About BillawarBillawar is a beautifully prominent tehsil in Kathua district of Jammu Kashmir. Also called as Balaur, it is a quaint town. It was also called as Vilawara during ancient times. Administratively, Billawar is a notified area committee in this district. The entire tehsil comprises of 46 villages run by 46 Panchayat Samitis. It has roughly two boroughs, Phinter and Old Billawar.
It is a serene destination that has many ancient religious places as well. Billawar is, in fact, an ancient town established around 7th Century AD. Geographically speaking, it is located at a distance of 32 km from district head quarter in Kathua. Srinagar is situated 209 km away from here while Jammu is at distance of 123 km.
History of BillawarThe town of Billawar is believed to be established in 7th century by Raja Bhog Pal. It continued to be the capital for the dynasty of Basohli kings till the later times. Even the descendants of these kings were known by the name of Billawaria, Billauria, or Baloria. As per some legends, there are beliefs that Billawar was visited by the Pandavas during the finishing year of their exile. They worshipped under the Bilwa trees that were abundantly found here. They also built the famous Mahabilwakeshwar Temple at the same place.
Apart from this, there are some other ancient temples also existing in this tehsil. They also speak about its historical significance. Some historians also believe that Billawar was also one of the three states from where famous Duggar Community of this state originated.
Geography of BillawarAs a tehsil, Billawar has quite significant and strategic location. It is situated at a distance of 70 km from the Dayala Chak along National Highway 1A connecting New Delhi with Jammu. It has an average elevation of 844 meters above the sea level. It is flanked by Bani in the east, Bashohli in the west, Duggan in the north, and Barnoti in the south. This tehsil is beautifully set in the lap of Shivalik ranges in the state. It has two rivulets, namely, Naj and Bhini flowing on its either sides.
Its temperature is moderate with hot summers and cold winters. Rainfall is caused here by western disturbances in winters and by monsoons in summers. It is also one of the two forest divisions in the district with area of 642 sq km. It has many species of trees and one soil conservation range. Deodar, Oak, Kail, and Chir are commonly found in this division.
Tourism in BillawarBillawar is a paradise for tourism, especially religious tourism. The tehsil has some of the most ancient and revered shrines of Hindus. Apart from that its stunning lush landscape is completely alluring for the nature lovers. Due to these places of tourist interest, the tehsil area is flooded with travelers all through the year. The town is conveniently connected with many major cities of the state through roadways. As the tehsil headquarter, it also serves as base to many of these attractions located nearby.
Famous places to see in Billawar include:
- Mahabilwakeshwara Temple
- Bala Sundari Mata Temple
- Sukrala Mata Temple
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Economy in BillawarBillawar is a town flourishing with its tourism. It has huge potential for growth in this direction. The local and state government has also tapped this prospective to develop better infrastructure here. The tehsil has many venerated temples that are visited by the devotees in large numbers. This poses better opportunities for the local youth to indulge in tourism related businesses. As such, this industry is growing near all the prominent shrines of Billawar.
Agriculture is the primary occupation for most of the people in this tehsil. Wheat and paddy are the main crops grown here. Apart from tourism, the tehsil also thrives upon its marvelous handicrafts that include some of the traditional arts of this state.
People and Culture of BillawarBillawar is a town in Jammu region of state. As such, it has mixed population of Hindus and Muslims. However, it also has other communities residing in small groups. People here are very religious in nature. They celebrate major religious events and festivals with great zeal. Dogri with Hindi, Urdu, and English, is the main language spoken in Billawar.
People in this area wear traditional Kashmiri costumes mainly constituting of Pherans and pyjamas. They have typical Kashmiri cuisine related to both Muslims and Kashmiri Pandits. This area has clear influence of Pahari culture that is evidently found in Hilly region of Kathua district.
Demographics of BillawarState: Jammu and Kashmir
Official Language: Urdu
Population: 1, 11,916
Literacy Rate: 72%
STD Code: 01921
Vehicle Registration: JK 08
Pin Code: 184204
No. of Panchayats: 46
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