Banihal is a town and a notified area committee in Ramban district in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. "Banihal" means blizzard in Kashmiri language. It has an average elevation of 1,666 m (5,466 ft). It is a rural and a hilly area with Kamirwah being one of the most spectacular hills. It is located about 35 km (22 mi) away from Qazigund of Anantnag district on NH 44 (former name NH 1A before renumbering of all national highways). However, the distance between Banihal and Qazigund is only 18 km by train on the new railway line which is much shorter than the road. . The most common language spoken in the region is Kashmiri; Urdu and English being other familiar languages.
Banihal Pass At 2,832 m (9,291 ft) elevation,the Pir Panjal mountains connect Banihal with Qazigund on the other side of the mountains. The Pir Panjal mountain range separates the Kashmir valley in the Indian state Jammu and Kashmir from the outer Himalaya and plains to the south. After closure of the Murree-Muzaffarabad-Srinagar road on partition of India in 1947, Banihal pass was the only passage from Jammu to Srinagar after independence until 1956 when Jawahar Tunnel was bored through the Pir Panjal range. The pass is accessible only in summer and remains closed rest of the year due to heavy snow. The Banihal city is divided into 7 wards for which elections are held every 5 years. The Banihal Municipal Committee has population of 3,900 of which 2,453 are males while 1,447 are females as per report released by Census India 2011.
Population of Children with age of 0-6 is 388 which is 9.95% of total population of Banihal (MC). In Banihal Municipal Committee, Female Sex Ratio is of 590 against state average of 889. Moreover, Child Sex Ratio in Banihal is around 902 compared to Jammu and Kashmir state average of 862. Literacy rate of Banihal city is 83.77% higher than state average of 67.16%. In Banihal, Male literacy is around 91.33% while female literacy rate is 70.31%.
Banihal Municipal Committee has total administration over 645 houses to which it supplies basic amenities like water,electricity and sewage management. It is also authorized to build roads within Municipal Committee limits and impose taxes on properties coming under its jurisdiction.