Nandichool:The Nature Marvel

Zulafqar Ahmed
Nature has bestowed Poonch with incredible beauty. Snow capped mountains, lush green valleys, glittering lakes, pleasant climate, varieties of flora and fauna enriches the beauty of Poonch. There are many beautiful places in district Poonch like Jabbi Toti, Noorpur, Sawjian, Buffliaz, Dana Shahsataar, and Loran. Among these stunning places Loran is one of the most beautiful places for tourists. Loran is a small village 35 kms away from the Poonch town and is situated at the foot of high mountains of Pir Panjal range. Loran Nallah which flows through this beautiful village makes the place more enchanting to the eyes. Loran was once the capital of Poonch state under Hindu rulers upto 1542 A.D. It was then known as Loran-Kote. There are ruins of the Lohar Kote fort which was once called the Gateway of Kashmir. The popular Lohra dynasty originated from this village which according to scholars expanded from 1003 CE to 1320 CE. Though, there are numerous beautiful tourist spots in Loran but the beauty of Nandichool is unparalleled. Nandichool is located in block Loran of district Poonch. It is fifty kms away from the district headquarters twelve km from Loran and six kms from the Sultan Pathri. The water comes from the glacier and falls at a height of 150 feet. The word Nandichool is consist of two different words, derived from two different languages ‘Nandi’ and ‘Chool’. The word Nandi in Sanskrit means ‘Happy’ and the word Chool in Pahari means ‘Waterfall’. Arguably, it is the most beautiful tourists spots of the Pir Panjal region yet the most neglected and unexplored one. There is no road connectivity for the visitors to reach the spot. It takes almost one hour to visitors to reach the spot.
Why to Visit Nandichool
It is like those scenic waterfalls that we see in movies. A large volume of water coming from the height and crushing down the rocks that makes it roar audible from a distance to the Visitors. In addition, silence all around the waterfall pronounce thd sound of it. It is the most recommended tourists spots because it is highly accessible for the visitors. It takes two and half hour from the district headquarters to reach the spot. Thousands of people travel every year across the UT to Poonch but only handful of these visit Nandichool. It is the spot which is still unknown to majority of people who love to visit such places. This spot is still unexplored due to many reasons. It lacks basic tourism infrastructure like road, huts, staying facilities, non-availability of edible items en route to spot makes it difficult for the visitors to reach the spot. Therefore, tourism department should pay special attention towards this incredible tourists spot. Some basic arrangements should be ensured like road connectivity, huts, staying facilities preferably tents at different places must be pitched enroute to spot. It would be highly appreciable effort if the tourism department develops some basic tourism infrastructure in the proximity of the spot. Furthermore, this effort of the department would not only attract the large numbers of tourists across the UT but it would also provide employment opportunities to the locals.
(The author is Doctoral Fellow at the Department of Political Science, Aligarh Muslim University.)