Population according to 1998 census = 3794
Bindi is located 6 km in the west of Chowki and aprox.13 km from the town of Samahni. It is a significant and well known place in the valley. It consists of a number of small villages that are scattered around the immediate vicinity of the Bindi bazaar.
Some of its neighbouring villages are Sarnila, Thera, Bangial, Chadron, Dadra and Planghari. All of these villages are one way or another attracted to Bindi bazaar for their day to day needs which offers almost all the main facilities to its adjoining population and is also the major source of employment in the area. The introduction of valley’s first ever marble factory has also increased job opportunities in this part of the valley.
Bindi’s inhabitants are considered to be the most generous and highly motivated individuals when it comes to dealing with the matters of collective interest. The construction of Bindi Jamia Mosque is a prime example of such generosity and communal co-operation. This mosque is believed to be the biggest in the valley that has been built solely on local donations.
Currently, Bindi is benefiting from two great educational institutions in the form of boys and girls high schools. Again the local population has shown long term commitment in establishing and maintaining both the institutions. Other facilities in Bindi include Muslim commercial bank, a post office and a lower level civil dispensary which takes care of the health requirements of the people of Bindi and the adjacent villages There isn’t any known historical site in the area accept a few ancient Bawlies that have been constructed on the same pattern as other such Bawlies in the valley.
A beautiful area in Bindi
Baba Shadi Shaheed (Shrine)
This is resting place for a 16 century ruler Shadab Khan, descendant of a famous Hindu called Chib Chand who laid the foundation of the Chib dynasty in Bhimber minor state.
Shadab Khan was born around the end of the 15th century. His real name was Shadab Chand. He grew up as a Hindu prince, but during the growing influence of Islam in the Sub continent, he converted to Islam and changed his name to Shadab Khan. He became ruler of Bhimber state after the death of his father Gorpal Chand also known as Goja Chand. As a ruler he showed his true potential and soon became very popular amongst his subjects. His rule was based upon justice, equality and public welfare. For these precise reasons the oppressed people from other states also regarded him as a symbol of hope and migrated into his kingdom in search of peace and harmony. There are a number of stories surrounding his death. One widely believed version is that he was killed by his brother in law while returning to his capital Bhimber after abandoning his fourth wife in Delhi.
Majority of the devotees paying visits to his shrine know him as a great saint. Little do they know that it was due to his ruling qualities he became a legend in history.
Chib Rajput's of today consider themselves to be the direct descendant of Shadab Khan (Baba shadi shaheed). Therefore they take their newly born sons to his shrine to pay homage and perform certain rituals. Over the years this long running tradition has become popular among ordinary people too. Every year thousands of visitors from all over Punjab and Azad Kashmir come here to show their respect in variety of ways.
Baba Shadi Shaheed shrine is managed by the department of Auqaf Azad Jammu and Kashmir generating a huge amount of revenue for its government. It is disappointing to learn that only a fraction of that amount is invested back into the shrine to improve the conditions of the facilities.
Shrine Baba Shadi Shaheed
An internal view of the Shrine
Chowki is situated 7 km to the west of Samahni town. This is another historic place in the valley. It is believed that the early Rajas of Bhimber state had built their summer residencies here to escape the heat. There are also suggestions that Gurpal chand (goja chand) the fathers of Baba shadi shaheed’s remains have been buried in Chowki.
Chowki’s main attraction is its vibrant roadside market. In the past few years this market has emerged as a home of thriving businesses. These businesses range from ordinary fruit shops to top quality furniture showrooms. There is also a very successful fruit&veg wholesale market supplying to the length and breadth of the entire valley.
Chowki is linked with Bhimber via Toneen, Kadiala road too. This road eventually joins Bimber Samahni road at the scenic point of Jandichontra.
Currently Chowki has the following institutions within its domain. Post office, Degree College for boys, Girls Degree College, Banking facilities, Supply depot, Police station, and a civil dispensary.
Fruit Stall in Chowki
Goja Peer Tomb, Chowki.
Travelling from Samahni to Mirpur via Pirgali route, the next major destination after Chowki and Bindi is called Jandala. Jandala is approximately 6-7 km from Bindi and like its counterparts it too has a roadside bazaar that attracts surrounding villages for obvious reasons. Unlike Bindi, Jandala bazaar is situated on a rather plain area, semi-circled by fertile and rich cultivated fields. This bazaar along with providing many other useful services offers much needed medical, banking and postal facilities too.
On the education front Jandala has both boys and girls high schools supported by some primary level private and state established institutions. Jandala is surrounded by some of very prominent villages. For example Darhal, Barjun, Garhoon and Chadroon villages are only within 5-6 km range and are linked with Jandala through “pakha” roads. Darhal, Barjun and Garhoon being perched at elevated locations of the mountain, offer very picturesque and scenic views. While Chadroon village lies on the plains of the valley within an equal distance of Bindi and Jandala , therefore keeps its ties with both the places.
Some of the other neighbouring areas are Barjah and Chawalla. Both of these areas fall on Mirpur road a few kilometres further west of Jandala. Due to ever increasing commercial activities, Jandala has become employment hub for the local and surrounding population. If it kept growing in the same fashion, it will have far reaching effects on the local economy.
Population 1998 census = 2758
Poona is located close to the western borders of the valley. It is the last significant place before leaving the valley for Mirpur city. It is aprox 9 km from Jandala bazaar and is only a touch short of the halfway mark between Samahni and Mirpur.
Poona is bounded by a number of well reputed villages. In the north it is linked with the famous village of Tanddar through a 6 km stretch of the road and a few km further towards the line of control is the scenic area of Haripur. Sandaar and Behmla are situated in the north west of Poona and are the last areas falling within the domain of Sub Div Samahni. Staying on Mirpur road, immediately after leaving Poona, the road starts ascending the southern mountain range of the valley taking you to the highest point of Pirgali. It is from here that the road takes its downhill course towards Mirpur and beyond.
Poona also has a very striking roadside market which provides all the basic amenities and has gone through considerable expansion over the years. On a hill slope to the north of the bazaar there are a large number of beautifully constructed multi story homes to remind us of the financial status of occupants.
Poona is situated in a strategic location of the valley. This fact has also been recognised by the govt. of Azad Jammu and Kashmir by granting two intermediate colleges to cater both the sexes. Other then this, Poona’s population is enjoying the services of the following institutions too: Allied Bank, Post office, Habib Bank, Medical centre, United Bank, Jamia mosque, Niabat offices, AEO office
A beautiful part of Poona