About Rajouri District

Rajouri is a town and a municipal council in Rajouri district in Jammu and Kashmir. An important town enroute Poonch, Rajouri is important for defence point of view. Rajouri is about 130 kilometres (81 miles) away from Jammu city on the Poonch Highway. Rajouri is also called the Valley of Lakes as there are many lakes around the city.

The important lakes are Sukh Sar, Akal Dakshni, Nandan Sar, Chandan Sar, Katori Sar, Raviwalli marg group of lakes, Chamar Sar, Bhsg Sar, Diya Sar, Padyaran Sar I and II, Katori Sar in Bela Marg and Smat Sar. All the above lakes are situated in the highlands of Pir Panjal Range and freeze during winter and become available for rafting or boating only during summer season i.e. during the months from June to October.

“Rajauri Day” is observed on April 13 to pay homage to those who laid down their lives for the liberation of Rajouri town from Pakistani raiders in 1948.

History

The District drives its name from Rajouri town which itself had been historically known as Rajapuri/Rajapura. Rajouri District had been part of Poonch district prior to 1967. On 22 September 1967, the government bifurcated district Poonch into two districts namely ‘Rajouri’ and ‘Poonch’, to facilitate the process of development and better supervision of economic activities in this area. By this way, Rajouri emerged as a District from 1 January 1968. The District has an area of 2,630 km2 with peculiar physical features. The District is situated in the west of Jammu Division and is surrounded by the Poonch, Udhampur and Jammu Districts.

Rajouri, during ancient times known as Rajapura or Rajapuri – ‘the land of Kings’ – finds its mention in the travelogue of Chinese traveller Yuan Chawang who visited the town in 632 AD and described it as a part of Kashmiri dominion. Still earlier in the Buddhist period, it formed a part of Gandhar territory (north-west Punjab and parts of north-western frontier province of Pakistan) and later was included in the domain called Daravabhisara which comprised the hilly stretch from Poonch to Kashmir. Those days Laharkote in Poonch district and Rajouri had emerged as two powerful states of the area.

Based on evidence in the ancient text, the Mahabharata, combined with the evidence from Chinese pilgrim Yuan Chawang, the region of Kashmir including the districts of Hazara, Poonch and Abhisara had been under the over lordship of the Republican Kambojas with Rajapura as their metropolis during epic times.

According to F. E. Pargitor, second branch of Aryan emigrants crossed Himalayas in the north and west and settled in Rajouri and Poonch area. Rajouri, Bhimber and Nowshera were included within the territory of Abhisar, which was one of the hilly states of Punjab Kingdom. Early records of fragmentary nature show that in 4th century BC there existed in the north west of India a federal type of political set up in which Abhisar with its capital Rajouri was also included. At the time of Alexander’s invasion, Rajouri was at the height of its glory. In Mauryan period, the town of Rajouri was a great trade centre. During the Mughal rule, the rulers of Rajouri have embraced Islam though they retained the title of Raja Albaurni visited Rajouri with Sultan Masud (son of Sultan Mahmud) in 1036 AD. In his book India he wrote name of Rajouri as Raja Vari. Srivar, the writer of Raj Tirangini written during the reign of Sultan Zain-Ul-Abdin, also named this area as Raja Vari. It appears that Raja Vari is the changed shape of Raj Puri. Praja Bhat another writer of Raj Tirangini of 16th century AD wrote this place as Raj-Vare in his book. Mirza Zafarulla Khan, writer of Tarikh Rajgan-E-Rajour, described in his book that this place was originally known as Raj-Avar and then changed from Rajour to Rajouri. But the old people in the villages still call the place as Rajour.

With the passage of time the name changed from Raja’s Raj Avar to Raja Puri, Rajapuri to Raj Vari, Raj Vari to Raj Vara, Raj Vara to Raj Avar, Raj Avar to Rajour and then Rajour to Rajouri. As per Rajtirangini of Kalhana, Rajouri emerged as principality in about 1003 AD. The first ruler of this kingdom was Raja Prithvi Paul. From 1033 to 1194 AD these Pauls ruled this state. They were Raja Prithvi Paul, Raja Janki Paul (1035 AD), Raja Sangram Paul (1063 AD), Raja Som Paul (1101 AD), Bahu Paul (1113 AD) and Amna Paul (1194 AD). Raja Prithvi Paul defeated Pir Panchal Pass at the time of invasion of Sultan Mahmud in 1021 AD. Raja Sangram Paul defended his Principality Rajouri when Raja Harash of Kashmir assaulted his country in 1089 AD. Sangram Paul fought so bravely that Raja Harash was compelled to return from Prithvi Paul fort without capturing Rajouri.

