Historically, Rajouri area was associated with Aryan, emigrants that crossed the Himalayan range in the north and west. It is also called the land of Rajas. Earlier, it was the part of the hill states of the Punjab Kingdom. Early records show the existence of feudal system here. During the period of Alexander's invasion, Rajouri was at the summit of its splendour. It was a great trade centre during the Mauryan period. In the Mughal era, Rajas of the region converted their religion into Islam. Albaurni travelled the area in 1036 C.E. The area is mentioned as Raja Vari in 'Raj Tirangini' and in the book of Albaruni. The name changed with the time from Raja's Raj Avar to Raja Puri, Rajpuri to Raj Vari, Raj Vari to Raj Vara, Raj Vara to Raj Avar, Raj Avar to Rajour and then finally, Rajour to Rajouri. Rajouri became a principality in about 1003 C.E and Raja Prithvi Paul became its first ruler from 1033 to 1194 C.E. The region was rebuilt by Jaral Muslim Rajas with the construction of several forts, sarais, mosques and baradaris. The name of Rajouri was changes as Rampur by Maharaja Gulab Singh in 1846 C.E. Mian Hathu was appointed by him as Governor of Rajouri who constructed a temple nearby the Rajouri city. After the independence in 1947, it became the part of Poonch-Rajouri district. It was emerged as a separate district in the year 1968. After the Partition of India and the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India in October 1947, a huge war between India and Pakistan was started for the Kashmir. On 7th November, 1947 the Pakistani raiders, along with the rebels and deserters from the western districts of the state attacked and occupied the place of Rajauri. Again on 12th April, 1948 Rajauri was captured by the 19 Infantry Brigade of the Indian Army under the command of Second Lieutenant Rama Raghoba Rane. In this way finally Rajouri became a significant part of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Several famous personalities belong to the district. Nadeem Iqbal was born on 3rd April, 1983 in the Rajouri district. He is a cross-country skier from India. He was the first athlete to participate in the 2014 Winter Olympics for India. Arjumman Mughal was born on 1st January, 1990. She is an Indian model and film actress. Her acting debut was in the film ‘Ya Rub’.
Geographically, the district has a total 2,630 sq km. area and occupies the rank 7th in State and 424th in India on the bases of this size. It lies at 33037'N latitude, 74032'E longitude and 915 m altitude. In the year of 2019, there was a total 49.54% forest area of total geographical area. The district has hilly area. 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 708.4 mm in the year of 2018-19.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 7 sub-districts, 4 towns and 375 villages. Urdu is its official language. The district came into existence on 22nd September, 1967 with its administrative headquarter located at Rajouri which is situated at the distance of 175 kms from the state capital.
Demographically, according to the 2011 census, the district has a total 1,24,000 households with the total population of 6,42,415 out of which 3,45,351 are males and 2,97,064 are females which is leading it to the rank 7th in the state and 514th in India. The population density of the district is 244 (persons as per sq km.). The district has a sex ratio of 860 (females as per 1000 males) and child ratio of 865 (females as per 1000 males). According to the 2011 census, the principal languages in the district are Hindi with 93.04% and Dogri with 1.69%. As per 2011 census the major religions in the district are Muslim with 62.71% and Hindu with 34.54% of the total population. The population growth rate during the period 2001-2011 was 32.93% including 34.2% were males and 31.47% were females. In the year 2017 the number of live births in the district was 4,004 including 2,163 were males and 1,841 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 1,276 including 787 were males and 489 were females.
Economically, the district is mainly dependent on agriculture primarily. The district has fertile land. Maize and rice are main production of the region. River Tawi provides water for irrigation. Many small scale industries are also available here such as weaving, woolen, silk & artificial thread based clothes, Jute based industry, ready-made garments & embroidery, wood/wooden based furniture, paper & paper products, etc. The Gross Domestic Product in the district during the period 2005-06 was Rs 1,21,244 lakh at Current Price and Rs 92,958 lakh at Constant Prices in the year 1999-2000. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost in the district during the period 2003-04 was Rs 14,569 at Current Price and Rs 8,387 at Constant Prices in the year 1993-1994.
As per 2011 census the district has a literacy rate of 68.17% including 78.13% are males and 56.57% are females. The total number of literates in the district is 3,64,109 including 2,24,469 are males and 1,39,640 are females. The district has several educational institutes including schools and colleges such as Army Goodwill Public School, Delhi Public School, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Kendriya Vidyalaya, SH Guru Gang Devji Model School, Tariq college of Education, SVN Women Degree College, Swami Vishwatamanand Saraswati College of Education and Himaliyan COE, etc.
The district has many famous historical and religious tourist places to visit. These places are Dehra ki Gali, Law Bawli, Thannamandi, Darhal Malkan, Kotranka Budhal, Dhanidhar Fort Rajouri. Dehra ki Gali is a beautiful place. Heavy snowfall during winter months and thick vegetation are main attraction for the visitors. Law Bawli is located on Rajouri-Thannamandi road. The spring is beautiful scenic spot with full of fresh water and a lot of fishes. It is said that it is linked with the NANDANSAR Lake under the ground. Thannamandi is associated with the Mughals. They usually stay here in travelling from Delhi to Kashmir. It also produces artistic wooden products. Darhal Malkan is a valley of bowl shape. It is bounded with sloping mountains Kotranka is located at the bank of Ans River. The name Budhal is derived from a type of wood of the region. It is the coldest place of the district. The area is also famous for trekking activities. Klhad and Nambal are other famous places nearby Budhal. The construction of the Dhanidhar Fort was stated by Mian Hathu which was completed in 1855 AD. It was built to keep Dogra forces safely.