Historically, there is a little knowledge about the history of Kathua. According to the myth, Rajput Jodh Singh came and settled here from Hastinapur about 2,000 years ago. Three groups named Tajwalia, Bhajwalia and Khanwalia Rajputs were called ‘Kathai’ altogether. Later, Kathai was changed in Kathura. It is believed that Jodh Singh of the Andotra clan was migrated from Hastinapur to Kathua nearly 2,000 years ago. Then his three sons set up the three hamlets namely Taraf Tajwal, Taraf Manjali and Taraf Bhajwal in this place. At present their descendent are popularly known as Tajwalia, Bhajwalia and Khanwalia Rajputs of Andotra sub-caste. Before the year 1921, the Kathua district was well-known as Jasrota district. Later during the period 1921-1931, the headquarters of the district was transferred to Kathua without any alteration in the area of governance. According to the Greek historians, at the time of Alexander invasion, the region was ruled over by two powerful empires called Abhisara and Kathaioi. It was republic state that time. The region is also associated with the presence of Lord Krishna, Pandavas and Jamabant here in the ancient time. Due to the closeness to the Pakistan border, military camps can be seen here. The activities of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) are very frequent in the area.
Shesh Paul Vaid (S. P. Vaid) is the Director General of Police (DGP) of Prisons in Jammu & Kashmir at present. He has held the various posts such as Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) (2011-2016), Secretary of Central Indian Police Service Association (CIPSA) (2010-2011), Director-Administration & Training of Bureau of Police Research & Development (New Delhi) (2009-2011) and Inspector General of Police (IGP)-Traffic of Jammu & Kashmir (2008-2009) etc.
Geographically, the district has a total 2,502 sq km. area and occupies the rank 8th in State and 441st in India on the bases of this size. It lies at 32037'N latitude, 75052'E longitude and 2972 m altitude. In the year of 2019, there was a total 53.00% forest area of total geographical area. It is surrounded by Jammu on the North-West, the Doda and Udhampur districts on the North, the state of Himachal Pradesh on the East, Punjab on the South, and Pakistan's working boundary on the West. Ravi, Ujh, Sewa are the main rivers of the district. Limestone, iron, gypsum, quartzite, betonies, fullers earth, alum, clay resources are available mineral resources in the district. The climate of the district remains pleasant almost throughout the year. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 1295.7 mm in the year of 2018-19.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 5 sub-districts namely Kathua, Hiranagar, Billawar, Bashohli, Bani. Moreover, it has 6 towns and 496 villages. Urdu is its official language. The district came into existence in year 1025 BC with its administrative headquarters located at Kargil town which is situated at the distance of 334 kms from the state capital.
Demographically, according to the 2011 census, the district has a total 1,17,836 numbers of households with the population of 6,16,435 comprising 3,26,109 are males and 2,90,326 are females and is leading it to the rank 8th in the state and 520th in India. It has population density of 246 (persons as per sq km.). The sex ratio of the region is considered as 890 (females as per 1000 males) males and child ratio is 831 (females as per 1000 males). According to the 2011 census, the principal languages of the district are Dogri with 81.92% at and Hindi with 12.29%. During the period of 2001-2011 the population growth rate was 12.06% including 12.69% were males and 11.37% were females. According to 2011 census the major religions in the district are Hindu with 87.61% and Muslim with 10.42% out of its total population. In the year 2017 the number of live births in the district was 9,384 including 4,906 were males and 4,478 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 2,132 including 1,170 were males and 962 were females.
Economically, the district is dependent on agriculture primarily. The district has a well developed industrial area SICOP ((State industrial cooperation) consisting of Nirmal Industries, Chenab Textile Mill (CTM). Birla Groups, Jackson, J and K and BLC companies are also available here which are producing cement, iron and other products. Paddy, maize, wheat, millets, oil seeds, pulses are the main grains of the district. The district has a number of major industrial units for instance Chenab Textile Mills, Shiva Steel Rolling Mills, Aman Paper Mills, Shri Ram Foundary, Rans Enterprises, J and K Cement Corporation, Bharat Small Arms Pvt Ltd, Vickson Sports Industries, Varun Roller Mills and Chenab Agro Chem. Ltd. The Gross Domestic Product in the district during the period 2005-06 was Rs. 1,59,250 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 1,22,143 lakh at Constant Prices in the year 1999-2000. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost in the year 2003-04 was Rs. 17,332 at Current Price and Rs. 9,701 at Constant Prices in the year 1993-1994.
Education wise, according to the 2011 census, the literacy rate in the district is 73.09% including 81.53% are males and 63.72% are females. The total number of literates in the district is 3,89,204 comprising 2,28,499 are males and 1,60,705 are females.
Anju Bala belongs to the Bharatiya Janata Party. She is a member of the 16th Lok Sabha. Girdhari Lal was a politician. He represented Jammu Kashmir and Udhampur in the 7th and 8th Lok Sabha respectively. He also became the member of the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly and held the post of Finance minister of the state for 26 years. Inder Jit Malhotra belonged to the Indian National Congress party. He represented Jammu constituency in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th Lok Sabha in the Parliament. Nirmal Kumar Singh is an Indian politician from the Bharatiya Janata Party. Presently, he is serving as the Deputy Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir. He was appointed as the Minister for Power Development and Housing and Urban Development in 2015. He represented the Billawar constituency in the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly in 2014.
The district has many famous historical and religious tourist places to visit. These places are Dream, The Recreation Park, Ujh Barrage, Fort of Jasrota & Jasrota Temple, Mata Sundrikote, Mata Bala Sundri, Airwan Temple, Asha Purani Mandhir, Sapt Sarober Mandhir, Peer Chattershah (Nagri-Parole), Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Kathua.