Poonch District, Pakistan

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Poonch district, Kashmir
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
ProvinceJammu and Kashmir
 • Total855 km2 (330 sq mi)
 • Total411,000
Time zoneUTC+5 (PST)

Poonch (Urdu: ضلع پونچھ ‎) is one of the 10 districts of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Poonch district borders Indian-administered Kashmir and is part of the greater dispute between India and Pakistan.

The capital of the district is Rawalakot.


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 Punjab Government. Poonch was included in the transfer of the hilly country to Maharaja Gulab Singh of Jammu and Kashmir in 1848. Before this transfer, Poonch was considered a district of Lahore. Maharaja Gulab Singh granted Chibal, Poonch and other areas to Jawahar Singh and Moiti Singh. The Raja of Poonch had to present to the Maharaja one horse with gold trappings. The Raja of Poonch was not to effect any administrative changes in the territory of Poonch without prior consultation with the Maharaja of Kashmir.

Separation of Poonch[edit]

Map of Poonch district

After independence in 1947, there was a rebellion in the western part of the-then Poonch District. The rebels led by Sardar Muhammad Ibrahim Khan, sought support from the Dominion of Pakistan, which provided arms and then launched an invasion of its own, using Pashtun tribals. In response, the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir joined India, and the conflict turned into an Indo-Pakistani War. When a ceasefire was effected, the Poonch district was split across the two countries. The former capital city, Poonch, came under the Indian Poonch district. A new capital at Rawalakot was eventually established by Pakistan.

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.


The district is administratively subdivided into 3 tehsils:

Language and ethcicity[edit]

The major ethnic groups are the Sudhan,Awan,Maldtal,Dulli,Gujjars and Khawajas.[citation needed]


According to Pakistan District Education Ranking 2017, a report released by Alif Ailaan, the district of Poonch is ranked at number 8 nationally, with an education score of 73.52. Poonch is the most improved district in terms of middle schools over the past 5 years. The learning score of Poonch is 84.15.

The school infrastructure score of district Poonch is 14.88, ranking the district at number at 151, which places it in the bottom five districts in all of Pakistan relating to infrastructure.  Schools in Poonch also have severe electricity problems, drinking water and boundary wall problems reflecting in their score of 2.67, 12.1 and 6.23 respectively. The state of building of some schools are also a major safety risk for the students.[citation needed]


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


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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Census 2017: AJK population rises to over 4m". The Nation. Retrieved 2018-11-24.

External links[edit]