Mahu Mangat is one of beautiful, serene place in Ramban

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Ramban district of Jammu and Kashmir is well known for many tourist sites especially in hilly areas. Some beautiful destinations have already been developed like Patnitop and Sanasar and some are currently being brought on tourism map like Dagan Top, Neel Top, Tata Pani, Ghora Gali etc. including some holy shrines. Likewise, Mahu Mangat is one such place indebted with immense natural beauty and scenic attraction.
Locating at distance of about 25 km from main highway’s station- Nachalana, Mahu Mangat is situated amid beautiful mountain peaks and valleys. On one side it shares its area with Kulgam district and on the other side with Gulab garh belts of Reasi. A Niabat locating at distance of 20 km from tehsil office Khari sanctioned in 2014 is redressing the local issues. Occasionally revenue authorities organise camps for Mutations, Girdawri and other miscellaneous work in the villages.
As per the folk tale, two brothers named Mahu Ram and Mangat Ram used to live in the areas and later on, occupied the whole region after dividing into two equal parts. The proceeding generations called these two villages against their names. Similarly when land settlement took place, the names were entered in the revenue record. The total area of Mahu Mangat is approximately 148128 kanals including forest land which is 70960 kanals. Near about 1200 kashmiri and Schedule tribe families are dwelling over there. The total population of the area is above 7000. The main occupation is farming with maize as major crop. Apart from this, some other crops like Potato, Rajma and vegetables are also grown besides the forest trees include Kail, Deodar, Pine. People usually depend on fire woods for day to day’s life.
The regular snow falls of 6- 10 feet during winter season drops the temperature to sub zero level which hampers the normal life. But the people remain alert and make many necessary arrangements in advance. Local and traditional tools are used for clearing snow from their kacha houses and foot paths. They are habitual of dumping eatables and other grains in order to avert any emergency during snow falls. During extreme winter majority of locals particularly male members move to other parts of state or outside in Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan etc for labour. Some ladies along with routine house work also spin wool obtained from reared sheeps which is used for manufacturing warm blankets. It was also disclosed by locals that in the past, wearing woollen clothes was common culture. Milk and Ghee are the main produce in the area. There are number of meadows and grazing fields including one big ground at Trajbal covering near about 50-60 kanals of land which gives recreational source to people of adjoining areas. The young boys are found playing cricket there. Towards Gulabgarh areas from Mahu Valley, there exists two eyed stream called “Achan Chashma” which has its enchanting beauty and significance. To reach this hill station one has to walk for one hour on foot.
Over 11000 trees and plants of Walnut are being grown across Mahu Lower, Mahu Upper and Mangit including the plants provided by the Horticulture Department on subsidy and developed by locals on their own. The department is identifying more places for walnut crops to boost the economy of this area. The people have also grown trees of apple, apricot and pears for their survival. Some local contractors visit these areas to collect fruits. Every house hold has reared animals whose dung is used for crops production. The people in these areas do not use chemical fertilisers and pesticides. With an aim to boost angling activity, the department of fisheries has also stocked natural water bodies mainly the springs with Trout Fish seed at Mahu to promote fish farming in this area in order to enhance eco tourism and other economic activities. There is one Higher Secondary School at Mahu with 225 students where five lecturers are teaching and other high school at Mangat for educating 97 beneficiaries. Some elementary schools and Anganwadi centres are also found in Mahu Mangat. Many students from adjoining areas walk on foot to attend these educational institutions. Apart from this, health and Animal husbandry departments are also running their medical aid centres to provide health related services to the people and animals.
Katra-Banihal upcoming railway line is passing through Khari and if proper connectivity is developed from Khari to Mahu, large number of tourists can be diverted thereby giving fillip to the tourism potential in this remote villages like eco-tourism, orchard-agro.

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