Poonch was annexed and converted Into Jagir by Maharaja Han Singh in 1935-36 by the deposing Raja of Poonch the Dogras always found it difficult to establish their rule in Poonch. In 1947 when Pakistan came into being, the people of Poonch started an armed struggle against the Dogra and Indian forces and got the area liberated which now administratively stands divided into three districts namely Poonch Sudhanoti and Bagh.
Rawalakot the district headquarters is situated in the heart of district Poonch. The altitude of this beautiful saucer-shaped valley is 1615 meters. Situated at a distance of 76 kilometers from Kohalla and 110 kms from Rawalpindi. It Is linked with Rawalpindi, Islamabad via Azad pattan and Dhalkot and with Muzaffarabad via Kohalla by black top roads.
The construction of Guoien Nullah road between Rawalakot and Azad pattan has reduced the distance and journey time considerably During summer the place becomes full of green grass and beautiful flowers including many varieties of roses. Rawalakot offers very pleasant climate during the summer. In Rawalakot, some good hotels and private guest houses provide comfortable accommodation. Here the tourism industry is growing with the increasing collaboration of public-private efforts.The central location of Rawalakot in AJ&K, its pleasant climate and easy access from other regions makes it a favorite tourist destination. The improvement of transportation arid telecommunication sectors have further contributed to its potential for tourism.
Kot Muttay Khan
It is situated on the main Rawalakot -Mang road near Topa, The site is located at a high altitude and allows visitors to enjoy cool and comfortable atmosphere during summer. One can have a nice over view of the adjoining valleys from this point.
The place is located on the outskirts of Rawalakot (4 kms) on the main Rawalakot-Banjosa road. The site offers comfortable climate arid tranquil atmosphere during the summer. It also possesses historical archaeological importance as an abandoned old temple exists here. The renovation and preservation of the said temple can increase the interest of the visiting researchers and tourist.
It is situated 20 kilometers from Rawalakot, at an altitude of 1981 meters. Its scenic beauty and impressive surrounding is compelling and attracts tourists to reach here to enjoy the nature amidst the captivating beauty of Banjosa, the artificial lake reflects the dense forest standing along the surroundings of the resting calm waters of Banjosa Lake. The nearby worth-seeing areas of Banjosa are Jandall, Hussain Kot (the native town of the great freedom fighter Captain Hussnain Khari) and Devi Gali which cannot be simply by passed for a pleasure trip. The distance parting these destinations from Banjosa are 3 kms, 4kms and 12 kms respectively.
These places portray rich inherent natural beauty encompassing all others while awaiting visitors for a comfortable stay. There are of a few private rest houses on the way to Banjosa from Rawalakot also Ghorimar is situated 20 kms from Khaigala awaiting ones arrival to explore the fascinating beauty over-looking the sub-valley of Rawalakot and Bagh Accommodation on reasonable rates is available here in Tourism, PWD and Pearl Development Authority’s rest houses.
From Rawalakot 17 kilometers ahead this place is surrounded by dense forests, which makes It charming and pleasant A Tourist Lodge has been constructed by AJ&K Tourism Department for the tourists. The place enables the tourist to have an easy access to Banjosa which is 5 kms ahead.
Ghori Maar & Tolipir
Ghori Maar is situated at a distance of 30 kilometers ahead of Rawalakot. A fair weather road via Khaigala leads to this place. On reaching Ghori Mar, one can explore the fascinating beauty over-looking the sub valleys of Rawalakot & Bagh. AJ&K Tourism Department provides accommodation facilities to visitors.
The road from Ghori Maar leads to Tolipir a place that offers calm atmosphere with vast green meadows stretching over a big area a big area. The place holds the potential to mesmerize visitors.
Hot springs (Tatta Pani)
Tatta Pani is situated on the right bank of the river Poonch, at a distance of 29 kilometers from Hajeera and is connected with two fair weather roads i.e. via Hajeera-Mandol & Balouch-Pakhonar road. It can also be reached from Kotli, the district headquarter of Kotli district, by covering a distance of 26 kilometers. Tatta Pan is famous for is sulphur water springs. During winter season a large number of people visit this place daily to have hot water bath for the cure of skin & rheumatic ailments.
AJ&K Tourism Dept. has constructed Tourist Lodge arid bathrooms for the convenience of the visitors here. Transport services for Tatta Pan are available in good number from all important points of the Poonch, Mirpur & Kotii districts of Azad Kashmir.
This scenic spot is situated at 17 Kilometre from Bhinmber and 67 Kilometre from Mirpur having a panoramic view. In addition this area is well known for the shrine of Baba Shadi Shaheed . A rest house for visitors provided by AJK Tourism Department. Baghsar, 975 meters in elevation, is an ideal tourist resort in the Samahni valley. The Sar, local name for lake, is nearly half Kilometer long sheet of crystal clear water that sooths the sense of a tourist after a 64 Kilometer journey from Gujrat via Bhimber.
On the top of hill is the famous Mughal fort over-looking the lake that adds grandeur to the whole area. As four storied massive structure of granite is a feat of Mughal engineering that has strode the ravages of time. It has also played important roles in history during the times of Ahmad Shah Abdali, Rangit Singh and Ghulab Singh. It is said that emperor Jhangir on his way back from Kashmir fell ill and ultimately expired in this fort.
hirnber, administratively declared as an Independent district in 1996, was a sub division of district Mirpur. This district is very rich in Archaeology arid wildlife, whereas, it’s enchanting valleys present panoramic views to the visitors.
Bhimher, the district headquarter is an old historical town, discussed by Mughal Emperor, “Jahangir” In his book “Tuzh-eJaharigiri”. It fails on the route that was followed by the Mughal Emperors for their frequent visits to the Kashmir Valley. Bhimber town is located at a distance of 50 kilometers from Mirpur and 166 kilometers from Rawalpindi. This town is connected both with Mirpur & Gujrat through all weather black top roads. All the basic amenities of life are available in Bhimber.
Baghsar, 975 meters in elevation is an ideal tourist resort in the Samahni Valley. The Sar, local name for a lake is nearly half kilometer long sheet of crystal-clear water that soothes the senses of a visitor after traveling 64 kilometers journey from Gujrat via Bhimber. On the top of hill is a famous Mughal fort overlooking the lake that acids grandeur to the whole area. This four-storied massive structure of granite is a feat of Mughal engineering that has stood the ravages of time. It has also played important roles in the history during the times of Ahmad Shah Abdali, Ranjeet Sing and Gulab Sing. It is said that Emperor Jahangir on his way back from Kashmir fell Ill and ultimately expired in this Fort.
This scenic spot is situated at 17 kilometers from Bhimber and 67 kilometers from Mirpur. Despite its panoramic views, this area is well- known due to the Shrine of Baba Shadi Shaheed nearby Jandi Chontra that values the importance of the area. A Tourist Rest House serves the tourists by providing accommodation facilities.