People of Poonch

By Sanjeev Nayyar [email protected] | 2014

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Poonch is in the north-western corner of India, very close to the border with Pakistan. It is about 240 kms from Jammu. Drive is very scenic. Whilst travelling always get up by 6 am and go for a walk in the market. Was happy to meet this group who readily posed for a picture.

Border trade (barter) takes place from the Cross LOC Trade Centre ie a few kms away from Poonch town. Sign board there. Poonch is home to seven beautiful lakes for eg Sukhsar, Neelsar, Bhagsar, Katorasar, Nandansar etc at app height of 12,000 feet. Locals said u need to trek to reach there but did not know much. Hope State Govt promotes tourism to these lakes.

Poonch is known for the very old Shri Dashnami Akada. I reached the Akada at about 6.15 am to hear scriptures being recited. U see a devotee in the Akada complex. Chudas (red bangles) that you see in her hand indicate she is newly wed. ''During 1760, a well-known religious guru, Swami Jawahar Giri Ji came here. Rustam Khan, who was the emperor of Poonch that time, visited here to pay his tribute to Swami Ji.''

Brother sister going to school/tuitions early morning.

It was apple season. People from Valley come in vehicles like these, full of apples. Rate was Rs 30/ a kg. Wish could have carried 10 kgs back home. Catch is you cannot select apples just buy lump sum.

Bakerwals or Shepherds somewhere in Poonch. We met them virtually all through the journey esp in higher reaches. Since it had begun to snow they were moving downhill with goat/sheep.My driver said that a normal shepherd had app 500 goats, many of them were very very rich do not go by their clothing.

We were driving to the border, met these locals who belong to the Gurjar community.

Ladies initially reluctant to being clicked but eventually agreed. Realized that best time to click is when they least expect to be clicked.

School girls covered their heads with dupatta and moved away when I asked if they are ok being clicked.

Loved the look of this person who belongs to the Gurjar community.

There is a Sheesh Mahal ruin in Poonch next to which is a school. U see a cross-section of girl students. There are a number of Punjabis Sardars in Poonch, mostly Brahmin Sikhs.

Just outside our hotel was this person selling apples.

Entrance to the Shri Dashnami Akada. Picture on each side of entrance is that of a respected Guruji who is highly respected in Jammu region and beyond. His name is Rajguru Mahamandleshwar Shri Shri 108 Shri Swami Vishwatamanand Saraswati Maharaj and is currently on the seat of Shri Dashnami Akhara Mandir.

Local lady giving water to Tulsi plant against temple backdrop.

Happy to see a HDFC Bank branch there. ATM worked and very impressive branch. It was the only private sector branch that I saw, bang in the market. To see pics of Nangali Sahib Gurudwara i.e. close to PoonchClick here

View of drive to Sinthan Top. To see pics of Sinthan Top Click here