Poonch (town)

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Punch, Pulast Nagri
Poonch is located in Jammu and Kashmir
Location in Jammu and Kashmir, India
Poonch is located in India
Poonch (India)
Coordinates: 33°46′01″N 74°05′45″E / 33.7670°N 74.0957°E / 33.7670; 74.0957Coordinates: 33°46′01″N 74°05′45″E / 33.7670°N 74.0957°E / 33.7670; 74.0957
Union territory Jammu and Kashmir
 • MLATantray,Shri Shah Mohd.[1] (PDP)
 • MLCPradeep Sharma.[2] (BJP)
 • MLCShehnaz Ganie.[3] (JKNC)
 • MLCYashpal Sharma.[4]
915 m (3,002 ft)
 • Total40,987
 • LanguagesUrdu, Pahari, Gojri, Punjabi
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)

Poonch (also referred to as Punch) is the capital of Poonch district, in Jammu and Kashmir, India. It is located near the Line of Control – the de facto border with Pakistan's Azad Kashmir.


Poonch is located at 33°46′N 74°06′E / 33.77°N 74.1°E / 33.77; 74.1.[5] It is on the bank of the Poonch River, which originates in the Pir Panjal range and flows west and southwest to drain into the Mangla Reservoir in Azad Kashmir. The city is at elevation of 981 metres (3218 feet)[citation needed].

The Pir Panjal range of mountains separates the Poonch Valley from the Kashmir Valley. With the completion of the Mughal Road in 2010, via the Pir Panjal Pass, there is now a direct road link between the two areas.


Poonch has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa), much cooler than what is found in much of the rest of India, due to its moderately high elevation and northerly position. Winters are cool, with daytime a January average of 2.5 °C (36.5 °F), and temperatures below freezing at night. Summers are short and usually pleasant. The summer temperature generally does not rise above 31 °C. Winters are cool and characterized by rainfall due to western disturbances. Snowfall is quite common during the months of January and February.


As of 2011 India census,[6] Poonch had a population of 40,987. Males constitute 55% of the population and females 45%. Poonch has an average literacy rate of 79%: male literacy is 84%, and female literacy is 77%. In Poonch, 13% of the population is under 6 years of age.[citation needed] About 44% of the town's population are adherents of Hinduism, and about one third are followers of Islam.[7]


Based on the Mahābhārata evidence,[8] and the evidence from the 7th-century Chinese traveller Xuanzang,[9] the districts of Poonch along with Rajauri and Abhisara were under the sway of the Republican Kambojas during epic times.[10][11][12][13][14]

Poonch has witnessed many historical eras. Around 326 BC when Alexander the Great invaded the lower Jhelum belt to fight with Porus, this region was known as Dravabhisar. In the 6th Century AD, the famous Chinese traveller Huien Tsang passed through this area. According to his observation, this region was known as part of Kashmir also known as mini kashmir. Around 850 AD Poonch became a sovereign state ruled by Raja Nar, who was basically a horse trader. According to Rajatarangani, Raja Trilochanapala of the Poonch area gave a tough fight to Mahmood Ghaznvi, who invaded this area in 1020 A.D.[citation needed]

In 1596, the Mughal emperor Jahangir made Raja Siraj-Ud-Din Rathore, the descendant of Rao Jodha and Rao Suraj Singh, the new ruler of Poonch. Siraj-Ud-Din and his descendants Raja Shahbaz Khan Rathore, Raja Abdul Razak Rathore, Raja Rustam Rathore and Raja Bahadur Rathore ruled this area up to 1798 AD. From 1819 A.D -1850 A.D Poonch remained a part of the Sikh Empire. In 1850 A.D Raja Moti Singh, son of Dhian Singh, started the Dogra rule in Poonch. Dhian Singh who served as the Prime Minister to Sikh emperor Ranjit Singh, was gifted Poonch as a jagir by the Sikh Emperor. Poonch remained a Jagir which had its own jagirdar under the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir from 1850 until the 1940s. On the recommendations of Glancy Commission, a 75-member Legislative Assembly had come into existence under the name of Praja Sabha. Two seats were allotted to the Poonch principality.[citation needed]



A bus across the LOC, the Poonch-Rawalakot bus, has helped to re-establish ties across the border.


Jammu–Poonch railway line is a proposed railway line from Jammu Tawi station via the Historic City of Akhnoor to Poonch.


Poonch Airport is a small airstrip which was constructed during Indo-Pakistani War of 1947.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "members".
  2. ^ "members".
  3. ^ "members".
  4. ^ "members".
  5. ^ Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Poonch
  6. ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 16 June 2004. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
  7. ^ http://www.census2011.co.in/data/religion/district/623-punch.html
  8. ^ MBH 7.4.5; 7/91/39-40.
  9. ^ Watters, Yuan Chawang, Vol I, p 284.
  10. ^ See: Political History of Ancient India, 1996, p 133, 219/220, Dr H. C. Raychaudhury, Dr B. N. Mukerjee.
  11. ^ A History of India, p 269-71, N. R. Ray, N. K. Sinha.
  12. ^ Journal of Indian History, P 304, University of Allahabad. Department of Modern Indian History, University of Kerala - 1921; Military History of India, 1980, p 38, Hemendra Chandra Kar - History.
  13. ^ Bimbisāra to Aśoka: with an appendix on the later Saud, 1977, p 16, Sudhakar Chattopadhyaya - India - 1977.
  14. ^ Purana Index, 1992, p 79, A. B. L. Awasthi.

Further reading[edit]

  • Hutchinson, J. & J. PH Vogel (1933). History of the Panjab Hill States, Vol. I. 1st edition: Govt. Printing, Pujab, Lahore, 1933. Reprint 2000. Department of Language and Culture, Himachal Pradesh. Chapter XXIII "Punch State", pp. 698–724.