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About Handwara

Handwara City

Handwara is a small town located in the Kupwara District in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The town is important from a number of points. First and foremost, it is located close to the Line of Control and that makes it very sensitive from military point of view. Furthermore, it is the headquarters of a tehsil of the same name and therefore, it is also equally important from administrative angle. The area also has great tourism potential, which the government is now trying to develop. We will however, start our journey with a quick look into the geographical features of the area.

Geography of Handwara

Handwara is located at 34.40° North latitude and 74.28° East longitude. It is situated at a distance of 23 from district headquarters Kupwara. The terrain here is hilly and the average elevation is 1,582 meters (5,190 feet). The entire area offers magnificent scenic beauty. Pohru, one of the tributaries of Jhelum, flows through this town.

Pohru River

Earlier, the town was part of Baramulla District. When Kupwara Distrct was carved out of it, Handwara became a part of it. Today it is also a tehsil headquarters; Rajwar and Ramhal are two important blocks under this tehsil.

History of Handwara

Not much is known about the history of Handwara. However, it is certain that the town has been in existence since long. As per records, the town was earlier known as Utter Machipora. It was an important center of trade and commerce. Punjabis were a dominant group of traders here. For generations, Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs have been living here in harmony. Each of these groups had their own places of worship.

Religious Spots in and around Handwara

Maa Badra Kali

Jamia Masjid in Handwara is the most important place of worship for the Muslims living here. The masjid is so big that it can officially accommodate 3000 worshipers. The town also has a Gurudwara where the Sikh population of the town can go and pray. Besides, the town has several Hindu shrines, dedicated to different deities. However, the most significant of them is the ancient Badra Kali Temple.

Badra Kali Temple in Handwara

Badra Kali Temple is located in the Rajwar forest range on top of a beautiful hill. Its mention has been found in many old texts. The temple is situated at a distance of five Km from Handwara town and is connected by a motorable road. Apart from the temple, the area has a sacred spring and a dormant volcano, known as Soyamij. The later is also held sacred by the devotees. Those who go to pay their homage at Soyamji also make it a point to visit Bhadra Kali Temple. A fair is held at this temple every year and during that period devotees from far and near gather at this place,

Other Hindu shrines in Handwara

Temples in Handwara

There is another temple located at a distance of 12 Km from the town. This temple is dedicated to Goddess Sharda and the village is known as Gushi Sharda. Before partition of the state, pilgrims who wanted to visit the Temple of Shrada (now in Pak Occupied Kashmir) would gather here and then set off for their journey. Other than these two, following are few other Hindu shrines located in and around Handwara:
  • Durga Kund Shiv Mandir
  • Kandi Mandir
  • Khirman Hanood Mandir
  • Khirman Nandram Mandir
  • Maratgam Mandir
  • Shiv Ji Temple

Other places tourists might visit


The region around Handwara offers magnificent view. The temple of Bhadra Kali itself offers spectacular scenery and offers great scope for tourism. Reshwari, located at a distance of 25 Km from Handwara, is another wonderful place to visit. It is located in Nowgam area of Handwara Tehsil and has two tourist Dak Bungalows where you can spend the night.

Bangus valley, a tourist’s paradise, is also approachable from Handwara. However, to reach it you first need to go to Satkoji and then trek for 12 miles. Once you reach there you see a carpet of green grass with sheep grazing here and there. Wild orchids, chirping birds and cascading mountain streams add to your pleasure. As of now, the place does not have much of a tourist facility. However, there is a proposal to build a road and develop this virgin pasture land into a modern tourist spot.

Accommodation at Handwara

Tourists in Handwara

Duk Bungalows are the best place to stay in Handwara. However, for that you need to contact the district administration at Handwara. You can also try contacting Handwara Travels PVT Ltd, located near bus stand; phone no: 990-651-3121.