As per Tarikh-Rajgan-e-Rajour, Noor-Ud-Din who migrated from Punjab to Rajouri revolted against Raja Amna Paul. Raja Amna Paul was killed in the revolt and Noor-Ud-Din became the Raja of Rajouri. In this way Raja Noor-Ud-Din aid the foundation of Jaral Muslim rule in Rajouri in 1194 AD to 21 October 1846 AD. Rajouri Principality remained governed by Jaral Rajas. The renowned Rajas of this dynasty were Raja Noor-Ud-Din (1194 AD), Raja Anwar Khan (1252 AD), Raja Sardar Khan (1289 AD), Raja Shah-Ud-Din (1412 AD), Raja Mast Wali Khan (1565 AD), Raja Taj-Ud-Din (1604 AD), Raja Anayat Ullah Khan (1648 AD), Raja Azmat Ullah Khan (1683 AD), Raja Izzat Ullah Khan (1762 AD), Raja Karam Ullah Khan (1676 AD), Raja Aggar Ullah Khan (1808 AD) and Raja Raheem Ullah Khan (1819 AD). Raja Raheem Ullah Khan was the last Muslim Ruler of Rajouri who governed this principality up to 21 October 1846.

Jaral Muslim Rajas rebuilt Rajouri city during their rule. Number of Fort, Sarai, Mosque and Biradaries were constructed with the help of Mughals, on Mughal road. The area of Rajouri principality comprised proper Rajouri, Thanna, Bagla Azim Garh, Darhal, Behrote, Chingus, Nagrota and Phalyana etc. The total revenue of Rajouri was Rs.3.00 lacs in 1846. Raja Aggar Ullah Khan (1808–1819) fought bravely, first against Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1815 and then Raja Gulab Singh in 1819. These Muslim Rajas were very liberal and accommodating. Raja Azmat Ullah was having Hindu Minister of Mehta family of Rajouri. Hindu Rajputs were given preference at the time of employment in armed forces.

The successive Jarral Rulers were also responsible for the proper upkeep of Mughal route from Gujarat to Kashmir, dotted by a dozen stations in between. The town also called Rampur as per the revenue document, gained popularity during the Mughal period as the Mughal Ruler, during their movement from Delhi to Kashmir and back, used to stay at the station for some time.

In 1846 Amritsar pact was signed between British Government and Raja Gulab Singh of Jammu. In the light of this pact, Jammu and Kashmir State was handed over to Raja Gulab Singh and he was designated as Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir.

After taking the charge of Rajouri in 1846, Maharaja Gulab Singh changed the name of Rajouri to Rampur. He appointed Mian Hathu as Governor of Rajouri. Mian Hathu remained in Rajouri up to 1846 AD. He constructed a beautiful temple in between Thanna Nallah near Rajouri city. He also rebuilt Rajouri Fort of Jarral Ruling Dynasty at Dhanni dhar village. After Mian Hathu, Rajouri was converted into a Tehsil and affiliated with Bhimber District. In 1904 AD, this Tehsil was bifurcated from Bhimber and affiliated with Reasi District. After Independence, Rajouri became part of the newly constituted Poonch-Rajouri District. On 1 January 1968, Rajouri emerged as a new District on the map of the State.

Administration

The District comprise of six Tehsils, namely

  • Rajouri
  • Nowshera
  • Sunderbani
  • Kalakote
  • Koteranka
  • Thannamandi

and seven blocks of

  • Rajouri
  • Manjakote
  • Darhal
  • Malkan
  • Budhal
  • Kalakote
  • Sunderbani
  • Nowshera

Historical Places and Monuments

Thanamandi

This is an important historical place from the time of Mughals who used to stay here during journey from Delhi to Kashmir and vice versa.The climate of this place is very charming and infact a health resort.It is also famous for its artistic wooden products.The famous shirne of Shahdara Shariaf is 6 Kms from this place.

Dhandidhar Fort

It is a historical monument located on a hill in the vicinity of Rajouri town.This fort was probably constructed by Mughal King during the reign of Emperor Jahangir nearly 400 years back.It is just 2 Kms.away from Rajouri presenting panoramic and impressive view of the entire area.

Usman Memorial

Usman Memorial has been constructed at Jhangar in the memory of Brig.Usman who was mainly responsible for freeing the captublack area around Jhangar.After having captublack this strategic area,Brig.Usman convened a conference of army officers to decide future course of action.Meanwhile,he fell to heavy shelling of the enemy on 3rd July 1948.This great memorial is maintained by the Infantry Unit located at Jhangar.The heroic deeds of armymen as well as civilians who died while fighting in this area are commemorated every year on 3rd of July as “Jhangar Day”.

