Uri – Rich in Culture and Heritage

Uri, a beautiful town situated on the left bank of Jhelum river and is about 23 miles from Baramulla. This township has a glorious past and was known as ‘ Window of Kashmir ’ due to its location. Before partition, Jhelum valley road linking Srinagar with Koh-Mari –Rawalpindi via Muzaffarabad enters into Kashmir valley from this very town. Another important road from Uri leading towards Poonch principality via Haji Pir Pass (8600)’ also branched off from this township. This town is 76 miles away from Srinagar, 42 miles from Muzaffarabad and 49 miles from Poonch. Therefore, Uri was a halting station and transit camp for the passengers and tourists coming from outside to visit Kashmir. Uri was resort for traders who were exporting wild honey, wild mushroom, handmade blankets and walnut to Rawalpindi.

Uri falls at the last edge of Pir Panjal region which ends at Muzaffarabad. The height of tehsil from sea level varies from 2800 feet to 18300 feet. The average rain fall is 50 inch per year. The climate is pleasant. Tehsil Uri is located on the right flank of river Jhelum and known as Dachhan Para (i.e. the old Kathai and Duppta Jagirs) while the area on the left flank of Jhelum was known as Khadra Para. More than 50 percent population belonged to Pahari tribes who were the ruling class from ancient time. The remaining population comprised of Gujjar and Bakarwal tribes apart from some of Kashmiri speaking people. Raja Nazar Boniharvi writes in one of his articles that the original name of Uri was Ouri (Udder of Cow). This name was given by a hermit who had meditated at this very place. With the passage of time the name changed from Ouri to Uri. As per the first settlement report of Uri, before independence Uri was a tehsil of Muzaffarabad district. There are a number of shrines in Uri. The main Shrine is of Hazarat Pir Gaffor Shah Sahib.

The important Shrines are the Zariat of Pir Masoom Shah Gazi in Kamalkote and Zariat of Hazarat Baba Farid in Gharkote. There are some ancient monuments of Pandavas time in Uri like Datta Mandhir in Rajarwani and Pandav Temple in Boniar. There is also a Sikh Shrine known as Gurudwara Chati Padshai in the village Peran Pellan.

Fariduddin Masud was born some time in 571 A.H. (1175 A.D.) at a village called Kothewal, 10 km from Multan in the Punjab region of what is now Pakistan, to Jamāl-ud-dīn Suleimān and Maryam Bībī (Qarsum Bībī), daughter of Sheikh Wajīh-ud-dīn Khojendī. He was a Sunni Muslim and was one of the founding fathers of the Chishti Sufi order. Baba Farid received his early education at Multan, which had become a centre for Muslim

education ; it was there that he met his teacher Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki, a noted Sufi saint, who was passing through Multan on his way from Baghdad to Delhi. Upon completing his education, Farīd left for Sistan and Kandahar and went to Makkah for the Hajj pilgrimage with his parents at the age of 16.Once his education was over, he moved to Delhi, where he learned the Islamic doctrine from his master, Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki. He later moved to Hansi, Haryana. When Quṭbuddīn Bakhtiyār Kākī died in 1235, Farīd left Hansi and became his spiritual successor, and he settled in Ajodhan (the present Pakpattan, Pakistan) instead of Delhi. On his way to Ajodhan, while passing through Faridkot, he met the 20-year-old Nizamuddin Auliya, who went on to become his disciple, and later his successor Sufi khalīfah. In Faridkot, while working as a labourer in building a fort of the Raja of Faridkot. The Raja received his blessings once the Raja realised who he was as he was able to carry bricks overhead without the bricks touching him. The Raja immediately saw the divinity in him and requested to become his follower. The Raja and his descendants dedicate many shrines in his memory. His nephew and disciple and successor Alauddin Sabir Kaliyari were amongst the greatest Sufi saints and from him Sabiriya branch under Chisty order started. Fariduddin Ganjshakar’s biggest shrine darbār is located in Pakpattan, Punjab, Pakistan.

Guchan-wala Hisaab is a shrine located at Danna (A Baikh of summer residence of Kamalkot village/Grazing Ground). This is the location where the joyful reunion of two venerated brothers took place. Syed Rangi Aman Ghazi (Bada Pir) and Masoom Sham Ghazi (Chota Pir) were two brothers who lived during the second quarter of the 16th century. They were born in the Uch-Bloot village of Multan province in Pakistan. It is said that Shahdra Sharif Sultandhaki (Uri) that while Rangi Aman was studying in Multan, Masoom Shah was born. Elders quote that, while playing with his newborn baby the father was startled by the mellowing laugh of his little son. The child got angry with his father and the same night disappeared to Chota Kazing in Uri tehsil of Baramulla. Seeing the condition of his family, Syed Rangi Aman decided to find his younger brother. He took with him some friends which included the Sixth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Har Gobind Singh. He guided by the spiritual vision of his teacher Murshad reached Danna via Pandu Gali. Massom Shah Ghazi who was living in a cave at Chota Kazing through his spiritual vision saw his brother. He ordered the boulder on which he was sitting to fly to Danna and their reunion took place. The boulder which took Chota Pir still exists and multitudes visit of devotees each year.

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