Administration in Handwara

While the Deputy Commissioner is the most important officer in the district of Kupwara, Handwara is directly administered by an Additional Deputy Commissioner. He is the senior-most officer posted in the city and is entrusted with all development work under his jurisdiction. It is his duty to see that the residents here do not face any kind of problem. While there is a police force to take care of law and order situation of the town, the ADC Handwara also has his role to play. In case of necessity, you may contact him at 94691-62400

There is also an Assistant Commissioner posted in the town. To contact him you may call at 01955-262-226 (O) or at 262-224(R).

Since Handwara is also a tehsil headquarters, there is also the office of Tehsildar located within the town. In case of necessity you may contact him at 01955-262-245

Municipal Committee of Handwara

Handwara Roads

In addition, Handwara has a Municipal Committee to provide all kinds of civic amenities to the residents of the town. For the purpose of efficient administration the town has been divided into 13 wards. Banday Mohalla, Zargar Mohalla, Durashpora, Herpora, Khanbal A, Khanbal B, Braripora A, Braripora B, Gonipora, Chootipora, Bagatpora and Kachiwara are some of the more important wards in the city. Each of these wards is represented by an elected representative. The Chairman of the Committee is selected from among these elected members.

The Municipal Committee of Handwara (MCH) has a standing income of Rs. 2.30 crores, which they spend on improving the infrastructure of the town. Besides, it is their duty to provide drinking water and healthy sewage facilities to the residents, maintain roads, provide birth and death certificates etc.  Some of the on gong projects taken up by the MCH at present are upgradation of the ‘Bus Adda’, Chinar Park and Town Hall etc. 

Court in Handwara

Handwara has one CJM and one Munsiff Court. Before 1979, the town had only one Sub Judge Court operating under District Court, Baramulla. However, once the district of Kupwara was carved out of Baramulla and Court of Principal District and Session Judge was established in Kupwara town, the Sub Judge Court at Handwara became Sub Judge/ Chief Judicial Magistrate Court., Thereafter in the year 2001, Fast Tract Munsiff Court was established in the city. .

Police in Handwara

Handwara Police

Police force in Handwara is headed by a Superintendent of Police.  To contact him you may choose one of the following details: 
Phone No: 01955-262-600
Email Id: dpohandwara-jk@nic.in.

Following are few other important phone numbers within Handwara Police Sub Division:
  • Sub Divisional Officer, Handwara: 01955-262-235,
  • Police Station, Handwara: 01955-262-234
  • Police Station, Krulgund: 01955-210-674
  • Police Station, Vilgam: 01955-210-672

Fire Service in Handwara

Handwara also has a fire station located within the city limits. In case of emergency you may contact it at 01955- 262-222. It has two fire appliances and one fire pump. 

Economy in Handwara

Shops in Handwara

While trading is the mainstay of the economy of Handwara town, the area around it depends mainly upon agriculture and its allied sectors. There are many apple and walnut orchards around this town. Their produce is brought to Handwara market to be exported to various parts of the country. The government is now trying to train the farmers in modern techniques in agriculture and horticulture. Regular training camps are now being held for that purpose.

A large percentage of the population in Handwara is also employed by different government agencies and educational institutions. There are also few small industries, which also help to sustain the economy of the region. Unfortunately, there is no big industry located here.

How to Reach Handwara

Handwara City Transport

Handwara is located at distance of 23 Km from district headquarters Kupwara, 88 Km from state capital Srinagar and 24 Km from Baramulla. Good roads connect it to all those cities. Apart from the state owned Jammu and Kashmir Road Transport Corporation buses, there are plenty of shared taxis plying on these routes. It takes around two hours to reach Handwara from Srinagar.

Facts about Handwara

Tehsil: Handwara
District: Kupwara
State: Jammu and Kashmir
Elevation: 1,582 meters
Pin Code: 193221
STD Code: 01955
Assembly Constituency: Handwara
Parliamentary Constituency: Baramulla

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