Exploring the surroundings of Huen Heng Peak

Exploring the surroundings of Huen Heng Peak

Mount Huen Heng overlooks two beautiful meadows of Pir Panjal


In the lap of Pir Panjal, right in front of the famous Huen Heng peak, there are many unspoiled captivating meadows. Among them two are worth mentioning: Panchan Pather and Nuss Pather. These two meadowlands lie next to each other. Almost 25 kilometres away from district headquarter Kulgam, the road to Panchan Pather passes through the small towns of Damhal and DK Marg, to end up at Humpathri. Just a kilometre away, a narrow unpaved road with gradual ascent leads to the magnificent meadow of Panchan Pather.
These two lesser-known picnic grounds are abundant in natural resources. They contain all things that add life to the meadows. The splendour of the verdant meadows is a treat for sore eyes. The impressive beautiful landscape touches one’s heart.
Being the founder of the Glacial Trails club, I think it is my responsibility to write in detail about the trekking expeditions that we plan together as a team. Glacial Trails makes efforts to connect with more people by sharing genuine content through write-ups and vlogs. A year ago, the club explored the surrounding areas of Mount Huen Heng intending to open new gates for tourists, trekkers and mountaineers.
Panchan Pather
PanchanPather (2400 m) is an oval-shaped meadow surrounded by small and big mountains on all sides with thin vegetation cover. A few brooks loop around the grassland. During summertime, the grassy paddock is full of domestic animals. At the entrance of the meadow, on the left side, there is a sacred place attributed to Sheikh Nuruddin (RA). It is said that he worshipped at this piece of land for some time.
The meadow is a local picnic spot and has the potential to attract more tourists in the coming years. There is also a natural cricket ground. The youngsters come from far-off places to play cricket on this field, especially the teenagers of Mahu valley who come here by crossing huge mountains.
Recently a festival was held at Panchan Pather by district administration Kulgam & J&K Forest Department in collaboration with Tourism department and Ahrabal Development Authority and Youth Services and Sports departments. The place was officially thrown open to tourists. In a day-long carnival, many eco-friendly activities took place in the presence of Deputy Commissioner Kulgam.
Nuss Pather
From Panchan Pather towards the southeast, a thirty minutes’ gentle short hike on a hilly trail leads to triangular-shaped pastureland called Nuss Pather (2600 m). This is a sloping meadow surrounded by dense forest cover. The imposing view of the Huen Heng peak is visible from here. On one side of the place flows a beautiful rivulet formed by joining many glacial meltwater streams. There is another way to reach this tourist destination. It starts from Kutmarg (Badijahlan) if one follows the DK Marg-Chimmer route. Adjacent to Nuss Pather across the ridge lies the wonderful picnic spot of Mohu valley named Rattan. One can reach there by passing through a gap at the crest of a highland.
Mount Huen Heng
The mountaineer’s greatest joy is in climbing mountains. As far as the Pir Panjal range is concerned, there are numerous small and big mountain peaks on it. Apart from skilled hikers, common people can also conquer such peaks. Some of the mountain peaks in Kulgam are considered very important for mountaineering. Bramshakri (4500 m), Huen Heng (4200 m) and Sondir Top (3700 m) have great significance. Bramshakri is the highest mountain peak of district Kulgam.
Huen Heng (Dog’s Horn): Who doesn’t know this mountain peak? I think everyone has heard about the tragic incident that happened on February 7, 1966, when a Fokker F 27 IA plane passing over the Pir Panjal mountains carrying 37 passengers including crew members met with an accident due to less visibility and bad weather conditions. The plane lost control and collided with the mighty Huen Heng peak. All the passengers on board lost their lives.
Huen Heng is neither the highest peak of district Kulgam nor of the Pir Panjal. It is, however, one of the prominent peaks of the Pir Panjal range with an average elevation of 4200 meters. Close to it, there is another peak with a height of 3900 meters. Some people often get confused and call it Huen Heng. The towering peak that appears second while climbing from the valley is the famous Huen Heng.
Many trekking routes from several places lead to Huen Heng. The hikers of the Jammu division climb this mountain either from Mohu valley or Gulab Garh. The mountain slope from the valley side is very steep. No one can trek on it from the front other than professional mountaineers. As far as the rock climbers of Kashmir are concerned, they climb this mountain on four different routes that run parallel to its sides, that is, the Kutmarg, Nuss Pather, Panchan Pather and Dudkuchan/ Sanyadi route.
Dudkuchan/ Sanyadi route is a bit easy for climbing the mountain. Sanyadi is only a few kilometres away from the main town DK Marg to its right. The enthusiastic alpinist should follow the main glacial outflow that comes down from the mountains close to Huen Heng. After passing through the pastures of Rampai, Pajmal, Kalkim, Burzi Pathri, Chopan Pathri, etc, one can reach a mountain pass called Gagad Gali. A little higher than the pass is situated the spectacular Huen Heng cliff.
The whole of Kashmir valley and some parts of the Jammu division are visible from the summit. It separates two regions of J&K. On one side of this mountain falls Kashmir valley. On the other side, there are two pristine sub valleys: Mahu and Gulab Garh.

The writer has a post-graduation in History from the University of Kashmir and an M. Phil from Punjabi University Patiala. He also qualified JKSET in 2016. Glacial Trails (est. 2017) is a trekking, hiking and mountaineering club. Founded by Aamir Sharief Qadri, it consists of more than 15 members, the majority being professional hikers belonging to different parts of the valley. The club organises small group multi-day tours and day-outs. The motive of the club is to explore the virgin or least explored lands somewhere hidden in the lap of the Himalayas.
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