View of old Jhula Bridge at Medina Colony, Rajouri.
|State||Jammu and Kashmir|
|• Type||Municipal Council|
|• Body||Rajouri Municipal Council|
|Elevation||915 m (3,002 ft)|
|• Total||41,552 (Including Kheora and Jawahar Nagar), 6,42,415 (in Rajouri district)|
|• Official||Pahari, Urdu, Gojri|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
Rajouri or Rajauri (rəˈʤɔ:rɪ) (Hindi: राजौरी) is a town and a municipal council in Rajouri district in Jammu and Kashmir. Rajouri is about 155 kilometres (96 mi) from Jammu city on the Poonch Highway. Rajouri is known as the Vale of Lakes as there are many lakes around the city. Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University is based in the town.
According to some historians, a second branch of Aryan emigrants crossed the Himalayas in the north and west and settled in Rajouri and Poonch area. Rajouri, BhimberGali and Naushera were integrated within the territory of Abhisar, which was one of the hill states of the Punjab Kingdom. Early records of incomplete nature show that in the 4th century BCE, there existed in the north west of India a federal type of political set up in which Abhisar with its capital Rajouri was also incorporated. At the time of Alexander's invasion, Rajouri was at the summit of its splendour. In the Mauryan period, the town of Rajouri was a great trade centre.
During the Mughal rule, the rulers of Rajouri converted to Islam though they retained the title of Raja. Albaruni visited Rajouri with Sultan Masud (Son of Sultan Mahmud) in 1036 C.E. In his book "India" he wrote name of Rajouri as Raja Vari. Srivar, the writer of 'Raj Tirangini' written during the administration of Sultan Zain-Ul-Abdin, also named this area as Raja Vari. It is believed that Raja Vari is a variant of Rajapuri. Mirza Zafarulla Khan, the writer of 'Tarikh Rajgan-E-Rajour' illustrated in his book that this place was in the beginning known as Raj-Avar and then altered from Rajour to Rajouri. But the old people in the villages still label the place as Rajour. With the course of time the name changed from Raja's Raj Avar to Raja Puri, Rajpuri 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 Kalhan, Rajouri emerged as principality in about 1003 C.E. The first ruler of this kingdom was Raja Prithvi Paul. From 1033 to 1194 C.E. Raja Prithvi Paul defended Pir Panchal Pass at the time of incursion of Sultan Mehmud in 1021 C.E. Raja Sangram Paul safeguarded his Principality Rajouri when Raja Harash of Kashmir attacked his country in 1089 A.D. Sangram Paul fought so courageously that Raja Harash was obliged to return from Prithvi Paul fort without capturing Rajouri. Jaral Muslim Rajas rebuilt Rajouri city at the time of their rule. A number of forts, sarais, mosques and baradaris were constructed.
The area of Rajouri principality included proper Rajouri, Thanna, Bagla Azim Garh, Behrote, Chingus, Darhal, Nagrota and Phalyana etc.
In 1813, Gulab Singh of Jammu captured Rajouri for the Sikh Empire of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, by defeating Raja Agar Ullah Khan. After this, Rajouri became part of the Sikh Empre. But parts of it were given as jagirs to Rahim Ullah Khan (a half-brother of Agar Ullah Khan) and other parts to Gulab Singh.
Following the First Anglo-Sikh War and the Treaty of Amritsar (1846), all the territories between the Ravi River and the Indus were transferred to Gulab Singh, and he was recognised as an independent Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir. Thus Rajouri became a part of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. Gulab Singh changed the name of Rajouri to Rampur. He appointed Mian Hathu as Governor of Rajouri, who remained in Rajouri up to 1856. Mian Hathu constructed a stunning temple in between Thanna Nallah in close proximity to Rajouri city. He also built Rajouri Fort at Dhannidhar village.
