Poonch District, Pakistan

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For Poonch district administered by India, see Poonch district, India.
Poonch
District
Poonch
Map of Azad Kashmir with Poonch highlighted
Map of Azad Kashmir with Poonch highlighted
Coordinates: 33°51′14″N 73°45′03″E / 33.8540°N 73.7507°E / 33.8540; 73.7507Coordinates: 33°51′14″N 73°45′03″E / 33.8540°N 73.7507°E / 33.8540; 73.7507
Country Pakistan
Province Jammu and Kashmir
Headquarters Rawalakot
Area
 • Total 855 km2 (330 sq mi)
Population (1998)
 • Total 459,000
 • Density 548/km2 (1,420/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+5)

Poonch (Urdu: ضلع پونچھ ‎) is one of the eight districts of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Poonch district borders Indian-administered Kashmir that comes under the Kashmir section which is part of the greater dispute between India and Pakistan.

The capital of the district is Rawalakot with the Sudhan, Awans tribes being the dominant groups in the district. This region has produced numerous business, political and military leaders.

History[edit]

From the end of seventeenth century up to 1837 CE, Poonch was ruled by the Muslim Rajas of Loran in Tehsil Haveli. It then fell into the hands of Raja Faiztalab Khan of Rajuri to whom it was handed over by the Punjab Government. Poonch was included in the transfer of the hilly country to Maharaja Gulab Singh in 1848. Before this transfer, Poonch was considered a district of Lahore. Maharaja Gulab Singh granted Chibal, Poonch and other areas to Jawaharr Singh and Moiti Singh. The Raja of Poonch had to present to the Maharaja of, what is now known as Jammu and Kashmir, one horse with gold trappings. The Raja of Poonch was not to effect any administrative changes in the territory of Poonch without previous consultation with the Maharaja of Kashmir.

Separation of Poonch[edit]

Map of Poonch district

After independence in 1947, Pakistan and India fought a war over Kashmir. As a result of the war, Poonch was split between the two nations. Prior to the division of Poonch, the only high school in the district was in the city of Poonch; this city now forms the capital of Indian-controlled Poonch.

Lohar Dynasty[edit]

The centre of Lohar dynasty was at Loharin which is now in Poonch district of the state Kashmir. Prominent Hindu kings of this dynasty have carved out a special place in the history of Kashmir.

This clan is famous in Kashmir history since it gave a whole dynasty which ruled for a long time called 'Lohar dynasty'. Their settlement is located in Pir Panjal Range. They were Vaishnavites and followers of Lord Vshnu of the Hindu pantheon of Gods. The Lohar fort is named after them. The famous queen Dida, married to Kshemagupta, was daughter of King Simha Raja of Lohar dynasty, who himself was married to a daughter of Shahi King Bhima Deva of Kabul. Lohar Kot was the name of the royal palace of the Lohar Dynasty. Alberuni (Abu Rayhan Biruni) refers to this castle Lohar Kot-as Loha Kot, and Mahmud Ghazni’s attack on Loha Kot was a dismal failure. Farishta tells that Muhmud failed because the fort “was remarkable on account of its height and strength. The Lohars had enough strength to defend the towering palace.

Lohar Dynasty ruled Kashmir for more than a century when Kshtriya rituals entered the Brahamnic cult. As is common with despotic rule, the whole period suffered from murders, suicides, corruption - material and moral - a record of which has been prepared by Kalhan Pandit who followed in the 12th century in the reign of Jayasinha. introduced was a slow but soothing stream aimed at raising up of moral and spiritual values and oneness of God.

Transport[edit]

A bus across the LOC, the Poonch-Rawalakot bus has helped to re-establish ties across the border.

Gallery[edit]

Banjosa Rest House, Rawalakot
Abbaspur, a small town in Poonch District
Sunrise over Mehndla and other areas of Poonch
The destroyed bridge between Madapur and Mehndla on the LOC in Poonch District

External links[edit]