Ramban is almost the central point on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway. For this reason it is also called the “and” between “Jammu and Kashmir”. It is a newly carved out district of Jammu and Kashmir state which came into being on 01-04-2007 after the erstwhile Doda district was further split into three districts of Ramban,Kishtwar and Doda.
Ramban town which is the district headquarter is located along the river Chenab also known as “chanderbagha” on the National Highway-1A (now NH44) at about 150 km from Jammu and about 150 km from Srinagar.
- Rich History: In the book ‘The Gazetteer of Kashmir’ by C.E. Bats writes during the reign of Raja Gulab Singh, the raja adopted the Jammu-Udhampur-Banihal route to reach Srinagar for the movement of royal caravans. In this process, Ramban received the status of halting station for the royal caravans. Sukhdev Singh Chadak in his book ‘Maharaja Ranbir Singh’ states that the Maharaja passed an order for a cart road from Jammu to Srinagar via Banihal and a suspension bridge over Chenab River at Ramban. This road became a national highway; it was converted into four lanes.
- Gajpat Fort: The Gajpat Fort has historical significance for it said that once Sheikh Abdullah was kept imprisoned in this fort for several days. In 1825, Gulab Singh imprisoned Raja Sultan Khan of Bimbar in this fort. Sultan Khan died there and was buried at Chanderkote. In 1858 Mean Hathu Singh, the Governor of Rajouri, and close relatives of Maharaja revolted against the state government and tried to kill Maharaja Ranbir Singh. Mean Hathu was arrested and moved to Gajpat fort.
- Religious Importance: Raghunath temple of Ramban is one of the important religious places for Hindus. Once in a year a yatra to the shrine of Raja Sankh Pal near Sardhar opposite Chenab on the east of Battote takes place in the month of July where there is a shrine of Sankhpal. In this Yatra, the devotees from the villages of Ramban took the procession of their Devtas up to the Shrine of Raja Sankhpal. It is believed that these Devtas from the various villages meet at the Shrine and bless the devotees.
- Tourist attraction: Jahangir once said that Kashmir valley is a paradise on the earth. The region is painted with many colours. Some important tourist destinations of district Ramban are- Zaban Hill Station, NilpalLamber and Thandi Chhah. The scenic meadow of Zaban is located about 5 kms from the national highway from Nowgam (Banihal). The panoramic view of village Khairkoot in Sanglaab valley from the top of Zaban hill station is marvelous. Neel Top and PogalParistan. The impressive Neel Top is located at a distance of 25 kms from Banihal town. The overhead floating clouds, bright sunshine, cold breeze that touches soft skin, and sometimes fog and terrifying dark clouds shroud you in such a way that it becomes difficult to move on.
There is a need to gear up developmental programme in these unexplored locations so that it can benefit local people by creating a number of jobs. To eradicate poverty from the region it is necessary to exploit these beauty spots at maximum for the common good of people. With the huge inflow of tourists, the local art and crafts will flourish as well, promoting local literature, music and dance, fairs and festivals, folk dances, etc.