History Baffa was given the status of municipality in 1873 during British rule, it was principal mart of Northern Hazara and of the neighboring independent tracts. The population in 1901 was 7,029. The income during the ten years ending 1902-3 averaged Rs. 4,500, and the expenditure Rs. 4,600. In 1903-4 the income was Rs. 5,300, chiefly derived from octroi and the expenditure was Rs. 4,700. A vernacular middle school was maintained by the municipality and the District board. Location Union Council Baffa is situated in the Sirran Valley of Mansehra District, the town is located on the right bank of the Siran river in the northern corner of the Pakhli plain. It is 13 kilometres away from the district capital Mansehra in the North West. It is the Headquarters of the historical “Pakkhal Valley”. This valley is the last biggest plain area between Pakistan and China(The Deosai National Park is the biggest plain on the Pak-China Himalayan frontier, covering an area of 3000 km²). Beyond Pakkhal Valley is the continuous chain of the world largest mountains the Himalayas. Baffa is situated at the base of the Himalayan mountains. It used to be a big historical market between Gilgit and Rawalpindi. Baffa is the resting place of Mulana Ghous Hazarvi and historically the rally point of the Turks who had established their main cantonment at the village of Guli Bagh. The major tourist attractions are Nanga Baba shrine located at the top of a hillock overlooking the Pakhal Maidan (plain), Khar Maidan, Guli Bagh and Mount Tingalai. A number of crops are harvested, including paddy rice and vegetables, especially tomatoes, onions and potatoes. Finest quality Virginia tobacco is grown which has a major impact in improving local economic conditions. It takes 30 minutes from Manshehra City to Baffa via the historic Karakorum Road. On the way there is a bridge linking the small town Inayat Abad to Baffa. This bridge was constructed by the British government in the year 1935. In the year 2002 floods damaged it badly however it has now been reconstructed. The scenery is very beautiful specially because of Baffa's river, lush green trees and the surrounding mountains covered with snow. Religion By religion 100% population is of Muslim. Nearly all population is of the Sunni sect with exception of a family or two, which belong to the shia sect. The people of Baffa are mostly religious and very much moderate and give great respect to religious customs and culture. Demography The tribes of the union council are the Swati, Syed, Aawan mostly Qutab Shahi descendent of Hazrat Ali the fourth Caliph of Islam, Gujjar, and a few Turks. Education The overall literacy rate in U/C Baffa is satisfactory, and there are plenty of good education institutions serving Baffa and surrounding areas. There is one government High School for boys and an Inter College for girls, two government middle schools. There are privately owned schools for boys and girls as well. There are nine PhD Scholars in different subjects in Baffa which in fact is a very impressive figure for such a small town. There are considerable number of people having professional degrees in medicine, engineering, business etc. The female literacy rate for elder population is not satisfactory in the area, but is very much satisfactory for the young female generation, as parents now prefer to send their daughters to schools and colleges. Recently a new university named Hazara University has been established just few kilometers away from Baffa which has motivated a lot of students to continue their studies specially female students who could not go far or live in other cities for higher studies. Educated Baffa women are mostly engaged in teaching at government and private schools, and few educated women do other jobs. Agriculture Some Agricultural Lands Of Baffa Main agricultural yields include vegetables, wheat, maize, Rice, Sugarcane, and Tobacco. Tobacco produced in Baffa is of superb quality. “Super Virginia” Tobacco produced in the area is considered as the second best quality tobacco in the world. Two multinational Tobacco companies i.e. “Lacson Tobacco Company Limited” and “Pakistan Tobacco Company” are operating in the area. They purchase the locally produced tobacco and export it to Europe and USA where this is used in world’s top cigarettes Brands like Gold leaf, Marlbro, Capston etc. Tobacco farming is very tedious as well as very risky. Farmers may earn big profits or may suffer from a huge loss.Some families do not find it morally good to cultivate Tobacco so they turn to vegetables. Tomatoes, potatoes and other vegetables are cultivated in large numbers. Unfortunately there are no fruit gardens, as people have not adopted the trend of fruit gardens, even though the climate is very suitable for a lot of fruits. The climate of U/C Baffa is very suitable for tea farming. Research about tea production in Pakistan was first initiated by a local Farmer of U/C Baffa. There were privately owned tea farms in Baffa even in late 70s. Owner of the world leading tea company “Brook Bond” Mr. David Brooks visited Baffa in early 80s and admire the research work of the local farmer on tea production. Government of Pakistan established Pakistan’s first tea research centre “National Tea Research Institute (NTRI)” in Baffa. Development Not much development has happened in the last two decades for such a big town. For example, despite being a top quality cultivator of tobacco, Baffa does not have high quality tobacco leaf roasting facilities using natural gas. Baffa was also affected by the October 2005 earthquake, although not as much as the surrounding areas like Batagram, Alai,Balakot etc, and so hasn't received the same level of development investments. Electricity projects were started in the mid 1950s, Telecommunication sector of Pakistan "PTCL" started its services in mid 70's. There is one public hospital in Baffa. Recently a big restaurant and hotel has been made at a hilly picnic area which is attracting tourists from the surrounding areas. Looking at the peaceful area and the great weather conditions of Baffa town, there is potential for further tourism investment. There are various different markets available. Local commerce is carried out in the city centre specially Adnan Plaza which provides one of the best single stop commercial center available within a radius of 12 sqkm. Departments And Offices There are various public and private offices in Baffa town.The Agriculture Department has been shifted to Baffa.Earlier it was located in Dhodial where now the Hazara University has been established. The Agriculture department has been playing and is continuously playing a great role in helping the local farmers by selling good quality seeds to farmers on low rates compared to the market rates.Recently Wheat was sold by farmers/owners at this department in huge quantity, as this year Pakistan along with Baffa Town saw huge yield of wheat. Laccson Tobacco company also has its office in Baffa,as Baffa town is well sufficient in tobacco cultivation. There are two different banks providing its services namely the National Bank of Pakistan and Habib Bank Limited. There is one Pakistan Post Office and two Utility Stores. Sports Different sports activities carried in Baffa Town include football, volleyball, swimming and cricket. Every year a number of tournaments are held at the Boys High school ground Baffa.The most popular game is cricket.
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