Pakistani Cities
official_name = Kotli

emblem =
province = Azad Kashmir

n1 =
n2 =
n3 =
e1 =
e2 =
e3 =
elevation_m = 3000
census_year = 2006
estimate_year = 2007
census_pop = 640,000
population_density_km2 = 352
code = 058660
towns = 3
uc = 18
nazim =
naib nazim =
footnotes= [http://www.ajk.gov.pk/site/index.php Kotli District Website]

Kotli (Urdu: کوٹلی) is the chief town of Kotli District, in the Pakistani-controlled Azad 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 Kashmir. Kotli is roughly 4½ hours from Islamabad and Rawalpindi, at a distance of 141 km via Sehnsa.


Historically Kotli started out as race ground to the prince of the declining Dogra reign of Kashmir. With the decline of the Dogra dynasty and the swell of migrants crossing the border into the princely state came the birth of the first real town north of Mirpur and south of Bagh District.

The original settlement of Kotli came in the 1850s through the alliance of the local landlords of Sohrotha "The Raja Baig's" and newly arrived migrants from Poonch District. Kotli was divided between the older, established Raja Baig clan that held lands from south of Pang Piran village to Sohrohta and the newly arrived "Syed's" of Poonch that held claims from Pang Piran in the north to the Bahhn river at the fringe of modern Kotli city. The rival barons clung to the landlocked city, and much in the vein of feudal landlords controlled the town until the Great Depression of the 1930s toppled the economy and the reigning families.

With the onset of the India-Pakistan Partition in 1947, Kotli city became the standing post to the flood of immigrants that crossed the borders at Koihrota, 32 miles east of Kotli.

Modern Kotli

Today Kotli is a summer boom town. The real estate value of what was once a bus stop town between Mirpur and Muzaffarabad has created a thriving summer economy. 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 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 Europe and the Americas. Like many southern Kashmiris living on 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 the larger industrial cities of central England.Many Kotli city residents have ties to British nationals in the town of Luton, Bedfordshire.


According to the 1998 census Kotli had a population of approximately 640,000. The majority of the people are ethnic Paharis/Potwaris and account for approx 85% of the population followed by Pathans, at 10% and the remainder are mostly Gujjars. The main languages spoken in Kotli are Pahari, Potwari and Gojri.


Notable People

*Sardar Sikandar Hayat Khan - Ex Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir
*Malik Nawaz - Member Legislative Assembly
*Chaudhary Muhammad Azam - Ex Member Legislative Assembly
*Shaukat Shahab - Administrator Municipal Committee
*Shahid Lal - 1st Earl of Kotli

Friendship cities

*Sheffield, England
*Wakefield, England

External links

* [http://www.apnakotli.com Kotli Azad Jammu & Kashmir - A Web Service Portal For kotli]
* [http://www.ajk.gov.pk/tourism/kotli.html Azad Jammu & Kashmir - Tourism in Kotli District]
* [http://www.imkashmiri.com/kotli/ Kashmir info website]



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