Places of Interest
RAJOURI district has quite a good number of charming spots. Places worth seeing near Rajouri town or Rajouri fort, Gurudwara Chhati Padshahi, Balidan Bhavan, Rama Temple, Jama Masjid and Shiv Mandir. The other important Places of tourist interest in Rajouri district are as follows:
DEHRA KI GALI
This beautiful scenic spot is situated at a height of plus 6600 feet above sea level, in the Pir Panjal Range and is one of the passes connecting Rajouri and Poonch districts. It experiences heavy snowfall during winter months. Thick vegetation cover attracts and charms the visitor. On the top of this hill Project Beacon has constructed a one-room apartment, which is indeed a fine sight seeing spot of the whole of the area. The State PWD Department has recently constructed a two-room inspection hut, which can be rented out to the visitors by the Executive Engineer, R&B, Rajouri but it has not to be booked in advance. It would be in the fitness of things if government considers constructing more huts there in order to give fillip to tourism in this area of the state. Famous shrine of Rattan Pir is also situated nearby.
At about 20 kms. from Rajouri, on the Rajouri-Thannamandi road this spring of fresh water abounds with fish. It is believed that the spring is linked underground with the lake NANDANSAR at the top of Pir Panjal. In case proper attention is given to the beautiful scenic spot, it can prove more attractive than Cheshma Shahi of Kashmir.
This is an important historical place right from the time of Mughals, who used to stay there during their journey from Delhi to Kashmir and vice-versa. An old Mughal Sarai still exists there which speaks of its glorious time. The climate of this place is very charming and in fact is a health resort. It is also famous for its artistic wooden products. The famous Shrine of Shahdara Sharief is just 6-7 kms. from this place.
In the northeast of Rajouri town, at a distance of 25 kms. DarhalMalkan, a bowl shaped valley surrounded by gentle sloping mountains on all sides, is situated. Nature seems to have carved a stadium for the prospective sport lovers, who could be attracted here in thousands, if sport facilities were created. Enroute to Darhal is the Khanghah of Sain Ganj Baba, which accords religious importance to this area. The perennial flow of limpid water in Darhal Tawi adds more charm to its beauty.
Kotranka at the distance of 40 kms is an attractive tourist spot situated on the right bank of river Ans. During summer this spot affords a great attraction to the nature lovers and tourists. This is a picturesque charming and peaceful spot to retire to in the summer heat. At present Kotranka is a tehsil Headquarter of the biggest Tehsil Budhal. Budhal name is derived from a type of wood available, there which is known for its hardness texture throughout PirPanjal. This is the coldest place of the district Rajouri, which remains under the blanket of snow for more than four-five months. This town serves as base camp for the long and arduous journey to ARNAS and SEDHUE, for trekkers as well as the nomads and their flocks. This spot remain a source of special attraction for those who intend to track though this way to the Kashmir valley. Klhad is another beautiful place near Budhal. It is a small beautiful plateau, the waters there remains cold in summer and hot in winter. Nambal is yet another beautiful place 6 kms. from Budhal and famous for its natural scenery.
Though presently the district is not on the Tourist Map of the State, the district authorities have started exerting themselves to gain that status and for gaining such status efforts are afoot to create infrastructural facilities for the tourists at Chingus, Rajouri, Dera-ki-Gali, etc. The efforts of the Special Commissioner, Rajouri-Poonch, in the matter are commendable as he personally visited the higher reaches of Pir Panjal and got prepared a video film on the lakes and meadows of that area. This film is so beautiful that it was twice telecasted by Door-Darshan.
DHANIDHAR FORT RAJOURI
In 1819 Maharaja Ranjit Singh while concurring Kashmir captured Rajouri, he appointed Mirza ReheemUllah Khan as Raja of Rajouri in place of Raja Agar Khan. Raja Raheem Ullah Khan remained governing Rajouri principality upto 1846 under the control of Khalsa Darbar Lahore. On 15th March, 1846, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladhakh was sold by the Britishers to Raja Gulab Singh of Jammu and Kashmir. By this way, the Rajouri principality also came under the jurisdiction of Maharaja Gulab Singh. Since Maharaja was not having good relation with Raja Raheem Ullah Khan of Rajouri, therefore, he directed him to step down. But Raja Raheem Ullah Khan refused to do so. In these circumstances, Maharaja Gulab Singh alongwith his forces reached Rajouri and dismissed Raja Raheem Ullah Khan and his administration and on 26th of October, 1846, Raja RaheemUllah Khan was compelled to leave principality alongwith his family and reletics. Then Maharaja Gulab Singh appointed Mian Hathu the Governor of Rajouri. Mian Hathugoverned Rajouri from 1846-1856 AD. In this very period, he started the construction of Dhannidhar Fort. He used the stones and material in the construction of Fort of those buildings which were belonging to Jaral Rajas and destroyed during the invasion of Maharaja Ranjit Singh on Kashmir. The Fort was completed in 1855 AD. The main intention for the construction of the Fort was to keep Dogra Forces in this safer place because from this place, the whole Valley of Rajouri could be viewed. Apart from this during the Dogra regime, the revenue was collected from the farmers in the shape of grains and this grain was dumped in this Fort which was sold later on. This Fort has been used by the defense in the past.