Balidan Bhawan

This Bhawan is a memoir of great sacrifices made by the people of Rajouri during 1947-48.On the night of Diwali in October-November 1947,the Pakistani marauders forcibly captublack the town when indian army was operating in other parts of the district.The marauders mercilessly put to death thousands of men and women,old and young,infants and children and plundeblack the town in lust of wealth and booty.The Indian army liberated the town on 13th April,1948 the day of Baisakhi festival.The Bhawan since then has been dedicated to the sacrifices of those heroes and was given the name of Balidan Bhawan .

War Memorial

It has been raised at Gujjar Mandi Chowk in Rajouri township.Rajouri was liberated by the Indian army on 13th April 1948.Major General Kulwant Singh launched an attack against Pakistani forces who had converted the site of present airfield into a slaughter ground.

Hall of Fame

On the top of the mound,the great memorial Hall of Fame has been constructed in commemoration of the heroic deeds of those who had laid down their lives for the sake of their motherland in the sectors of Rajouri and Poonch.

Tourist Places

The district abounds in places which have immense pilgrim essence and tourist attraction. Some of these are as under:

Shahdara Sharief

It is the shrine of Baba Ghulam Shah in the lap of montains which is well connected with 30 Km. black topped road from Rajouri Town. The shrine commonly known as Shahdara Sharief is a popular tourist spot in Rajouri district. Thousands of pilgrims visit the shrine daily. There was a pir named Ghulam Shah who was born in Syed Family at village Saidian Rawalpindi. Ghulam Shah made Shadara his abode for the rest of his life.

 

 

Nao Gazi Ziarat

The Ziarat of Qutab Shah Wali at Danidhar near Rajouri town is also very popular which is the 9 yard long grave of the saint and locally known as Nao Gazi Ziarat.

Mangla Goddess

At this place there is one cave existing on the pattern of Mata Vaishno Devi and bears much religious importance. Large numbers of devotees from different parts of the district visited this shrine. In view of the existing inflow of the devotees a Sarai has been constructed. The majestic and ancient shrine of the goddess Mangla is a place of the people and is situated on a hillock at Bhawani Nowshera and is 70 Kms. from Rajouri. The shrine is believed to be as old as that of Mahabharata and the miracles experienced there have made the shirne more popular among the people’s.

Chingus

The famous Chingus Sarai designed with Mughal architect style located about 2,000 feet above sea level and on the right bank of nallah and just on the Jammu-Poonch highway is a spot of historical interest. The entrails of the Mughal emperor Jahangir were buried inside this Sarai when he passed away while returning from Kashmir. It is around 35 Kms. from Rajouri.

Sukh Sar

This is the first lake if one approaches these groups of lakes from northern direction. This is an oval shaped lake situated at an elevation of about 3000 m and is very small in size.

Akal Darshni

This lake is situated next to Sukh Sar at a distance of about one km. Akal Darshani is worshipped by all Bakerwals who pass through this route and consider it very sacred. Lake is triangular in shape and the colour of water looks black in comparison to blue colour of other lakes. It is located slightly at higher altitude to that of Sukh Sar at an elevation of about 3,300 m. This lake is about 200 m wide and 400 m long.

Nandar Sar

This lake is one of the biggest and beautiful lakes located at such a high altitude. Nandan Sar is oval in shape and more than one km in length. Water lake is deep blue in colour. To approach this lake one has to ascend the slope from Akal Dakshni and then descend towards Kashmir watershed. Lake is located at an elevation of about 3,500 m. The water of this lake flows through Jadi Marg nullah into the valley.

Chandan Sar

At half an hour trekking distance from Nandan Sar is located Chandan Sar amidst a depression formed by lofty mountains across the nullah to east. Chandan Sar is located at an elevation of about 3,600 m and is as big as Nandan Sar.

Katori Sar

From Chandan Sar route again enters Rajouri District through dharhal pass (3,650 m) in westerly direction. Just near is the saddle and irregular shaped lake, with blue waters, welcomes the travels. This is Katori lake or Sar at an elevation of about 3550 metres.

 

Ravi Walli Marg group of lakes

From Katori Sar as one descends down due west, water of four lakes gives a panoramic view of Ravi Walli Marg. The four lakes located in this Marg are Kokar Sar, Neel Sar, Bhag Sar and Ding Sar. Altitude of this place is about 3,300 m and is one of the best camping sites at this altitude.

To approach Chamar Sar one has to reach Sarota Marg located along the Chamar Nala and camp here for one night. Chamar Sar is one day’s trekking from Ravi Walli Marg. It is better to approach Chamar and Bhag Sar from Sarota Marg and come back same day. Chamar Sar is bean shaped like located at an altitude of 3,300 m. This lake if full of icebergs till late July. Circumference of this lake is more than 12 km. This lake is source of chamar Nala which ultimately joins Bafliaz Nala near Behram Gala.

