Kathua (कठुआ) known as Gateway of Jammu & Kashmir State, Kathua district lies in south-east of Jammu Kashmir state.
District broadly comprises three distinct zones. These can be described as border, kandi and hilly areas.The two main rivers of the district are Raviand Ujh which are major contributors to the prestigious Ravi-Tawi Irrigation Complex. The most important minerals in the district are cement grade lime stone in Basholi.
Dogri is the main language spoken by the people of the district. There are a number of monuments in the district like towering forts and magnificent places at Kathua, Lakhanpur, Jasmergarh (Hiranagar), Jasrota, Ramkote and Basholi.
The district has a population of over 6.15 lakhs as per 2011 estimates. The district has literacy percentage of 73.5%.
Though there is no detailed and fully documented history of Kathua district. It is believed that one Jodh Singh a famous Rajput of Andotra clan migrated from HASTINAPUR to KATHUA nearly 2000 years ago and settled here. The three Hamlets of Taraf Tajwal, Taraf Manjali and Taraf Bhajwal were established by his three sons Viz. Teju, Kindal and Bhaju. Their descendent are now called as Tajwalia, Bhajwalia and Khanwalia Rajputs of Andotra sub-caste. The conglomeration of these three hamlets was loosely called “KATHAI” in earlier times which with the passage of time came to be called as KATHUA.
Greek historians, who provide an insight into the ancient history of Jammu prominently record the existence of two powerful empires of Abhisara (Present day Poonch) and Kathaioi at the time of invasion of India by Alexandara, Strabo describes Kathaioi as a mighty republic of that era located in the foot hills along river Ravi. The topography of Kathaioi corresponds with the present day Kathua. Starbo describes the people of the republic as epitome of bravery and courage and records that they gave a tough fight to invading Army of Alexandara.
Kathua District is situated at 320 17′ to 320 55’ North Latitude and 750 70′ to 760 16’ East longitude. The District is surrounded by Punjab in the South-East, Himachal Pradesh in North-East, District Doda and Udhampur in North and North-West, Jammu in the West and Pakistan in the South-West. It has an area of 2651 Sq Kms. The district can be conveniently divided into three distinct Agro-climatic regions. The area falling South of Pathankot-Jammu-Srinagar National Highway consists of deep alluvial soils.
The area is mostly irrigated and quite productive. This area touches Pakistan and Punjab border and it is also popularly called Border Area. The second zone falling north of the National Highway extends upto foothills of Himalayas and falling mostly in Shivalik ranges is called Kandi area. It is characterized by shallow soils full of boulders with negligible natural water resources. The area faces acute shortage of water and the productivity of the land is very marginal. Part of Kathua, Barnoti, Hiranagar, Ghagwal, Basohli and Billawar block falls in this category. The third area falls beyond Shivalik ranges and extends upto to Peer Panchal ranges. This area is mountainous in nature with little potential for agriculture.
Kathua District is broadly comprises three distinct zones viz. Border, Kandi and Hilly. Billawar, Bani, Basohli and Lohai –Malhar Blocks of the district comes under hilly area. The culture of this area is Pahari which resembles the culture of Himachal Paradesh. The other part of the district has Dogra Culture.
Dogri is the main language spoken by the people of the district. Though the dogri spoken in some parts of the district has the influence of Punjabi tone also but the rural areas specially the hilly areas are free from Punjabi. Their main language is Dogri/Pahari.
The Language is the rural and hilly areas has maintained its native purity, accent and sweetness. However a very small section of the Population residing in Lohai-Malhar and Bani Blocks also speaks Kashmiri. Gojri is also spoken by the Gujjar Community settled here and there. However, Dogri is main language spoken in the district.
Historical Places and Monuments
Was founded by Raja Jas Dev of Jammu in 1019 A.D.Jasrotias ruled this state upto 1834 A.D., when it was given to Raja Hira Singh.
Tehsil headquarter town of the district is belived to be capital. In earlier times Billawar is known as Vallapura, the hilly state finds mention in the Rajatarangni as capital of the state till 1630 A.D.
Was fonded by Raja Manak Dev, a contemporary of Raja Narsingh Dev of Jammu(1272-1314 A.D.). It was renamed by Raja Suchet Singh (1822-43) as Ramkote.
Raja Sangram Singh,founded Lakhanpur state.Lakhanapur is known as the gateway of Jammu & Kashmir.
A prominent town of Billawar tehsil. Bhadu town is situated on Bhini nallah, a tributary of Ujh river.
Near Jasrota and Jandi near Hiranagar were also important states/principalities in the district.
Kathua district consists of 8 blocks: Billawar, Basohli, Bani, Duggan, Lohi Malhar, Kathua, Barnoti and Hiranagar. Each block consists of a number of panchayats.
The district of Kathua is subdivided into five tehsils:
- Kathua Tehsil
- Hiranagar Tehsil
- Billawar Tehsil
- Basohli Tehsil
- Bani Tehsil
Kathua District has five assembly constituencies: Bani, Basohli, Kathua, Billawar and Hiranagar (S.C)
|Area Sq. Km||2,651|
|Proportion to Jammu and Kashmir Population||4.91%|
|Sex Ratio (Per 1000)||877|
|Child Sex Ratio (0-6 Age)||836|
|Total Child Population (0-6 Age)||80,157|
|Male Population (0-6 Age)||43,648|
|Female Population (0-6 Age)||36,509|
|Child Proportion (0-6 Age)||13.02%|
|Boys Proportion (0-6 Age)||13.31%|
|Girls Proportion (0-6 Age)||12.69%|
|Population (%)||85.62 %||14.38 %|
|Child Sex Ratio (0-6)||840||805|
|Child Population (0-6)||71,023||9,134|
|Child Percentage (0-6)||13.47 %||10.32 %|
|Male Child Percentage||13.75 %||10.69 %|
|Female Child Percentage||13.16 %||9.89 %|
|Average Literacy||71.25 %||86.41 %|
|Male Literacy||79.67 %||91.30 %|
|Female Literacy||61.73 %||80.86 %|