Anantnag (/ə'nʌntna:g/ or /-nɑːg/ About this soundlisten ; lit. 'countless springs'), also known locally as Islamabad,[2] is the administrative headquarters of the Anantnag district in Jammu and Kashmir. It is located at a distance of 53 kilometres (33 miles) from the union territory's capital Srinagar. It is the third largest city in Jammu and Kashmir after Srinagar and Jammu with an urban agglomerate population of more than 200,000 and municipal limit population over 100,000.[1]


Wide View of Anantnag
Wide View of Anantnag
Anantnag is located in Jammu and Kashmir
Location in Jammu and Kashmir
Anantnag is located in India
Anantnag (India)
Coordinates: 33°44′N 75°09′E / 33.73°N 75.15°E / 33.73; 75.15Coordinates: 33°44′N 75°09′E / 33.73°N 75.15°E / 33.73; 75.15
Settled5 BCE
 • Total2,917 km2 (1,126 sq mi)
1,601 m (5,253 ft)
 • Total159,838[1]
 • RegionalUrdu, Kashmiri
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
192 101
Telephone code01932
Vehicle registrationJK 03
Sex ratio1000 /927


The name Anantnag is thought to originate from the Sanskrit term ananta, meaning "infinite", and Kashmiri word nāga, "water spring"; Anant-nāg would thus mean "numerous springs", as there are indeed many springs in the town. According to Marc Aurel Stein, however, the name of the city comes from the name of the spring of Shesha Nag, the "Divine Serpent" in Hindu theology, who was also called Anantnag; the spring located in the town.[3]

The name Islamabad is believed to have derived from the name of a Mughal governor Islam Khan who built a garden in the area.[4][5]

Both names are used for the town, Anantnag being preferred by the Hindus and Sikhs and Islamabad being preferred by the Muslims. Walter Roper Lawrence refers to "Anantnag district" in his work the Valley of Kashmir, published in 1895.[6] The locals continue to use the name Islamabad, even though the Indian security forces deployed in the area with the start of Kashmir insurgency frowned on its use.[2][4][7]


Anantnag is located at 33°44′N 75°09′E / 33.73°N 75.15°E / 33.73; 75.15,[8] at an elevation of 5,300 feet (1,600 m) above sea level, at a distance of 53 kilometres (33 mi) from Srinagar on NH 44 (former name NH 1A before renumbering of all national highways).

Climate data for Anantnag (1971–1986)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 7.3
Average low °C (°F) −2.1
Average precipitation mm (inches) 47
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 7.0 8.3 11.1 8.2 8.2 5.9 7.7 6.6 3.5 3.1 3.0 5.9 78.5
Source: HKO[9]


From 2001 to 2011, the population of the city grew from 63,437[10] to 109,433,[1] while the metropolitan area (Anantnag Urban Agglomeration) grew to 159,838 by 2011.[1] In Anantnag city, males constituted 51.6% and females 48.4% of the population. Sex ratio was 937 females per 1,000 males compared to national average 940. The sex ratio was worse at 874 for the 0 to 6-year age-group compared to national average 918. Anantnag had an average literacy rate of 62.2%, lower than the national average of 64.3%. Male literacy was 71%, and female literacy was 61%. Children under six years of age numbered 18,056 in Anantnag city and were 16.6% of the population in 2011.[1]

Government and politicsEdit

The local body for Anantnag is called Municipal Council Anantnag.[11] Anantnag has 25 wards.[12] The local body elections in Anantnag took place in 2018 in which the party Indian National Congress won 20 wards and BJP won 3 wards.[13] The President and Vice President are the elected heads of the Municipal Council. The elections are indirect elections. Hilal Ahmed Shah is the President of Municipal Council Anantnag.[14]


