Poonch, Jammu & Kashmir

16 Aug

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

History of Poonch District

Poonch District is a district of Kashmir that is divided between India and Pakistan. The Pakistani part of Poonch District is part of its Azad Kashmir territory, whilst Indian Poonch is part ofJammu and Kashmir state. The capital of the Pakistan controlled side is Rawalakot; while the capital of the Indian side is Poonch.


 Ancient History

When Alexander invaded the lower Jhelum belt to fight Porus, this region was known as Dravabhisar. Based on the Mahabharata evidence, and evidence from 7th century Chinese traveler Yuan Chawang,[2] the districts of Rajaori, Poonch and Abhisara had been under the sway of the Republican Kambojas during epic times.

Sovereign State

Around 850CE, Poonch became a sovereign state ruled by Raja Nar, who was basically a horse trader. Its name also appears in Rajatarangini, a chronicle of Kashmir written by Kalhan. It was called Prontsa then. According to Rajtrangani Raja Trilochan Pal of Poonch gave a tough fight to Mahmood Ghazanavi who invaded this area in 1020. Ghazanavi failed to enter Kashmir, as he could not capture the fort of Lohara (modern day Loran, in district Poonch).

Mughal Era

In 1596, Mughal King Jahangir made Siraj-Ud-Din ruler of Poonch. Siraj-Ud-Din and his descendant Raja Shahbaz Khan, Raja Abdul Razak, Raja Rustam Khan and Raja Khan Bahadur Khan ruled this area up to 1792.

Modern Era

In 1819 this area was captured by Maharaja Ranjit Singh and it remained under the occupation of Khalsa Darbar of Lahore till 1850.

In 1850, Raja Moti Singh who was son of Raja Dhayan Singh, the Prime Minister of Khalsa Darbar set up its separate principality known as Poonch state. Until 1935/36 Poonch remained a separate state, under the Khalsa Durbar. Then it was reduced to a Jagir by Maharaja Hari Singh of Jammu. The period from 1850 to 1947 is considered as the Golden era of the history of Poonch. The Principality of Poonch obtained the status of a state from theBritish Raj in 1901 during the reign of Raja Baldev Singh. The rule of Raja Moti Singh, Baldev Singh, Sukhdev SinghJagatdev Singh and Raja Shiv Rattan Dev Singh witnessed all round development of Poonch state. The historic Poonch fort was renovated and redesigned. Many other buildings were also constructed.

Division of Poonch

October 1947 changed it all. The Muslims of Poonch always resented the oppressive policies of the Dogra Maharaja of Jammu, after he took charge of Poonch in 1936. At the time of partition, there were rumours that Muslims were being massacred in Jammu. It enraged the Poonchies and they intensified the struggle for independence from Jammu. A major part of the district went to Azad Kashmir. During the 1947-48 war between India and Pakistan, Poonch city was under attack of the rebel Poonchies, Pakistani tribals and Pakistan army for about one year. It was in the month of November 1948 that Poonch city was re-united with Indian-administered Kashmir.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: