The river Jhelum is navigable throughout the district, which forms the south-eastern portion of a rugged Himalayan spur, extending between the Indus and Jhelum to the borders of the Sind Sagar Doab. Its scenery is very picturesque, although not of so wild a character as the mountain region of Rawalpindi to the north, and is lighted up in places by smiling patches of cultivated valley. The backbone of the district is formed by the Salt Range, a treble line of parallel hills running in three long forks from east to west throughout its whole breadth.
The range rises in bold precipices, broken by gorges, clothed with brushwood and traversed by streams which are at first pure, but soon become impregnated with the saline matter over which they pass. Between the line of hills lies a picturesque table-land, in which the beautiful little lake of Kallar Kahar nestles amongst the minor ridges. North of the Salt Range, the country extends upwards in an elevated plateau, diversified by countless ravines and fissures, until it loses itself in tangled masses of Rawalpindi mountains. In this rugged tract cultivation is rare and difficult, the soil being choked with saline matter. At the foot of the Salt Range, however, a small strip of level soil lies along the banks of the Jhelum, and is thickly dotted with prosperous villages.
The drainage of the district is determined by a low central watershed running north and south at right angles to the Salt Range. The waters of the western portion find their way into the Sohan, and finally into the Indus; those of the opposite slope collect themselves into small torrents, and empty themselves into the Jhelum River.