Karnah is a graphic vale located in North Kashmir, girdled by Shamshabari mountainous ranges and its offshoots. This area is full of natural splendor and comprises high mountains, snow clad peaks, timbers, scattered town lets and temporary habitations (dhoks) in the mountainous ranges with favorable climatic conditions. The area is known for stalwart, valorous and tough Pahari people, Gujjar lines and Kashmir speaking ethnical groups. Various life, melodious folk songs, pleasurable balls and succulent cookery are characteristics of Karnah. The history of Karnah travels with history of humanity. The legend goes that this area was inhabited by King Karan of Mahabharata who named this track on his own name as Karan- Nah (means pertaining to Karan). With the passage of time the name changed from Karan- Nah to Karnah. Dr. Sabar Afaqi a famed scholar of POK writes in his book ‘Muzaffarabad’ that Lord Krishna had also visited Karnah and in memory of his visit, the swash passing through Karnah was named as Kishanganga. During the rule of King Ashok in 273B.C. a University was established in Karnah on the convergence of swash Madhumati and Kishanganga which was known as Sharda University. Prior to partition, Karnah was the biggest tehsil of Muzaffarabad Wazarat located in Kashmir Province. In those days, Teethwal was an important township and trade center located on an alternate pony route linking Srinagar with Muzaffarabad and Rawalpindi. This was the shortest route between Srinagar and Rawalpindi. Thus, Teethwal was an important trade request from where order sap, apricot, honey, skins of sheep’s and scapegoats, hair robes and ghee were exported to Rawalpindi while swab tea, Jaggery, naswar and cloth was imported. The noncommercial dealers of Teethwal done substantially Hindu Khatris had their character in the whole area.
Traditionally, Karnah is an admixture of three denes where Pahari speaking people are well received. The major bottom ground with mesmerising view of the deified Kishanganga swash is a corner which the excursionists carry an image of, for their continuance in memory lane. A scenic road from the antique little city of Chowkibal leads to notorious NC (Nasta Chun) also popularly called as Sadhana Pass is the gateway to Karnah. Indian Army and Border roads concertedly maintain this road, which is the only means of passage to Karnah Valley. The road farther heads down towards the vale with majestic views of potent Shamshabari Range till one enters the little township of Tangdhar which is the executive headquarters of Karnah. The actress Sadhana’s fame and peoples’ admiration for her is apparent from the fact that the Pass she visited formerly was named after her by the people of Kashmir. At the point of this village, old dilapidated structures were set up. A narrow passage led to this village, the way to which was delicate due to which the village was known as Tang meaning narrow and Deh meaning village. Subsequently, it came to be known as Tangdhar. The people are dependent on husbandry and beast husbandry as there’s plenitude of pasturage land available on the mountains. Government and army give indispensable employment openings to the locals. Sludgesap, potatoes and rice are the chief crops. Tadds recited that in the ancient times due to ruinous cataracts a large number of huge trees got pulled and accumulated at this place. In Pahari language a large dump of logs is known as Taal, so Taal was the name given to the village, which latterly on came Taad. In history, people of Syed estate came and settled then, as a result, the village was known as Saidpora. A notorious Sufi saint named Syed Jasti Sahib lived then and there’s a sanctum devoted to this pious soul. The village was originally named “Teerath Bal’’ after the holy convergence of Kazinag and was the gate way to the notorious Sharadha Peeth tabernacle which now lies in Neelam valley, POK. With passage of time not only made it ‘Teethwal ’’ from ‘’ Teerath Bal’’ but it also surfaced as a major center for trade and commerce furnishing the shortest route for trade from Srinagar to Rawalpindi before 1947.
The partition and resultant war between India and Pakistan in 1947 led to the dawn of a new chapter in Teethwal history with the major battle of Teethwal being fought then in which saw two Param Vir Chakras being awarded to Naik Karam Singh and CHM Piru Singh. The crowd of Teethwal also displayed their courage and frippery and fought hand in hand with the Indian Army against the barbarism of Pakistan Army and Pakistan patronized terrorism. No wonder, the palm is famed every time on May 23 as Teethwal Day with great zeal and enthusiasm. It was constructed in 1931 to grease passage across swash Kishan Ganga. What’s unique about this is that a white line at the middle of this suspense ground marks the LoC – half of the ground belongs to India and the other half belongs to the other side. With the authorization of the Indian Army, one can walk the ground up to the white line. also, people from the other side can also walk over to their side of the ground. The town lets located on the other side are visible along with the people, the business and their diurnal routine. A rough road leads to upriver to Simari, the last village of Teethwal which is perched on a pitch on the Eastern bank of Kishanganga. Sharada Peeth is one of the holiest spots of passage for Kashmiri Pandits. It was formerly regarded as a major centre of advanced literacy of Vedic workshop, Holy Writ. Before partition, on the day of ‘Sharada Ashtami’, Kashmiri Hindus would take part in the periodic yatra to Sharada Peeth, one of the 18 ‘Shakti Peeths’ across South Asia which was notorious during Adi Shankracharya’s period. Karnah valley now stands at a juncture where the constant thundering of guns now stands silenced and dawn of a new era of peace has begun. The potential for tourism has no better time to boom than now. The long and glorious history and the new concept of border tourism need to develop into a calling which will draw tourists from all over India. The majestic landscape of Karnah combined with the historic legacy of Teethwal can be an irresistible tourism package which can enhance both cultural and economic development of the region.