Gurez Valley

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Gurais or Gurez (Kashmiri: گُریز), also pronounced Gorai (گورأى) in the local Shina language, is a valley located in the high Himalayas, about 86 kilometres (53 mi) from Bandipore and 123 kilometres (76 mi) from Srinagar in northern Kashmir and southern Gilgit-Baltistan. At about 8,000 feet (2,400 m) above sea level, the valley is surrounded by snow-capped mountains. It has diverse fauna and wildlife including the Himalayan brown bear and the snow leopard. The Kishanganga River flows through the valley. The road to Gilgit runs through Gurais.


Gurez is divided into three regions. The area from Toabat to Sharda Peeth is administered by Pakistan as Neelum District, that between Kamri and Minimarg is administered by the Pakistan as Astore District, Gilgit-Baltistan, and that from Toabat to Abdullae Tulail is known as Gurez Tehsil, and is part of the Indian-administered Bandipora District.


Being situated very close to the Burzil Pass, which leads into Astore District of Gilgit-Baltistan, the inhabitants are ethnic Dards/Shins. They speak the Shina language and have the same styles of dress and culture as their kinsmen in Pakistani- administered Northern areas.[1]



Dawar

Dawar is the central township in the area. The population of the area is estimated to be about 30,000, and is scattered among fifteen villages. Due to heavy snowfall in winter, the valley remains cut off for six months of the year.