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About Bandipore

Bandipore Main Chowk

Bandipore, also known as Bandipora, is the administrative headquarters of Bandipore District in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is a planned city rebuilt in 1963 on the bank of Lake Wulnar during the tenure of Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad. The town as well as the district is famous for three A’s and they are A’lim, Adab and Aab. The people here are learned (Alim) and courteous (Adab). Besides, the district has numerous water bodies (Aab) spread in different corners.

Geography of Bandipore

Bandipore District is located in the northern part of Kashmir Valley. It is bordered by Baramulla District on the south, Kupwara District on the west, Kargil District on the north and Ganderbal on the east. The district comprises of a total area of 398 Sq Km and has an average elevation of the 1578 m to 1581 m.  The terrain here is hilly and the climate is moderate. Two main rivers that flow through the district are River Jhelum and River Kishan Ganga. Apart from that, the district also has numerous streams and lakes, out of which Lake Wulnar is of prime importance.


As we have already pointed out, Bandipore town is located on the northern bank of Lake Wulnar. It is bounded on three sides by high mountains and on the fourth by Lake Wulnar; thus the town is fortified on all four sides. In fact, it is believed that the name Bandipore has been derived from such closed (bund in Kashmiri) geographical location. The town has an average elevation of 1578 meters.

Wulnar Lake in Bandipore is the biggest fresh water lake in whole of Asia. It is one of the six Ramsar sites in India and is home to a wide variety of wildlife. For more information on the lake, you may refer to our page on Water Bodies in Jammu and Kashmir.

History of Bandipore

Bandipore, due to its geographic location, has always held an important position in the history of Jammu and Kashmir. In ancient times, the town was known as Nasoo and the area around it was called Khuaihom. Later, when the area was handed over as Jagir to a family called Bandey by the Mughals, it began to be known as Bandipore. However, as we have already mentioned, the name could have also been derived from the fact that the town was closed (band) on all sides by mountains and lakes.

The town has always been commercially important. The famous Silk Route that ran from China to the Middle East went through this town.  In fact, Bandipore, then known as Nasoo, served as the link between Ladakh and Central Asia. Consequently, the town was also known as Gateway of Gilgit. Traders from China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkamania etc came here with their ware.

Bandipore in the modern times

Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad

Not much is known about the modern history of Bandipore. However, 1963 has been an important year for this town. The then Prime Minister of Kashmir Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad visited the town in that year and found its condition to be appalling. Soon a new township was constructed under his patronage and since it was built according to a plan, the town began to be referred as Plan Bandipore or simply the Plan. People still use this prefix when they refer to Bandipore town.

The next important year in the history of Bandipore was 2007. Initially it was just a tehsil town under Baramulla District. However, in 2007, a new district named Bandipore was carved out of Baramulla and the Plan Bandipore became its administrative headquarters. It is now the seat of the District Commissioner and all important decisions regarding the district is taken from here.

Administration in Bandipore

Court Complex at Bandipore

District Commissioner is the senior-most officer in Bandipore and is entrusted with the administration of the district as well as the town. He has a team of officials to aid him in his work. If you need to contact him you can do so at the following details:
Phone No: 01957-226-085
Email Id: Bandipore@nic.in  and ddcbandipur@gmal.com

If you are further interested in the working of the different government departments at Bandipore, you may also click here.

Municipal Committee in Bandipore

Bandipore has a Municipal Committee to provide civic amenities to the residents of the town. For easier administration, the town has been divided into 17 wards, each of which is represented by an elected councilor. There is also an executive officer appointed by the state government; his duty is to monitor the work of the Bandipore Municipal Committee and also to act as the liaison between BMC and the state government.

According to 2011 census, there were 5584 houses under the jurisdiction of the Bandipore Municipal Committee. The prime duty of the Committee is to provide basic amenities like water and sewage. It is also authorized to collect taxes, build and maintain roads, look after the basic health of the residents and also to undertake other welfare measures.

