The Udhampur district is located in the Shivalik range of Himalayas and the terrain is mostly mountainous. The upper reaches of district experience snowfall in the winter season. Udhampur is popularly known as ‘land of Devika’ and ‘land of Bowlis, Headquarter of District, is named after Raja Udham Singh, the eldest son of Maharaja Gulab Singh, the founder of Dogra rule in Jammu and Kashmir.
The town is said to have been built in place of dense forest where Udham Singh occasionally went on hunting trips till he developed great love for the spot and choose it as site for township.
When Amritsar Pact was signed on 16th March 1846 between Raja Gulab Singh of Jammu, British Govt., Gulab Singh became the Maharaja of J&K State. He started frequent visits of Kashmir valley via Banihal pass and Udhampur area. At that time there was no proper road leading towards Kashmir except a bridle path for the movement of common people and horses. Therefore it would take a number of days for Royal Carvans to reach Srinagar. However there was no proper halting place enroute Kashmir. Maharaja would halt for few days at a small township called Krimchi, 10 km in the north of present Udhampur town located at the foot of Lada hill.
Around 1846A.D, the present site of Udhampur town was under dense forest with rich wild life. Krimchi was founded by Raja Krihik and is famous for old temples and ancient civilization. Maharaja along with his family members, Royal forces and prince Udhamsingh would put up in a ruinous fort on the south of Krimchi situated on an isolated hill. However Krimchi was away from the main route leading towards Kashmir and there was no proper place for accommodation of the royal Dogra Caravan at Krimchi.
In this very period, prince, Udham singh who was fond of hunting used to visit the dense forest area of present Udhampur town. In those days this area was having rich wild life. Therefore Prince along with royal guards and local shikaris would wander in this dense forest area for hunting purpose. With the passage of time, Udham Singh became fond of this spot and ultimately selected this area for a township because this place was located directly on the route towards Kashmir valley.
Maharaja Gulab Singh keeping in view the necessity of accommodation for the royal caravans approved the proposal of his son Udham Singh and named this town on the name of Prince Udham Singh as Udhampur. Therefore the construction of new town ship was started on war footing basis. This town emerged in a very shortest period.
The traders and shopkeepers of Krimchi and Jaganoo, artisan and labour class of surrounding areas also migrated to the town in search of livelihood. The palace for Maharaja Gulab Singh and accommodation for the royal caravans was also constructed.
In the meantime Prince Udham Singh died in an accident. Since this town was having the memories of Prince Udham Singh therefore it got patronage of Gulab Singh and successive Maharajas of J&K. Therefore it remained flourishing day by day.
Udhampur city is located at 32.93°N 75.13°E in a relatively flatter part of the district at an elevation of 756 metres (2480 feet) and rarely experiences any snowfall. The city itself spreads on uneven hills of Shivaliks.
Udhampur is famous for its bowlies, scenic beauty, pure dogra culture, historical places and monuments.