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Location of Udhampur District within Jammu & Kashmir state
Udhampur is a district in Jammu and Kashmirmarker. The town of Udhampurmarker is the headquarters of this district.

The 2001 census indicates the population of the district to be just over 743,509. There are 871 females for every 1000 males in the district. The overall literacy rate is 54.16%, with 66.43% for males and 39.89% for females. The majority of the population of the district practise Hinduism. Majority are of Dogras in this district. There are a large number of nomadic Gujjar's and Bakarwal's present in the district as well. Hindus are 542,593, Muslims 190,112 (25.56%).

The major languages spoken in the district are Dogri, Hindi, Urdu, and Kashmiri.

The Vaishno Devi shrine is a very important shrine for the Hindus and the most famous tourist attraction of this district. Patnitop and Sudh Mahadev are also very famous tourist places.

Major attractions in Udhampur city include Gole Market, Devika Ghats, Jakahni Park, Ramnagar chowk (Pandav mandir nd Kachalu), Salain Talab, Main Bazar and now Railway Station as well.

Weather conditions

Temperature varies considerably in the various parts of Udhampur District, as the altitude ranges from 600 m to 3,000 m above the sea level. The Chenab, Ans, Tawi and Ujh are the main rivers. The district is rich in minerals such as coal, bauxite, gypsum and lime-stone.

Administration

Udhampur district comprises 7 tehsils: Chenanimarker, Gool, Gulabgarh, Ramnagarmarker,Majalta, Katra and Udhampurmarker.

This district consists of 7 blocks: Dudu Basantgarh, Gordi, Chenani, Majalta, Panchari, Ramnagar and Udhampur. Each block consists of a number of panchayats.

Population

Population:- AS PER CENSUS OF INDIA

Persons 743,509

Males 399,686

Females 343,823

Growth (1991 - 2001) 26.95

Sex ratio (females per 1000 males) 860

Sex ratio (0-6 years) 930

Rural 626,882

Urban 116,627

Scheduled Caste population 142,061(Percentage to total population 19.11)

Scheduled Tribe population 1 09,867(Percentage to total population 1 4.78)

Literacy and education level

Literates Educational Level attainedPersons 343,429

Males 225,888

Females 117,541

Literacy rate :-

Primary 90,460

Persons 55.21

Males 67.07

Females 41.20

Tourist attractions

The most famous among the historical places and monuments are the Babore Temples, Krimchi Temples, Sheesh Mahal of Ramnagar, Ramnagar Fort, shrines of Chountra Devi and Pingla Devi, and Reasi Fort. Tourist spots include Patnitop, Sanasar, and Latti.

Temples

Devika , Babore Temples Kansar Devta's Shrine, Shiv Khori Cave Temple,Bhairav Ghati, Krimchi Temples, Shiv Parvathi Cave ShrineCairhai, Mutal Pingla Devi Shrine, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi ShrineDeva Mayi Maa Temple, Sheshnag Shrine

Land Of DeVikaUdhampur is also known as DEVIKA NAGARI.

Frdedrik Drew, a British scholar who visited Purmandal in the year 1828, states that the entire place was agog with life and activity and pilgrims were bathing on the sands and Devika river. Shops were installed in its middle and looked as if a festival was going on.

He further writes that behind the beautiful houses, sand stone background and gatherings of happy people created a delighting atmosphere. Nothing had changed since then and the beautiful imposing buildings were existing though decaying due to carelessness of man, but still were full of charm but presently these heritage treasures are being wiped out bringing a quick death to the pristine grandeurs of this great pilgrim centre and giving a death below to its tourism potential.

The constructions that are being demolished by land grabbers presently were built over two hundred years ago. Maharaja Ranjit Singh who came to Purmandal for a pilgrimage in the month of April in 1836 A.D, donated enough of gold for construction of comfortable resting places, Dharam Shalas for pilgrims in a typical Hindu architectural style. He was accompanied by Gulab Singh who later become Maharaja and created Jammu and Kashmir State. He lavishly spent on building the main temple complex around the ancient temple of Omapati Shiv.

The most important feature in Purmandal is Umapati Shiv temple constructed by a King of Kashmir, Vani Dutt as per a popular legend. It is corroborated by existence of such a kind who ruled from 853 to as per Kalhans Rajatarangni, the earliest history of country written in twelfth century A.D. He constructed it over a spring worshiped as manifestation of Shiva. King Vani Dutta was advised by sages to go to Purmandal to get his daughter cured from her fatal head disease by sprinkling water of the spring over her head. He did so and in order to offer his gratitude, he constructed the temple.Most unfortunately even this temple is being damaged from its eastern side by dismantling over 7 feet thick wall and as yet the bore had not gone through as on 25 December 2006 to reach the Umapati sacred spring. This act has given a death blow to its original appearance and impact that it created on the minds of devotees by damaging originality of the temple. Perhaps a second modern door is being constructed.