After the Partition of India and the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India in October 1947, there followed the First Kashmir War between India and Pakistan. The Pakistani raiders, along with the rebels and deserters from the western districts of the state, captured Rajouri on 7 November 1947. The 30,000 Hindus and Sikhs living in Rajouri were reportedly killed, wounded or abducted. Rajouri was recaptured on 12 April 1948 by the 19 Infantry Brigade of the Indian Army under the command of Second Lieutenant Rama Raghoba Rane. Rane, despite being wounded, launched a bold tank assault by conveying the tanks over the Tawi river bed in order to avoid the road blocks along the main road. When the Indian Army entered the town, the captors had fled, having destroyed most of the town and killing all its inhabitants. After the arrival of the Army, some 1,500 refugees that had fled to the hills, including women and children, returned to the town.
The ceasefire line at the end of the War ran to the west of the Rajouri-Reasi district.
Soon after the war, the Rajouri and Reasi tehsils were separated. The Rajouri tehsil was merged with the Indian-administered Poonch district to form the Poonch-Rajouri district. The Reasi tehsil was merged with the Udhampur district.
On 1 January 1968, the two tehsils were reunited and the resulting district was named the Rajouri district.
The Reasi tehsil was also separated out in 2006 into a separate Reasi district. The present Rajouri district comprises the 1947 Rajouri tehsil.
Rajouri witnessed some of the toughest fighting during the Second Kashmir War in 1965. Pakistani infiltration in Kashmir during Operation Gibraltar caused Rajouri to be initially captured from the Indian Army by undercover Pakistani commandos with the aid of local Mujahideen. But the wider operation failed and, with all-out war with India looming, Pakistan withdrew its troops. Major Malik Munawar Khan Awan, a Pakistani commando officer who led the attack on Rajouri on the night of 15 September 1965, was later awarded the title "King of Rajouri" by the Government of Pakistan.
The climate of Rajouri is somewhat cooler than the other areas of Duggardesh plains. Summers are short and pleasant. The summer temperature generally does not exceed 41 degrees. Winters are cool and chilly characterized with rainfall due to western disturbances. Snowfall is scanty but may occur in cool months like that of December 2012. Average rainfall is 769 millimetres (26.3 in) in the wettest months.
At the 2011 census, Rajouri itself had a population of 37,552 while the population within the municipal limits was 41,552. Males constituted 57% of the population and females 43%. Rajouri had an average literacy rate of 77%, higher than the national average of 75.5%: male literacy was 83% and female literacy was 68%. 12% of the population was under 6 years of age. The people are mostly Gujjars and Paharis.
- Panikkar, Gulab Singh 1930, p. 31.
- Panikkar, Gulab Singh 1930, p. 40.
- Sudhir S. Bloeria, Militancy in Rajouri and Poonch, South Asia Terrorism Portal, 2001.
- Bloeria, Sudhir S. (2000), Pakistan's Insurgency Vs India's Security: Tackling Militancy in Kashmir, Manas Publications, p. 37, ISBN 978-81-7049-116-3
- Prasad, Sri Nandan; Pal, Dharm (1987-01-01). Operations in Jammu & Kashmir, 1947-48. History Division, Ministry of Defence, Government of India. pp. 49–50.
- V. K. Singh, Leadership in the Indian Army 2005, p. 160.
- Ramachandran, Empire's First Soldiers 2008, p. 171.
- Rama Raghoba Rane received a Param Vir Chakra for his gallantry.
- Sarkar, Outstanding Victories of the Indian Army 2016, pp. 37–40.
- Niaz, Anjum (21 April 2013). "The 20-watt fountain of energy". Dawn.
- Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Rajouri
- "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- "Census of India — Administrative divisions". Censusindia.gov.in. Retrieved 2011-09-19.
- Panikkar, K. M. (1930), Gulab Singh, London: Martin Hopkinson Ltd
- Ramachandran, D. P. (2008), Empire's First Soldiers, Lancer Publishers, pp. 171–, ISBN 978-0-9796174-7-8
- Sarkar, Col. Bhaskar (2016), Outstanding Victories of the Indian Army, 1947-1971, Lancer Publishers, pp. 40–, ISBN 978-1-897829-73-8
- Singh, V. K. (2005), Leadership in the Indian Army: Biographies of Twelve Soldiers, SAGE Publications, pp. 160–, ISBN 978-0-7619-3322-9