Ancient History of Rajouri District
According to some historians, second branch of Aryan emigrants crossed Himalayas in the north and west and settled in Rajouri and Poonch area. Rajouri, Bhimber and Naushera were integrated within the territory of Abhisar, which was one of the hill states of the Punjab Kingdom. Early records of incomplete nature show that in the 4th century B.C., there existed in the north west of India a federal type of political set up in which Abhisar with its capital Rajouri was also incorporated. At the time of Alexander's invasion, Rajouri was at the summit of its splendour. In the Mauryan period, the town of Rajouri was a great trade centre.
Medieval History of Rajouri District
During the Mughal rule, the rulers of Rajouri have embraced Islam though they retained the title of Raja. Albaurni visited Rajouri with Sultan Masud (Son of Sultan Mahmud) in 1036 A.D. In his book "India" he wrote name of Rajouri as Raja Vari. Srivar, the writer of 'Raj Tirangini' written during the administration of Sultan Zain-Ul-Abdin, also named this area as Raja Vari. It is believed that Raja Vari is the changed shape of Rajapuri. Mirza Zafarulla Khan, the writer of 'Tarikh Rajgan-E-Rajour' illustrated in his book that this place was in the beginning known as Raj-Avar and then altered from Rajour to Rajouri. But the old people in the villages still label the place as Rajour. With the course of time the name changed from Raja's Raj Avar to Raja Puri, Rajpuri to Raj Vari, Raj Vari to Raj Vara, Raj Vara to Raj Avar, Raj Avar to Rajour and then Rajour to Rajouri. As per Rajtirangini of Kalhan, Rajouri emerged as principality in about 1003 A.D. The first ruler of this kingdom was Raja Prithvi Paul. From 1033 A.D. to 1194 A.D. Raja Prithvi Paul defeated Pir Panchal Pass at the time of incursion of Sultan Mehmud in1021 A.D. Raja Sangram Paul safeguarded his Principality Rajouri when Raja Harash of Kashmir assaulted his country in 1089 A.D. Sangram Paul fought so courageously that Raja Harash was obliged to return from Prithvi Paul fort without capturing Rajouri. Jaral Muslim Rajas rebuilt Rajouri city at the time of their rule. Number of Fort, Sarai, Mosque and Baradaries were constructed with the help of Mughals, on Mughal road.
Modern History of Rajouri District
The area of Rajouri principality included proper Rajouri, Thanna, Bagla Azim Garh, Behrote, Chingus, Darhal, Nagrota and Phalyana etc. After taking the charge of Rajouri from Raja Faqir Ullah in 1846, Maharaja Gulab Singh changed the name of Rajouri to Rampur. He appointed Mian Hathu as Governor of Rajouri. Mian Hathu remained in Rajouri up to 1846 A.D. He constructed a stunning temple in between Thanna Nallah in close proximity to Rajouri city. He also built Rajouri Fort at Dhannidhar village. After Mian Hathu, Rajouri was transformed into a Tehsil and affiliated with Bhimber District. In 1904 A.D., this Tehsil was bifurcated from Bhimber and affiliated with Reasi District. After Independence, Rajouri became part of the newly constituted Poonch-Rajouri District. On 1st January 1968, Rajouri emerged as a new District on the map of the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
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