Had a second door been found feasible, its creator would had provided the same. It appears that the Dharmarth trust, which controls the temple complex is doing so purposelessly as its artistically constructed original door exists and has been catering for millions of pilgrims who visit the temple year after year since ages past. And there is hardly need for any modern door. This means playing with the sentiments of devotees of Umapati Shiv. The temple is as important as Badrinath, Kidar Nath or Som Nath temple, and no body can venture to damage their originality as is being done with Omapati Shiv temple Purmandal. This modern door in the ancient heritage temple shall always act as an eye sore on the magnificent ancient heritage temple.

If the Dharmarth trust wanted to effect some improvement, its first priority should have been to conserve the tumbling down wall on the left side approach of the temple and conserve it. The trust has done similar unbecoming acts in damaging the originality of the shine at other places as well within the shrine. Instead of conserving a damaged second story of a structure at the frontal face of the shrine constructed in Hindu architecture, they have constructed a room in European architecture over typical Hindu architecture bringing humiliation to conservation of the shrine. The same has been repeated at other places right at the very face of the shrine. This has considerably damaged the architectural beauty of the shrine.

The trust is taking liberties without due regard to the faith of the millions of devotees of the holy shrine and with its unique and rare architecture.The importance of the pilgrim centre is completely being undermined. The place has methodological origin.

In Nilmat Puran that has been written in Seventh century A.D by Nela Muni, it is mentioned that Devika river is a manifestation of mother Goddess Parwati herself to benefit the people of Mader Desha that covers areas between river Ravi and Chenab and the river Devika appeared on Shiv Ratri. Lord Shiva himself remains side by side with his consort Uma manifesting himself in form of Shiv Lingas at 8 places alongside the Devika river. The river presently runs under its sandy surface.In Devi Mahatmays it is mentioned that there is no need to perform Japa or any ritual for obtaining spiritual benefits at this pilgrim centre, only to touch with the Devika waters or having a bath in its waters is enough to get spiritual benefits. Water comes out by digging about a foot into the sand bed. Cremation on the sands of Devika is considered as meritorious as cremation on the banks of Ganga at Kashi.

Local culture

As per Veenu Dogra from Udhampur, renowned Dogri Food expert having released several dogri food recipe, Udhampur is famous for bh(bha): bhaa (hawa in Hindi- Winds), Bhauli (spring-ponds), borh(a plant similar to pepal),Bhaake(Gossips). Udhampur famous for High speed Winds, hundreds of Spring ponds and lot of Gossiping.

Cities and Towns

Batle,Mansar,Thabu,Chenani,Narsu ,Thalora ,Domail ,Ramkot,Udhampur ,Jaghanu,Reasi ,Katra ,Tangar

Military

The Northern Command Headquarters of the Indian Army is based in Udhampur and consists of three Corps, the XIV, XV, and XVI. All units are deployed along the Line of Controlmarker in Kashmir, with the exceptions of the 39th Infantry Division, and the 2nd, 3rd, and 16th Independent Armored Brigades.

Prior to Independence, Northern Command Headquarters was located at Rawalpindimarker, and it was responsible for the defence of North West India. After Partition, the Command Headquarters was allocated to Pakistan. In India, a new Headquarters designated as Western Command was located at Shimlamarker to look after the Northern borders with Pakistan and some portions of Tibet.

The need for a separate Headquarters in the North was felt during First Kashmir War in 1948. The experience of wars in 1962, 1965 and 1971 reinforced the conviction that geo-strategically Northern Theatre was too important to be effectively commanded by a Headquarters based at Shimla. The 1965 and 1971 Wars demonstrated that the area under General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Command was too vast for effective command.

Accordingly, in 1971, duplicate headquarters with duplicated staff were set up at Shimla and Bhatinda. After 1971, Headquarter Northern Command was established at Udhampur, taking over responsibility for Jammu, Kashmirmarker and Ladakhmarker.

It was decided in June 1972 to raise Northern Command at Udhampur, with two corps under it, to look after the defence of this region. This strength has now increased to three corps. Northern Command now controls this sensitive region of the country which covers the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir and contiguous portions of Punjabmarker and Himachal Pradeshmarker.

The first GOC-in-C of Northern Command was Lt Gen PS Bhagat. The command has been in the operational mode since its inception. It saw a number of high and low intensity operations. Today, the command complements the nation's efforts in countering the most serious challenge to her security, namely, the scourge of terrorism and proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir.

