Welcome to Kishtwar
In a rare widening of the Chenab Valley gorge, Kishtwar is the biggest town on the thrilling K³ route and the transfer point if you want to then divert to Srinagar/Pahalgam via Sinthan Top. Ringed by forested mountain ridges, albeit none of them white-top peaks, the town’s best viewpoint is the former site of the long disappeared Qila palace-fort. That was the residence of king Taj Singh whose much celebrated conversion to Islam was inspired by Shah Fariduddin Shaib (1592–1691), now entombed at Astan Bala, Kishtwar’s foremost spiritual centre. The mosque-shrine's floral embellished central building is of limited interest to casual visitors but getting there from the bus stand area takes you past the impressive new Jamia Masjid and through a series of small market lanes. Continue another 15 minutes east to a second shrine overlooking the flock-grazed Chowgan, Kishtwar's giant park dotted with beautiful chinar trees.