In the 6th Century A.D. Chinese traveller Huien Tsang passed through Poonch. He wrote that Poonch was famous for graphics, fine tea (Musloon) and good horses. Around 850 A.D., Poonch became a sovereign state when Mr. Nar, a horse trader declared himself Raja of Poonch. In 1596 A.D. Mughal King Jehangir nominated Siraj-ud-din of village Kahuta as Raja of Poonch. In 1798 A.D. a Gujjar leader Rooh-ullah-Sangu became the ruler of this area.
From 1819 A.D. to 1850 A.D. Poonch remained a part of Khalsa Darbar , Lahore. In 1850 A.D. Dogra Raja Moti Singh laid the foundation of Dogra Raj in Poonch. On the death of Raja Jagat Dev Singh in 1940, Sardar Abdul Qayoom Khan became administrator of Poonch under the orders of the Kashmir Government. In 1947 two and a half tehsils of Poonch principality went under the illegal occupation of Pakistan, while the rest became a constituent of Rajouri Poonch district. In 1967 for administrative convenience this district was further divided into two parts, viz district Rajouri and district Poonch.
Places of Interest
Set amidst majestic snow-capped mountains, dotted with lovely lakes and meandering streams, abounding in nature’s choicest gifts of fruit, flower, forests and age-old historical monuments, Poonch district offers the prospect of a vacation. A tourist would love and remember it for a long. Various tourist points of Poonch are :-
NOORI CHAMMB: Noori Chammb associated with the name of Mughal Queen Noor Jahan is famous for its scenic beauty & water fall. It is situated near Behram Galla in Surankote Tehsil about 45 kms. from Poonch town. The fall of the stream gives rise to dense clouds of water vapours which engulfs the area & spread all over. The Emperor Jahangir had developed so much fancy & liking for this fall that he named it Noori Chammb after the name of his beloved queen Noor Jahan. Mughal queen used to stay here for relaxation. She had got fixed a mirror besides the fall on the mountain wall where she used to have her make- up after the bath.
GIRGAN DHOK AND LAKES: It is a valley of seven lakes which is located about 70 kms. from Poonch town. Tourists during the course of their visit to Poonch should not miss the opportunity to see the lovely and beautiful seven lakes namely Sukhsar, Neelsar, Bhagsar, Katorasar, Kaldachnisar and Nandansar situated at the high altitude of 12000 ft. in the Buffliaz belt. Nandansar is one of the biggest lake near Girgen dhok. The length of this lake is about one mile and its breadth is half a mile. These lovely lakes have their own charm which a visitor would long remember.
MANDI: It is a small village in a narrow valley enclosed by steep and grassy hills of no great elevation, situated near the confluence of two streams namely Gagri and Pulsta. Mandir Swami Budha Amar Nath Ji is situated in this village. Mandi is about 20 kms. from Poonch town. Due to cool climate and proximity to the poonch town, Mandi has become a favourable place for tourists to visit, in summer. Most of the people of Mandi area speak Kashmiri language
LORAN: Loran is a small village 35 kms. away from Poonch town and is situated at the foot of high mountains of Pir Panjal range and is another attraction for the tourists. Loran Nallah which flows through this beautiful village makes the place more enchanting to the eyes. Loran was once the capital of Poonch state under Hindu rulers upto 1542 A.D. It was then known as Loran-Kote. There are ruins of the Lohar Kote fort which was once called the Gateway of Kashmir.
NANDISHOOL: Nandishool is a beautiful water fall about 12 km. from Loran and 6 Km. from Sultan Pathri. Water comes from Pir Panchal and fall on a glacier. It is about 150 feet high fall. One tourist hut is constructed by Rural Development Department near Nandishool.
SURANKOTE: Surankote is a small village situated on the banks of river Suran and has very charming valley surronded by lofty peaks which are covered with snow during winter and is popularly called Pahalgam of Poonch. In Rajatarangini, this town was described as Sawernik in the past. Nearly in 1036 A.D. there was a big fort called Kote which ultimately changed to its present name of Surankote.
BEHRAMGALA: It is situated at the foot hill of 8,600 feet high Rattan Peak on the historic Mughal Road in Poonch. Behramgala is a small plateau surronded by mountains and forests. It is near the confluence of Parnai & Thata Pani streams which further adds to its otherwise scenic and natural beauty. It is about 40 kms. from Poonch town.
DEHRA-GALI: Dehra-Gali 45 kms from Poonch town is another attraction for the tourists owing to its salubrious climate, thick forests, cool breeze and enchanting view of surrounding hills, situated at a height of about 6300 feet.