The Martand Sun Temple is one of the important archaeological sites of Kashmir. It was built around 500 CE. This temple has the typical Aryan structure as was present in Aryan Kashmir. The Martand temple is situated at Kehribal, 9 km east-north-east of Anantnag and south of Mattan. This famous Sun Temple was destroyed by Ruler namely Sikander Buthshikan of Shahmiri Dynasty and took him more than a year to destroy this temple.[15]

A panoramic view of Martand Sun Temple

Masjid Baba Dawood Khaki is among the oldest mosques in the city, being built around 1400 CE.[15]


In 2010 Anantnag was declared as major City of Export excellence with a total GDP of 3.7 billion $.[16] The high GDP of Anantnag is due to the centralised position and presence of high concentration of troops and migrant labours in it. Anantnag has a strategic position lying on the main North-South Corridor Road and with the highest number of tourist destinations it an economic hub of Kashmir Valley. The city suffered heavily during conflict times of the 1990s; many roads, bridges, and government buildings were reduced to ash. But in the 2000s, it made a quick recovery. It has been listed among 100 fastest economically developing cities.[16]



Srinagar is 53 km from Anantnag on NH 44 (former name NH 1A before renumbering of all national highways). The distances of some other towns from Anantnag are: Achabal 10 km, Kokarnag 23 km, Doru Shahabad 20 km and Pahalgam 39 km.[17] The city is served by National Highway 44. The city is gateway to the Kashmir valley as one side of Jawahar Tunnel opens here.


Anantnag(ANT) is a station on the 119 km (74 mi) long Banihal-Baramulla line that started in October 2009 and connects Baramulla(BRML) and Srinagar to Banihal(BAHL), Qazigund .The railway track also connects to Banihal across the Pir Panjal mountains through a newly constructed 11 km long Banihal tunnel, and subsequently to the Indian railway network after a few years. It takes approximately 9 minutes and 30 seconds for a train to cross the tunnel. It is the longest rail tunnel in India. This railway system, proposed in 2001, is not expected to connect the Indian railway network until 2017 at the earliest, with a cost overrun of 55 billion INR. The train also runs during heavy snow across the Kashmir Valley.


There are numerous primary, middle secondary and higher secondary schools in the city. Of the higher education, the following establishments are notable:


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Anantnag City Census 2011 data". Archived from the original on 5 May 2012.
  2. ^ a b Bhat, M. Ashraf (2017), The Changing Language Roles and Linguistic Identities of the Kashmiri Speech Community, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, p. 57, ISBN 978-1-4438-6260-8
  3. ^ "Ananta Shesha". Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Anantnag or Islamabad? What is the actual name of this South Kashmir district?". Kashmir Watch. 15 February 2018. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  5. ^ Ahmad, Khalid Bashir (2017), Kashmir: Exposing the Myth behind the Narrative, SAGE Publishing India, pp. 201–, ISBN 978-93-86062-81-9
  6. ^ Lawrence, Walter Roper (1895). The Valley of Kashmir. H. Frowde. p. 225.
  7. ^ "What is in a name – Islamabad". Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  8. ^ Falling Rain Genomics, Inc – Anantnag.
  9. ^ "Climatological Information for Srinigar, India". Hong Kong Observatory. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
  10. ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 16 June 2004. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
  11. ^ "Municipal Council Anantnag | District Anantnag, Government of Jammu & Kasmir | India". Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  12. ^
  13. ^ "J&K municipal polls: Congress wins Anantnag, sweeps Leh, BJP makes its mark in Valley". Hindustan Times. 20 October 2018. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  14. ^ "President Municipal Council Anantnag awarded for his fight against COVID-19". Fast Kashmir. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  15. ^ a b "Places To Visit In Anantnag". Holidify Pvt Ltd.
  16. ^ a b "Centre declares Srinagar, Anantnag as 'Export Excellence towns'". The Economic Times. 1 December 2010. Archived from the original on 12 February 2018.
  17. ^ "Anantnag Pin code". Retrieved 20 March 2014.

External linksEdit