Bangus Valley

Bangus is one of the relatively unexplored grasslands and unknown tourists paradise situated in the North Western periphery of Tehsil Handwara of District Kupwara, 72 Kms away from Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir (India). The said grassland is at an altitude of about 10,000 ft above sea level. Occupying an estimated area of 300 Sq Kms, Bangus is surrounded by Shamsbery ranges and Leepa valley. Word “Bangus” is derived from Joining two words “ Ban “ derived from Sanskrit word “ Van” meaning “ forest” and “ Gus” meaning “ Grass” , so it is a meadow with lush growth of wild grass. The Bangus valley ha the variety of flora, considered ideal for cattle grazing. The area is supposed to have been discovered by an unknown nomad while grazing his cattle. This is by far the most productive land in this area as it provides the largest niche for a producer-consumer relationship. In the summer season, numerous cattle and sheep are seen grazing in these meadows which are sent from the adjoining areas by the locals.
Bangus valley is surrounded by Chowkibal Mountains on the northern side, Qazinag and Shamsbery Mountains on the western side. Besides other hills also seem to provide protection to the grassland namely; Meeldar, Nastichavan and Yaddil etc. Bangus comprises a mountain biome which includes grassland biome with flora at Lower altitudes and coniferous forests at a higher altitude. An area of 300 sq. Km is proposed to be protected biome under the name of Bangus valley.In the deep valley is a marshy type grassland which is traversed by a small stream

popularly known as Tilwan Kohl. Bangus Valley is128 km from Srinagar via Kupwara, west of Srinagar. This area called Lolab Valley One of the most beautiful valleys in the whole state, a huge meadow is 6 km wide and 19 km long surrounded on all sides by pine forests with a stream flowing through. It was one of the popular valleys for British Tourist upto 1947. This valley is also famous for caves of Kala Roos and one can see stone age wall paintings. There is legend that some of the caves go right up to Russia. There are forest rest houses or one can stay in tents.

Chotta Bangus

It can be reached from Reshnari Rajwar (upper rim of wadarbala) through two paths or gullies

a) Rahwali

b) Yaddil.

Rahwali leads to a bigger ground known as Masheed Angan and Yaddil culminates into a yaddil maidan ( ground)  Masheed Angan and Yaddil comprise chotta Bangus .
Chotta Bangus narrows down into a lane known as Goriber, surrounded on two lateral sides by number of mountain peaks.

Bada Bangus

Goriber opens into a large grazing meadow known as Bada Bangus.  It is vast meadow comprising hundreds of acres abounding in large number of wild and rare medicinal plants.  At one side of Bada Bangus  is another plain table land called as Nicherian, at the top of which it harbours alpine vegetation and still at a good height is a flat ground known as Jatti which is approachable  through Mawar area via Neelvan forest.  This area is famous for medicinal plants.It takes at least three days stay at Bangus  to visit major portion of the Bangus valley.