Troops of the Northern Command have been manning the highest battlefield in the world at the Siachen Glaciermarker where the average altitude of the posts varies from 15,000 to 23,000 ft. The battle is not just against the enemy but also sub zero conditions, extreme wind chill, deep crevasses frost bite and hypoxia. Operation Vijay was possibly Northern Command's finest hour. It was a unique operation marked with unparalleled bravery, guts, determination and sacrifice beyond the call of duty.

This command has played a crucial role in fighting against the proxy war that began in 1990. Over 18,000 terrorists have been killed, more than 80 tons of explosives and almost 40,000 weapons have been recovered. The command also took the onus of fencing the Line of Control to curtail the levels of infiltration and exfiltration.

The greatest battle that the Northern Army has been fighting is for the hearts and minds of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. A sum of over Rs. 50 crore has been spent on operation Sadbhavna so far to carryout development projects in this area. This year there has been a quantum jump in the scope and scale of this operation. Trials are underway to use water mills in the villages as microhydel plants. If successful, these plants could usher in a mini revolution at the grassroots level.

The XIV Corps is the field formation that is responsible for Ladakh and Kargilmarker, and is responsible for intelligence about enemy positions near the Line of Control. The Kargil operation in 1999 was primarily the responsibility of the 8 Mountain Division, the formation that was rushed there after the intrusions were detected in May 1999. 56 Mountain Brigade deployed two battalions to contain intrusions in Mashkoh and Dras while the third battalion (18 Grenadiers) established the crucial firm base 1000 feet below Tololing at 15,000 feet. 8 Mountain Div was tasked to clear nearly 50 pockets of intrusions in Mashkoh. Of the 16 battalions involved in the war, only 10 were employed at Kargil. 8 Mountain Division played a major role in evicting intrusions and defeating the Pakistan army at Kargil. It switched in 1990 from a counterinsurgency division in the North-East to the Srinagar valley and now to a high altitude mountain division at Kargil.

Lieutenant General V.G. Patankar on 31 December 2001 assumed command of the most challenging and prestigious corps of the Indian Army - the Srinagar-based 15 Corps. Lt. Gen. Patankar replaced Lt. Gen. J.R. Mukherjee, who proceeds to Eastern Command HQ, Kolkata.

XVI Corps is believed to be one of the largest corps in the world as it consists of five divisions.

As of mid-1999 there were two divisions, comprising approximately 15,000 soldiers each, manning the LoC and the Line of Actual Control with China from Kargil to Siachen. While the 8 Mountain Division had been given sole charge of guarding 150 kilometers of the border in the Kargil sector, the 3 Infantry Division was in charge of Siachen and the Aksai Chin border. Significantly, as the 15 Corps mobilised its forces for the counter attack and elements of the 18 Mountain Division poured into the various sectors of Kargil, the people of Jammu & Kashmir were steadfast against the enemy forces.

With the induction of 14 Corps in to Ladakh, the supply-load on the Army Service Corps (ASC) has increased tremendously. Given the politico-military situation on India's borders, a large portion of the Army is deployed in some of the most inhospitable terrain with complementary climatic conditions where supply of even the simplest of essentials is achieved by a herculean effort. The recent induction of the new XIV Corps in Ladakh has undeniably put a huge strain on the logistics aspects.

As of early 2002 these units had been joined by Central Command's I Corps Strike Force consisting of three divisions.

The Indian Army announced the creation of its new command known as South Western Command with its Headquarters at Jaipur, which formally came into being on 18 April 2005. the South-Western Command, will operate in conjunction with the Udhampur-based Northern Command and Chandimandir-based Western Command. The reallocation of forces to the South-Western Command from Northern Command and Western Command was not immediately apparent.

For an effective operational preparedness in the western sector, in mid-2005 Indian Army raised a new corps at Yol Cantt in Kangra Valley of Himachal Pradesh. The new corps, christened 9 Corps, comprises 26 and 29 Infantry Divisions, which had previously been allocated to XVI Corps / Nagrota Corps, and a number of brigades.

Northern Command memorial DHRUVA, named after the Hindi word for the Northern Star, to be the guiding light for the future generations of Soldiers guarding the Northern frontiers of India.

Politics

Udhampur District has 3 assembly constituencies: Udhampur, Chenani and Ramnagar.

References

  1. Statement showing the number of blocks in respect of 22 Districts of Jammu and Kashmir State including newly Created Districts dated 2008-03-13, accessed 2008-08-30


External links

  • http://udhampur.nic.in


See also


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