Punch, Pulast Nagri
|Union territory||Jammu and Kashmir|
|o MLA||Tantray,Shri Shah Mohd. (PDP)|
|o MLC||Pradeep Sharma. (BJP)|
|o MLC||Shehnaz Ganie. (JKNC)|
|o MLC||Yashpal Sharma.|
|Elevation||915 m (3,002 ft)|
|o Official||Urdu, Pahari, Gojri, Punjabi|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
Poonch (also referred to as Punch) is a city and a municipal council, which forms the capital of the Poonch district in the Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. The city is near the Line of Control - the de facto border with PoK.
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 2011census, 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. About 44% of the town's population are adherents of Hinduism, and about one third are followers of Islam.India
Based on the Mah?bh?rata evidence, and the evidence from the 7th-century Chinese traveller Xuanzang, the districts of Poonch along with Rajauri and Abhisara were under the sway of the Republican Kambojas during epic times.
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.
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.
Jammu-Poonch railway line is a proposed railway line from Jammu Tawi station via the Historic City of Akhnoor to Poonch.