A district under Jammu and Kashmir, Rajouri comprises six tehsils. River Tawi is the lifeline of the region and you will come across people interacting in Gujri, Pahari and Dogri throughout the region. Though primarily a Muslim district, Rajouri has 37 percent Hindu population too. Sikhs make up for around 2 percent of the population in Rajouri.

The district headquarter town of Rajouri is located around 130 km from the city of Jammu. Rajouri is popularly known as ‘Vale of Lakes’ owing to presence of numerous lakes around the city of Rajouri.

History of Rajouri

Rajouri, also known as Rajapura, occupied a place of prominence during the ancient times. Historians point out that some Aryans crossed over from Himalayas and settled in Rajouri. It is said that at the time of Alexander’s invasion, Rajouri was a famous state. During the Mauryan era, Rajouri was a key trade centre.

Maharaja Gulab Chand took charge of this place from Raja Faqir Ullah in 1846. The name of Rajouri was changed by Maharaja Gulab Chand to Rampur. The governor of Rajouri Mian Hathu who was thereafter appointed by Maharaja built the imposing Rajouri fort in Dhannidhar village.   

Cultural Richness of Rajouri

Rajouri is a culturally rich region. A blend of Poonchi, Pahari, Dogri and Kashmiri can be seen in Rajouri. The region is known for its embroidery work, basket making, Chikri wood carvings and copper work.

As the district shares its borders with Jammu, Poonch and Udhampur districts, the dance forms have a reflection of the cultural diversity of these three districts. Rajouri is famous for its Dogri bhangra, Keekli, Jattar, Chowki Naach and Gorgi dance.

Places to See in Rajouri

Rajouri has numerous places which are not only of interest to an average tourist but some of these have historic significance too.

Dehra Ki Gali

A scenic tourist place in Rajouri, Dehra ki Gali is located at an altitude of 6600 feet. The place is situated in Pir Panjal Range and connects Rajouri and Poonch districts. Dehra ki Gali offers breathtaking views of the surrounding Himalayan ranges. The famous shrine of Rattan Pir is also located in vicinity. So if you are planning a visit to the shrine, Dehra ki Gali can act as the base.

Law Bawli

Located 20 km from Rajouri town, Law Bawli is a spring which is connected to Nandansar Lake, situated in the Pir Panjal ranges. People from Rajouri and neighbouring regions frequent Law Bawli and this place has immense tourism potential.

Thannamandi

Thannamandi has great historical significance. Mughal rulers during their sojourn from Delhi to Kashmir used to stay at Thannamandi. The place still has a Mughal sarai which speaks of the glorious past of Thannamandi.

The place is famous for its wooden products and tourists on way to shrine of Shahdara Sharief which is located 7 km from Thannamandi rarely go back without purchasing the same.

Dharal Malkan

A bowl shaped valley, Dharal Malkan is located 25 km from Rajouri. Religious tourists on way to Khanghah of Saint Ganj Baba make it a point to stopover at Dharal Malkan to enjoy the pristine ambiance of the place.

Kotranka Budhal

Kotranka at a distance of 40 km from the district headquarter is a key tourist place in the district. Kotranka is located on the banks of River Ans and the town serves as a base camp for trekkers to Sedhue and Arnas.

Dhanidhar Fort

The fort was built by Mian Hathu who was the governor of Rajouri from 1846-56. The fort was primarily designed to serve as a base for the Dorga forces so that they could keep a watch on the region. Though much in ruins now, the fort gives a glimpse of the cultural richness of Rajouri at that point.

Best Time to Visit Rajouri

Rajouri can be visited any time of year as the weather is pleasant during winters too. However, it is advisable to plan a visit to the region between April and June.

How to Reach

By Air

Satwari Airport in Jammu city is the closest air approach to Rajouri. The town is 154 km from Jammu. Taxis can be hired from the airport for Rajouri.

By Rail

Jammu Railway Station is the biggest railhead in the region and is a convenient place for disembarking, if one is on a visit to Rajouri. Taxis and buses are available from within Jammu and can be hired for reaching Rajouri.

By Road

Jammu and Kashmir State Road Transport Corporation (JKSRT) operates regular buses to Rajouri and same can be used for travelling to the region. Private taxis and some sharing taxi service are too available and can be considered as a travel option.

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