The name of Reasi is derived from the first Raja Raspal of this area, who had shifted from Bajalta to this place. Raja Raspal converted it into a township and named it as Rasyalsi which with due passage of time changed to Reasi.
Earlier this area was known as Bhimgarh principality which was established by Raja Bhim Dev in 8th century AD.
Reasi got the status of District in 1904. However, in 1950 the status of Reasi was reduced to tehsil and the area was merged with district Udhampur.
Reasi again became the district in 2007 which was carved out from district Udhampur.
Apart from the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine, the district is also known for Shri Mata Vashino Devi University and SMVD Narayana Hospital.
Shiv Khori is another important Shrine which is about 42 km from Reasi in the south western side. It is a renowned cave of Lord Shiva. A big mela is organized at this shrine on the eve of Shivratri festival which continues for three days.
The Dera of a great Saint and Soldier Baba Banda Singh Beragi is also located in Reasi, who was a warrior and General of tenth Guru Gobind Singh ji and fought number of battles against Mughals in Punjab.The Shrine of Baba Jitto is also located in Reasi area. Baba Jitto needs no introduction and is a revered figure throughout Jammu region.
The Zairiat of Baji Ismile near Barakh is an important Muslim Shrine of Reasi.
Major attraction of the district, the Bhimgarh fort is situated on the top hillock near the entry of town spread over 3 acres lands. Initially it was constructed with mud Later on this fort was reconstructed with stone masonry by Raja Rashipal Rana.
The repair of this fort was started in 1817 by Gulab Singh of Jammu on the orders of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
The repair work was completed in 1841. Most of the construction work took place under the supervision of General Zorawar Singh who was the care taker of this area on behalf of Raja Gulab Singh of Jammu. It is one of the strongest forts constructed in Jammu area.
General Zorawar Singh had resided in Reasi near Vijaypur and his old Haveli still exists in the locality.
A railway line is being laid through the district, which when completed, will connect Jammu with Reasi, Banihal and will finally link with the valley.
The highest railway arc bridge in the world is also under construction near Kouri in Reasi.
Salal hydro power project is not only a big power generating station but an attractive place of the district which is 15 km away from Reasi town and surrounded by mountains and natural vegetation.