Poonch (also referred to as Punch) is a town and a municipal council in Poonch District in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The city is near the Line of Control - the de facto border with Pakistan's Azad Kashmir.
Based on the Mahabharata evidence, and the evidence from the 7th-century Chinese traveler Xuanzang, the districts of Poonch along with Rajauri and Abhisara were under the sway of the Republican Kambojas during epic times
Poonch is located at 33.77°N 74.1°E. It has an average elevation of 981 metres (3218 feet). The Pir Panjal range of mountains separates Poonch Valley from the Kashmir Valley. For a long time the only road connection between the two valleys was from Jammu. But now with the completion of the Mughal Road connecting Bufliaz in Poonch to Shopian in Kashmir, there is a direct connection between the two. It consist of 4 tehsils, Haveli, Mendhar, Surankote and Mandi.
Poonch has a humid subtropical climate (Koppen Cfa), much cooler than what is found in much of the rest of India, due to its moderately high elevation and northerly position. Winters are cool, with daytime a January average of 2.5 °C (36.5 °F), and temperatures below freezing at night. Summers are short and usually pleasant. The summer temperature generally does not rise above 31 °C. Winters are cool and characterized by rainfall due to western disturbances. Snowfall is quite common during the months of January and February.
As of 2011 India census, Poonch had a population of 40,987. Males constitute 55% of the population and females 45%. Poonch has an average literacy rate of 79%: male literacy is 84%, and female literacy is 77%. In Poonch, 13% of the population is under 6 years of age. The majority religious faith is Hinduism 44.19%. Islam 33.49% and Sikhism 20.79% are the biggest religious minorities.