Bhag Sar

Bhag Sar is the highest lake situated in this series of lakes in atapani/Budhal mountains at an elevation of about 3700 metres. It is an oval shaped lake and is inaccessible for a common man. It is enclosed from all the four sides and is always full of icebergs. To approach this lake one has to skirt around the chamar Sar from left side and then ascend the glacier up to 4,000 m from where the lake is visible.

Diya Sar

This lake is also accessible from Sarota Marg located due west from Chamar Sar. Shape of the lake is typical like an Indian earthen lamp and so named as Diya Sar. This lake is about one km long and located at an elevation of about 3,600 m.

Padyaran Sar (I & II)

To reach Padyaran Sars, one has to ascend the steep one km cliff of Diya Sar Gali at an elevation of 3,800 m. From the Gali one enters famous Rupari Corridor towards hill terrain of an catchments. Just below Diya Sar Gali, at an elevation of 3,400 m twin lakes of Padyaran Sar can be seen. Both are bean shaped lakes. Padyaran I is slightly bigger than Padyaran II. Most of the time, these lakes remain under snow. Nomadic Bakerwals of Taryath, Tatapani, Khawas, Metka, Moghla, Kandi, Bakori, and Budhal cross Rupari pass to enter Kashmir valley.

Katori Sar in Bela Marg

This is a saucer shaped lake located on western and of Bela Marg, at an altitude of 3,300 m. It is one of the smallest lakes formed due to pooling of water from melting snow and dries out till end of September.

Gum Sar

This is another small lake at the foot of Dhakyar peak at an elevation of 3,600 m. Dhakyar peak is the highest peak in this range. It is pyramidical mountain with height of about 4,660 m.

Samot Sar

Samot Sar is located on northern end of Badjari Marg, at an elevation of about 3,550 m. This is an oval shaped blue water lake with maximum length of about one km. Samot Sar is nearest accessible lake from Budhal side (1,800 m). From Budhal it takes about four hours to reach on foot up to lake. Budhal is approachable by road from Rajouri.

 

Demographics

As of the 2011 census, Rajouri had a population of 37,552 while the population under the municipal limits is 41,552. Males constitute 57% of the population and females 43%. Rajouri has an average literacy rate of 77%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 83%, and female literacy is 68%. In Rajouri, 12% of the population is under 6 years of age. The people are mostly Gujjars, Dogras and Paharis.

Muslims make up 55% of the population, Hindus 42% and Sikhs 3%.

Organisation

The district comprises the tehsils of Rajouri, Darhal, Koteranka, Nowshera, Thannamandi, and Kalakot.

There are nine blocks: Rajouri, Darhal, Sunderbani, Doonji, Nowshera, Kalakote, Manjakote, Thanamandi and Budhal. Each block consists of a number of panchayats.

Politics

Rajouri district has four assembly constituencies: Nowshera, Darhal, Rajouri and Kalakote.

 

Description 2011
Actual Population 619,266
Male 332,424
Female 286,842
Population Growth 28.14%
Area Sq. Km 2,630
Density/km2 235
Proportion to Jammu and Kashmir Population 4.93%
Sex Ratio (Per 1000) 863
Child Sex Ratio (0-6 Age) 837
Average Literacy 68.54
Male Literacy 78.38
Female Literacy 57.20
Total Child Population (0-6 Age) 118,514
Male Population (0-6 Age) 64,503
Female Population (0-6 Age) 54,011
Literates 343,196
Male Literates 210,006
Female Literates 133,190
Child Proportion (0-6 Age) 19.14%
Boys Proportion (0-6 Age) 19.40%
Girls Proportion (0-6 Age) 18.83%

Rajouri

Description Rural  Urban
Population (%) 92.91 % 7.09 %
Total Population 575,332 43,934
Male Population 305,253 27,171
Female Population 270,079 16,763
Sex Ratio 885 617
Child Sex Ratio (0-6) 835 904
Child Population (0-6) 113,955 4,559
Male Child(0-6) 62,108 2,395
Female Child(0-6) 51,847 2,164
Child Percentage (0-6) 19.81 % 10.38 %
Male Child Percentage 20.35 % 8.81 %
Female Child Percentage 19.20 % 12.91 %
Literates 307,501 35,695
Male Literates 186,441 23,565
Female Literates 121,060 12,130
Average Literacy 66.65 % 90.65 %
Male Literacy 76.68 % 95.11 %
Female Literacy 55.47 % 83.09 %

 

 

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