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 Jammu & Kashmir
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 Poonch district

Introduction

Poonch district is the smallest of the 14 districts of J&K State.It falls between 33degree-25' to 34degree-01'north latitude and 73degree-58' to 74degree-35' east longitude.Poonch is bounded by the the districts of Baramulla and Pulwama of Kashmir Valley in the north-east,illegally occupied areas of the State by Pakistan in the north west and by the Rajouri district in the south. Spread over an area of 1,674 Sq.Kms,Poonch district is totally hilly and mountainous barring few-low lying vales.It has varied climate depending upon altitude of the place.

The district comprises three tehsils of Haveli,Mendhar and Surankote.It has 178 villages of which 168 are inhabited,51 Panchayats and a town.A small district with comparatively less population,Poonch district has a rich cultrual heritage and distinct historical background connected with the great Mughals. The caravans of Mughal emperors for Kashmir passed through Poonch district in 17th Century and that route is known as Mughal road. The district has an area of 1.14 Lakh hectares of which 23 percent is cultivable.There are 37,000 land holdings covering an area of 54,000 hectares as per 1980-81(Census). About 3,0000 hectares are irrigated principal crops of the district are maize,paddy and wheat while Maize is the staple food of the people. Poonch district offers a representative of the State in clime,culture and secular outlook. The people speak Gojari and Punchi which according to Grieson, is a sister language of Punjabi dialect Lendhi. Both the languages have rich folk lores Potari and folk songs.

Poonch District at a glance :
Educational Institutions 779
Health Institutions 120
Area 1,674 sq. kms
Villages 178 (168 inhabited)
Tehsil 3
Panchayats 51
Blocks 5
Gross Area sown 42,000 hect.
Orchards 285 hect.
Literacy rate 28.9%
Bank Branches 24
Principal Crop Maize, paddy and wheat
Post Offices 62

Historical Places and Monuments

Buddha Amarnath

Twent five Kms.in the north east of Poonch town is situated an ancient temple of Lord Shiva on the left bank of Pulsta stream. The area is known as Rajpura mandi two Kms.above mandi village. This is a unique Shiva Temple which is located on the foot hill and not on the hill top and secondly the Shivaling of white stone is not self-made.The stream which flows near it,is loran stream but it is belived by the locals the Ravan's grand father Pulasta Rishi performed his tapasya and thus is known as Pulsta stream. This shrine is said to be older than of Amarnathji of Kashmir. Thousands of people visit on Rakhsa Bandhan.

Ramkund


Another well known shirne located about 68 Kms.from Poonch town is that of Ram Kund. Believed to be of Mahabharat period,it is just 11 Kms.away from Mendhar. The temple was said to be constructed by Raja Lalitaditya while others believe that Raja renovated it,and originally it was constructed by Lord Rama when he was on his way to Kashmir. There are three springs. People take bath on first of bright half of Chaitra.

Ziarat Sain

Situated in village Guntrian,10 Kms.from Poonch,the Ziarat of saint Sain Mira Sahib is a popular pilgrim centre,Hundreds of devotees visit this Ziarat.

Nangali Sahib

Nangali Sahib Gurudwara is situated on the left bank of Drungli Nallah,which is four Kms.away from Poonch City. This gurudwara was established by Sant Bhai Mela Singh who is said to have visited this shrine in 1810 A.D.when he was on his way to conquer Kashmir.

Ziarat Chhotay Sahib

Located 58 Kms.away from Poonch and 4 Kms.from Mendhar thi

Tourist Places

There are several beautiful spots on the foothill of Pir Panchal mountain range.These are:

Behramgala

Situated at the foothill of 8,600 ft.high Rattan peak on the historic Mughal Road about 45 Kms from Poonch Town. Behramgala is small picturesque spot in a deep gorge.It is small plateau surrounded by mountains and forests.Just near to it is the confluence of Thatta pani and Parnai streams which further adds to its otherwise scenic and natural beauty.

Noori Chamb

A famous water fall in the district also connected with the Mughal Emperors is located in the north east of Behram Gala.This water fall is yet another scenic spot which has tremendous tourist potential.The fall of the stream gives rise to dense clouds of water vapours which engulfs the area and spread all over.The emperor Jahangir had developed so much fancy and liking for this fall that he named it Noori Chamb after the name of his beloved queen Noorjahan.

Buffliaz

Another beautiful hilly spot situated on the foothill of Peer Rattan range is Buffliaz,39 Kms.east of Poonch twon.The village named after the horse of Alexander the great(Bunifales)who is said to have died there,is situated on both the banks of Poonch river.

Loran

A small town situated 34 Kms.north of Poonch town was once the capital of Poonch State under Hindu ruler upto 1542. According to Rajatarangini,it was then known as Lohar Kote.There are ruins of the Lohar Kote Fort which was called as Gateway of Kashmir but now it is destroyed.At this fort,Raja Trilochan Pal defeated Sultan Mahmood Gazanavi.This spot is surrounded by forests and some snow clad peaks.

Surankote

In Rajatarangini,this town was described as Sawernik in the past.Nealy in 1036 A.D.there was a big fort called kote. Combining the name of the town with the fort,it become Sawernik Kote which ultimately changed to its present name of Surankote. It is very charming valley surrounded by snow clad peaks and is known as Pahalgam of Poonch.

Krishna Ghati

This beautiful hilly and forest area is located 24 Kms.from Poonch town.The hill top,known as Krishna Ghati gives a commanding view of natural scenic beauty.The area is connected with a dependable road.

Girgen

It is bewitching valley of seven lakes.This valley is located about 70 Kms. from Poonch town.This area is also important from trekking point of view. Neel Sar,Nandan Sar,Katora Sar are among the fascinating high altitude lakes.Several trekking expeditions used to come in this valley and trek to these lakes.

Poonch Fort

The foundation of historic fort building in the capital truncated Poonch district,was laid by Raja Abdul Razak Khan in 1713 A.D.







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