The Landscape and Physical Features of the Area
The area now comprising “Bagh” district had been a part of “Poonch” state (occupied Kashmir) before independence and had been a tehsil of “Poonch” district till 1987. The same year Bagh district was created consisting three sub-divisions namely Dhirkot, Bagh and Haveli with its headquarters at Bagh. It is said that a Bagh (garden) was set up by the landowner, where now the premises of the Forest Department is located. Resultantly, the area was named as “Bagh”, which is now the district headquarters. It is bounded on the north by Muzaffarabad district, on the east by occupied state of Jammu and Kashmir on the south by Poonch District and on the west by Rawalpindi and Abbottabad Districts of Pakistan
Topographically, the entire Bagh district is mountainous area, generally sloping from northeast to south-west. The area falls in lesser Himalayas zone. The main range in district is Pir- Panjal. The Haji-Pir Pass is situated at the height of 3421 meters above sea level. The general elevation is between 1500 and 2500 meters above sea level. Mountains are generally covered with coniferous forests. Mahl Nala in Bagh sub-division and Betar Nala in Haveli sub-division are the two main streams. However, other numerous rivulets flow in the district.
Climate of the district varies with altitude. The temperature generally remains between 2°c to 40°c. The main eastern part of district is very cold in winter and moderate in summer. However, lower valleys, the localities bordering Bagh at Kohala and its adjoining areas (Mongbajri and Ajra-Bagh) remain cold in winter and hot in summer. May, June and July are the hottest months. Maximum and minimum temperatures during the month of June are about 40°C and 22°C respectively. December, January and February are the coldest months. The maximum temperature in January is about 16°C and minimum temperature is 3°C respectively. The annual precipitation is about 1500 millimeters.
Pine, kail, fir and other trees like poplar, shisham, kikar, willow, walnut, ban-akhore, chinar and mannu are found in abundance in the district. Among flowers zianna, dahlia, merrygold, cosmos, daffodil, aster and rose of different kinds are found in the district. Mostly the population of the rural areas is eagerly devoted to plantation of fruit plants to meet the needs of people. For this purpose agricultural and fruit nurseries have been established by the Agriculture Department. Wild life of the district is mostly confined in Haveli range where Markhore, Himalayan thar, leopard cat and bear are found. Among birds murgh zareen, chakore and moned pheasant are available. Murgh zareen and shahin are confined to forests at high hills and chakore is commonly found in the lower plants.
The major crops of the district are maize and wheat but at some places rice, gram, bajra and jawar are also cultivated. Pulses of different kinds are also grown in different areas of the district. Similarly the soil of the district is also ideal for sunflower, mustard and basmati rice. Ponies and donkeys are kept for carrying load. Buffalos and sheep/goat are kept almost in every home for milk and other dairy products.