Bungus, a valley abandoned
This large landscape welcomes you to Bungus Valley.
Bungus is a bowl shaped valley, situated in the northern border district of Kashmir, Kupwara in Handwara area at 10,000 feet above sea level. A 300 Sq. Kms valley, Bungus can be a developed as a tourist place in Kashmir, but it lacks the concern of the administration. No road connectivity. Army restricted zone. Photos and text by Muhabit-ul-Haq.
The road to Radha.
To reach Bungus you have to go to Radha through any vehicle which is 40 Kms from main town Handwara. After Radha there is no road to Bungus. It needs a Trek for about four hours to reach Bungus valley.
The Gujjar huts for summers on the foothills.
During trekking you will pass through dense forests and hills also. After covering this journey you will reach to the valley covered with trees and many streams flowing through the landscape. The only habitation is tribal Gujjar huts for summers. Only Gujjars come to reside in and around Bungus to graze their animals in large pastures.
Army patrolling through the Bungus Valley.
During winter heavy snowfall closes the hills through which you reach Bungus. The only transport in the valley is ponies. Bungus comprises a Mountain Biome, which includes Grassland Biome with flora at lower altitudes and Taiga or Coniferous forests at a higher altitude. The area also contains wetlands in the form of a fresh water marsh located within the Valley.
A stream flowing in the Bungus forests.
Before planning to go Bungus get permission from the army officials at the TCP camp located at Nowgam, Handwara either you won’t be allowed. Bungus is highly security alert zone because of the Indo-PaK border nearby.
Frozen stream in the bowl of Bungus.
Muhabit-ul-Haq is staff photographer with The Kashmir Walla.