The scenic town of Rajauri is located in Rajauri District, in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is a quiet and beautiful hill station, set against the backdrop of the Himalayas.Earlier a part of the Poonch District, Rajauri became a separate district in 1968. It is surrounded by the districts of Poonch, Udhampur and Jammu.
The town or rather district is rooted in ancient times and has a rich heritage. During the Buddhist period, it was a part of the Gandhar area, which comprised of Afganistan, Tashkent and Gandhar. Later, it was known as Rajapuri or 'Land of the Kings' and was part of the Kashmir region, when Hiuen Tsang, the famous Chinese traveller visited India in 632 AD.
From 1194 till 1846 AD, Rajauri was under the rule of the Jaral Dynasty, patrons of architectural grandeur. Several forts and mosques were constructed and the ruins are still present, as a witness to the grandeur of the era. There is a fort atop a hill in the town called the Dandhidar Fort. The fort is around 400 years old and was built during the Mughal period. The place offers panoramic views of the country side and is a major attraction of Rajauri.
The Usman Memorial, War Memorial and Balidan Bhawan are other places of interest in the area. Thanamandi is an old travellers centre and one can see the remnants of Mughal rest houses here. It is easily accessible from the town of Rajauri.
There are several lakes located in and around Rajauri. There are a few lakes situated a short distance away from the town as well and these are an interesting option for a day trip. Some of the lakes are Sukh Sar, Nandar Sar, Chandar Sar, Akal Darshini, Katori Sar Bhag Sar, Diya Sar, Gum Sar, Samot Sar and a few other lakes. Most of them are accessible by road and can be reached easily. During the summer season one can opt for rafting, and boating is also quite popular in these lakes.
There are buses and trains that ply from the city of Jammu to Rajauri. These are the only two options available. Since it is a mountainous area, the winter months of December and January are quite cold and a more popular time to visit are the summer months from April to June.