settled in new Mirpur whilst some moved to Pakistan and the UK.
Mirpur city is situated at 459m above sea-level and is linked with the main Peshawar-Lahore Grand Trunk road at Dina. The building of the new city in late sixties paved the way for new Mirpur situated on the banks of Mangla lake. The city was well planned and the buildings are mostly of modern design. Mirpur is developing into an industrial city very rapidly. Textile, vegetable ghee, logging and sawmills, soap, cosmetics, marble, ready-made garments, matches, rosin, turpentine and Vespa scooter industrial units have already been established in the area.
Mangla is a small but beautiful modern town situated 16Km from Mirpur at the mouth of the Mangla Dam.The construction of the Dam reservoir, which has a perimeter of 400Km, has turned it into a place of interest. A castle situated on the lake-side serves as a historical back-drop.
8Km from Mirpur is Khari Sharif. Known for housing the Shrine of the Sufi Saint
known as Baba Pir-e-Shah Ghazi (Damrian Wali Sarkar). The place acts as a great seat of
learning for students of Islam. Darvishs (disciples) of the Saint can be seen today
wandering in AJK and Pakistan. Also at Khari Sharif is the Shrine of the late Mian
Mohammed Baksh who wrote the famous tale Saif-ul-Muluk. This tells of a Prince who fell in
love with a fairy called Badi Jamal who he saw in a dream. The story chronicals his
travels in search of the fairy and the spiritual lessons he learns on the way.
Bhimber is a
sub-division (Thesil) of the district, situated 50Km from Mirpur. The area is very rich in
archaeological remains. Bhimber falls on on the route that was followed by the Moghul
rulers of India for their frequent visits to the Kashmir Valley.
situated at 975m above sea-level in the Samahni valley. The Sar, local name for a lake, is
nearly half kilometre long sheet of clear water that soothes the senses of the visitor. On
top of a hill is the famous Moghul Fort over-looking the lake that adds grandeur to the
area. This four storey massive structure of granite is a feat of Mughal engineering that
has stood the ravages of time. It has also played important roles in history during the
times of Ahmed Shah Abdali, Ranjit Singh and Gulab Singh. It is said that the Mughal
Emperor Janghir, on his way back from the Kashmir Valley, fell ill and ultimately died in
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