Bhimber (Urdu: بھمبر) is the capital of Bhimber District, in the Pakistan-administered territory of Azad Kashmir. The town is on the border between Kashmir and Pakistan, about 29 mi (47 km) by road southeast of Mirpur.
|Established||7th century AD|
|Time zone||UTC+5 (PST)|
Bhimber lies on the route that was followed by the Mughal Emperors for their frequent visits to the Kashmir Valley. It is also known as "Baab-e-Kashmir" (Door to Kashmir) because of its importance and geographical location, which was ideal for the Mughal Emperors to use to enter Kashmir. Therefore, the Mughals used Bhimber as a staging point for their journey to Srinagar. The Mughal Emperor Jahangir discussed Bhimber in his book Tuzk-e-Jahangiri.
In the 19th century, Chibhal came under the Sikh Empire of the Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Around 1822, along with Poonch, it was granted as a jagir (feudal land grant) to Raja Dhian Singh of the Dogra dynasty, Gulab Singh's brother. After the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the Sikh court fell into disunity, and Dhian Singh was murdered in a court intrigue. Subsequently, the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir was formed under the suzerainty of the British Empire, and these territories were transferred to Jammu and Kashmir. The jagir given to Dhian Singh was respected, however, and Dhian Singh's sons Moti Singh and Jawahir Singh were retained as its Rajas.
In 1852, the brothers Jawahir and Moti Singh quarreled, and the Punjab Board of Revenue awarded a settlement. Moti Singh was awarded the Poonch district, and Jawahir Singh was awarded Bhimber, Mirpur and Kotli. In 1859, Jawahir Singh was accused of 'treacherous conspiracy' by Maharaja Ranbir Singh (r. 1857–1885), who succeeded Gulab Singh. The British agreed with the assessment and forced Jawahir Singh to exile in Ambala. Ranbir Singh paid Jawahir Singh an annual stipend of Rs. 100,000 until his death, and appropriated his territory afterwards because Jawahir Singh had no heirs.
The appropriated territory was organised as the Bhimber district (wazarat) in 1860. In the decade preceding 1911, the district headquarters was shifted to Mirpur and it came to be called the Mirpur district. Bhimber remained a tehsil headquarters until 1947. It had a Hindu majority population, mostly consisting of Mahajans.
Geography and climateEdit
Bhimber is a valley. Its hot, dry climate and other geographical conditions closely resemble those of Gujrat, the adjoining district of Pakistan.
Its climate is classified as warm and temperate. Summers have a good deal of rainfall; winters have very little. This location is classified as Cwa by Köppen and Geiger. The average annual temperature is 23.6 °C (74.5 °F) with a yearly average rainfall of 974 mm (38.3 in). July and August are the wettest months. Temperatures are highest in June.
Baghsar Fort is an ancient Mughal fort in the Samahni Valley overlooking Baghsar Lake. Sarai Saadabad is located near Bandala in the Samahni Valley and was used as a staging camp during Mughal Era for the caravans moving from Lahore to Kashmir. Also of note is the Tomb of Sufi saint Baba Shadi Shaheed.
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