Kotli (Urdu: کوٹلی) or Cotly, as known in Britain, is the chief town of Kotli District, in the, Pakistan Administered Kashmir. Kotli is linked with Mirpur by two metalled roads, one via Rajdhani, (90 km) and the other via Charhoi. It is also directly linked with Rawalakot via Trarkhal (82 km) and a double road which links Kotli with the rest of Pakistan via Sehnsa, another major town in Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Kotli is roughly a three hours drive from Islamabad and Rawalpindi, at a distance of 117 km via Sehnsa.
“KHANKA_KATEHRA” CHARHOI :- charhoi is also a Tehsil of Kotli which is situated near the Line of Control(LOC). in Charhoi there is a Village called Khanka-Katehra which is also a Union Council of Charhoi. Khanka-Katehra is a beautiful village which is situated among the beautiful mountains and thick forests. Khanka-Katehra was the main administration place considered in the time of Dogra Raj before 1947 due to the zaildar. Zaildar Raja Mohammad Akbar khan was the Nawab of Khanka-Katehra . He was very famous of his honesty and truthfulness. The family of Zaildar Mohammad Akbar khan is still living in Khanka katehra the place called Jagalpar. He has three sons called Zaildar Raja Gulraiz Khan ,Zaildar Raja Pervez Khan and Zaildar Farooq Akbar Khan. Khanka-Katehra name is the mixture of two names “Khan” and “Katehra”. Khan is the title of the Rajput family’s. Zaildar Mohammad Akbar Khan is also belong to that family and Katehra means “abulstrade”(the place in court where criminals stand to hear the hearing) Zaildar Mohammad Akbar khan and his forefathers were conducting courts there to deliver justice for the people at the feudalism era.
As stated in History of the Punjab Hill States by J.Hutchinson and J.P. Vogel: “Kotli was founded about the fifteenth century by a branch of the royal family ofKashmir. Kotli and Poonch remained independent until subdued by Ranjit Singh in 1815 and 1819 respectively.”
The royal family of Kashmir Hutchinson and Vogel are referring to is the family of Raja Mangar Pal. Before its name was Kohtali mean (under mountain) after that people changed its name to Kotli. Kotli was historically known as Kotli (INDIA).
There is a famous saying in Azad Kashmir: “Kotli Mangrallan da, Rajouri Jarrallan da, Bhimber Chiban da, Mirpur Gakharan da”, meaning “Kotli is ruled by theMangral Rajputs, Rajouri is ruled by the Jarral Rajputs, Bhimber is ruled by the Chib Rajputs and Mirpur is ruled by the Gakhar Rajputs”
Indo-Pakistan War of 1947-48
In November 1947, the Indian Army reached Kotli and evacuated the garrisons of the town. The Pakistani Army along with the local population and aided by the tribesmen of the North West Frontier Province arrived and counter-attacked, unable forcing the Indian Army to abandon it. Kotli has been under Pakistani rule since.
Today Kotli is a winter town. Notable places in Kotli to visit are sarda point, Tinda Rest-House, near river gori park, roli hills, butt fire and Peer Lasura (Nakyal). Today kotli is shaping itself in almost every field of life.Some notable places are Gulhar colony, Khuiratta, Chowki Tinda, Kurti, Roli, Brali and Dhamol. The town has become a vision of three-storey mansions that have taken over the once-barren roads between the outer ring villages and the ever-expanding city sitting on the brim of the Poonch River. The most famous and notable buildings are the three Khan-Wali fortresses, Jame Masjid Ghosia Balyah and Tehsil Guest House (Some Great people used to stay there since it was built by Dogra rulers).
The main distinction to the city is Jamay Masjid Al-Firdous Gulhar. It is the religious centre of excellence and it centralizes more than seven hundred mosques all over the world, the most of which are in Azad Kashmir. Hazrat Khawaja Muhammad Sadiq (Rahmatullah Alaihee) laid foundation of this system and now his son Mr. Haafiz Muhammad Zahid Sultani is supervising the system efficiently.
The mass emigration that took over the country in the 1960s has now created a steady boom of summer holiday makers from Britain and beyond who seek to reconnect their European-born children to the old country. Kotli has international links throughout Western Europe and North America. Like many Azad Kashmiris (Poonch valley — a region found in the Jammu part of Jammu and Kashmir) living in the fringes of the Mangla Dam in Mirpur, emigration fever took hold of the surrounding country from the mid 1950s onwards.
Kotli has ties with many European cities such as Amsterdam, Hamburg and especially the larger industrial cities of northern and central England. Many Kotli city residents have ties to British nationals in the city ofManchester, Sheffield, Leeds, Bradford, Luton, Bedford, Watford and Birmingham. Kotli is also known as the city of mosques due to the fact that there are more than three hundred mosques in Kotli.
- Three privately owned cable Television systems: Kashmir Cable Network Covering 90% area of Kotli City and Surroundings, Family Cable Network, and Medialink Cable Network, are available in Kotli, which transmit Pakistanin and international television programs.
- A local FM radio station also broadcasts at FM 96.5.
- Cell phone service is available through six private cell phone operators: Paktel, Mobilink, Ufone, Warid, Telenor and SCOM. PTCL Wireless is also available.