Though there is no detailed and fully documented history of Kathua district. It is believed that One Jodh Singh a famous Rajput of Andotra clan migrated from HASTINAPUR to KATHUA nearly 2000 years ago and settled here. The three Hamlets of Taraf Tajwal, Taraf Manjali and Taraf Bhajwal were established by his three sons Viz. Teju, Kindal and Bhaju. Their descendent are now called as Tajwalia, Bhajwalia and Khanwalia Rajputs of Andotra sub-caste. The conglomeration of these three hamlets was loosely called "KATHAI" in earlier times which with the passage of time came to be called as KATHUA.
GRREK historians, who provide an insight into the ancient history of JAMMU HILLS prominently record the existence of two powerful empires of Abhisara (Present day POONCH) and KATHAIOI at the time of invasion of India by ALEXANDERA, Strabo describes KATHAIOI as a mighty republic of that era located in the foot hills along river RAVI. The topography of KATHAIOI corresponds with the present day KATHUA. Starbo describes the people of the republic as epitone of bravery and courage and records that they gave a tough fight to invading Army of ALEXANDERA.
DOGRI & PAHARI are the main languages spoken. Hindi, English and Urdu are the main medium of education. Offcial language is Urdu.
The areas falling in Kathua district experiences wide range of climate from sub-tropical to temperate area and even alpine in higher regions of Bani and Lohai-Malhar blocks. Because of altitudinal varities, there is vast difference between the temperature of two plain thesils of Kathua and Hiranagar with those of Hilly Tehsils of Basohli and Billawar. The Summer temperature rises as high as 48 degree Celcius in the plains and Winter temperature in the upper hilly areas touches sub-zero. Most of the Higher areas in the BASOHLI AND BILLAWAR Tehsils experiences SNOWFALLS for most part of the year. The District experiences rainfall during Winter and early Summer primarily from western disturbances and monsoon rains from second week of July onwards. The hilly areas receives more rains than the plains. The annual rainfall in the district is approx. 1672 mm.
Kathua District is broadly comprises three distinct zones Viz. Border, Kandi and Hilly. Billawar, Bani, Basohli and Lohai –Malhar Blocks of the district comes under HILLY Area, The culture of this area is PAHARI which resembles the culture of Himachal Paradesh. The other part of the district has DOGRA Culture.
Dogri is the main language spoken by the people of the district. Though the dogri spoken in some parts of the district has the influence of Punjabi tone also but the rural areas specially the Hilly areas are free from Punjabi. Their main language is DOGRI/PAHARI. The Language is the rural and hilly areas has maintained its native purity, accent and sweetness. However a very small section of the Population residing in Lohai-Malhar and BANI Blocks also speaks Kashmiri. GOJRI is also spoken by the Gujjar Community settled here and there. However, Dogri is main language spoken in the district.
The district is culturally an integerated part of Jammu region and all important religious fairs like Lohri, Maha Shivratri, Id-ul-Fitr, Holi, Ramnavmi, Baisakhi, Basantpanchami, Martyr's day of Guru Arjun Dev, Raksha Bandhan, Janam Ashtami, Mahanavami, Dussehra, Diwali, id-ul-zuha, Guru Ravi Dass's b'day, Mahatama gandhi's b'day Guru Govind Singh's b'day, Chacha Nehru's birthday. Above all, the Independence Day and Republic Day are celeberated with great enthusiasm. Holy Navratras also provide special occasion for worship and pilgrimage to holy places culminating into small to big fairs. Ram Lilas are organized in every town as well as in every village of the district. The most famous Ram Lila is performed in BASOHLI.
Kathua District is situated at 320 17' to 320 55' North Latitude and 750 70' to 760 16' East longitude. The District is surrounded by Punjab in the South-East, Himachal Pradesh in North-East, District Doda and Udhampur in North and North-West, Jammu in the West and Pakistan in the South-West. It has an area of 2651 Sq Kms. The district can be conveniently divided into three distinct Agro-climatic regions. The area falling South of Pathankot-Jammu-Srinagar National Highway consists of deep alluvial soils. The area is mostly irrigated and quite productive. This area touches Pakistan and Punjab border and it is also popularly called Border Area. The second zone falling north of the National Highway extends upto foothills of Himalayas and falling mostly in Shivalik ranges is called Kandi area. It is characterized by shallow soils full of boulders with negligible natural water resources. The area faces acute shortage of water and the productivity of the land is very marginal. Part of Kathua, Barnoti, Hiranagar, Ghagwal, Basohli and Billawar block falls in this category. The third area falls beyond Shivalik ranges and extends upto to Peer Panchal ranges. This area is mountainous in nature with little potential for agriculture.
Kathua District is located about 88 Kms. from Jammu, 390 Kms from Srinagar and about 500 Kms. from Delhi and 25 Kms from Pathankote. Kathua District is connected to Jammu, Srinagar, Pathankote, Delhi through National Highway NH-1A. Regular Bus Service is available for Jammu, Srinagar, Udhampur, Katra, Delhi, Pathankote, Chandigarh, Shimla and all other major cities of Punjab, Himachal Paradesh, Haryana, Delhi, UP, Rajasthan.
Kathua is connected through Rail Head to all major cities of the Country. Kathua railway Station is located at Govindsar, 7 Kms from the City Chowk, Kathua. Nearest Airport is Jammu.
For more information please visit the official website of Kathua District.