Courts in Bandipore

Bandipore, being a district headquarters, is the seat of the Principal District and session Judge. In addition, the court complex also houses the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Munsiff Court and the Court of Munsiff/Addl. Special Mobile Magistrate (13th F.C)

The Court Complex is located on Sopore Road. It opened up as Munsiff Court in 2001, long before the district was created. In 2008, it was upgraded to District Court, which started functioning from 21st May of the same year. The court deals with all civil and criminal cases falling under Bandipora , Sumbal and Gurez  Police Stations.

Police in Bandipore

Police Force in Bandipore

Police force in Bandipore functions under the guidance of a Superintendent of Police. If you need to contact him you may do so at the following numbers:
Office Phone Numbers: 01957-226-551, 01957-225-870
Mobile No: 94692-17064

Other than that you may also call at the following numbers to receive immediate help:
SDPO Bandipore: 01957-211-693
Police Station Bandipore: 01957-225-278

Fire Service in Bandipore

Fire Service in Bandipore runs under the guidance of Assistant Director Fire and Emergency Services. The Fire Brigade has 3 fire appliances and 2 fire pumps. In case of emergency more fire appliances are brought in from adjoining area and pressed into service.

The Fire Station in Bandipore is located on the Sopore Road just opposite to the District Court Complex. In case of emergency, you may contact them at 01957- 225-222.

Health in Bandipore

There is one District Hospital, two Primary Health Centers and sixteen sub-centers in Bandipore town. Besides, there are few private nursing homes located in the vicinity.

Business and Economy in Bandipore

Economy of Bandipora largely depends on fishing, trading and agriculture. Let us look into the various factors that influence the economy of the town.

Fishing and Allied Activities in Wulnar Lake

Fishermen at Work in Wulnar Lake

Wulnar Lake, on whose bank Bandipore town is located, is the habitat for a wide variety of fishes such as common carp, mosquito fish, rosy barb, sattar snow trout, chirruh snow trout, chush snow trout  etc. A large percentage of the population in Bandipore earns their livelihood by catching and selling fish.  Cooperatives have been formed to aid the fishermen in marketing their yields at a profitable rate. It is to be noted that the lake provides sixty percent of the fish consumed in the state.

The lake also provides animal fodder such as phragmites belonging to grass family and nymphoides, which is a type of water lily. Many people earn their living by harvesting such plants and selling them as animal fodder. Incidentally, animal husbandry is also another common means of earning livelihood in Bandipore. 

Collecting Water Chestnut in the Wulnar Lake

Other Economical Activities in Bandipore

Other than fishing, agriculture also plays an important part in the economy of Bandipore. According o government records, more than 80% of the population in the district are farmers and produce cereals such as rice and maize. Industries too have considerable presence in the district. There are 2 industrial areas and around 200 registered units in the district. However, the government is trying to encourage the entrepreneurs to open more industrial units in the state so that the economy of the state can improve significantly.

The district also has a huge reserve of mineral resources. Unfortunately, such resources are yet to be exploited. Once that is done, the economy of the town is going to improve sharply.

Tourism too has great potential here. There is ample scope for mountaineering, trekking, and fishing n the district. The government is now trying to develop the necessary infrastructure so that this sector too becomes economically viable. For information on this subject you can visit our page on Bandipore Tourism.

Banks in Bandipore

Jammu and Kashmit Bank is the main bank here. Following are two of its branches:

The Jammu And Kashmir Bank

Bandipora Main

The Jammu And Kashmir Bank,
T.P Bandipora

How to Get to Bandipore

Road to Bandipore

There is no railway station or airport located near Bandipore. Jammu Tawai is the nearest railhead located at a distance of 214 Km from this town. Srinagar International Airport is the nearest airport located at a distance of 65.7 Km from here. 

However, there are good roads and adequate road transport services. Regular buses belonging to J&K State Road Transport Corporation ply through this route; you can reach Bandipore from Srinagar (56.8 KM) in around 2 hours. You may also hire commercial vehicles to reach Bandipore.

Some Important Information about Bandipore

District: Bandipora
State: Jammu and Kashmir
Assembly Constituency: Bandipore
Lok Sabha Constituency: Burmulla
Pin Code: 193502
STD Code: 01957
Vehicle Registration Number: JK-15

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