Jammu. the Duggar land where the past still has a living presence. A land of grand ancient temples, and beatiful palaces. All nestling in the foothills of the Himalayas. It is said that, on becoming King, the Suryavanshi Jambu Lochan went on a hunt and, crossing the Tawi, found a deer and a tiger drinking water from the same tank. His ministers explained that this meant that the soil of the place was so virtuous that no living creature bore enmity against another. Raja Jambu Lochan, who lived in the later vedic period, decided to found his capital , Jambupura, on his soil, on the right bank of the Tawi, overlooking his brother king Bahu's fort. Today the temple of Maha Kali ( better known as Bahu or Bawey Wali Mata), located in the Bahufort, is considered second only to Mata Vaishno Devi in terms of mystical power. The present temple was built shortly after the coronation of Maharaja Gulab singh, in 1822. The existing fort, as well as the Manasabdar's palace inside it, was constructed in 1820.
Jammu is justly famous for its temples. Infact it is known as the city of temples and the every fame of its tends to overshadow its palaces, forts, forests and powerful ziarats. If Bahu Mata is the presiding deity of Jammu, the dargah of Peer Budhan Ali Shah is the other shrine that protects Jammuites. The other major tourist attraction is the Ragunath Temple Complex. Maharaja Gulab Singh began the construction of the Raghunath Mandir Complex in the crowded downtown Bazaar named after it, in 1851. It was left to his son, Ranbir Singh, to inagurate it six years later perhaps the most popular temple north of Benares, it contains representations of almost entire Hindu pantheon, though the emphassis falls on the various incarnations of Lord Vishnu. The complex houses a rich collection of ancient texts and manuscripts.
CLIMATE : The Kashmir valley enjoys an enchanting climate for the major part of the year. A unique feature of the climate is the four clear-cut seasons - spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Till the end of May, the climate of Kashmir is comparable with that of Switzerland. In spring, the valley wears blankets of emerald green grass and is decked with flowers of various hues and fresh leaves - a phenomenon of rejuvenation from the rigors of a long winter. It is then the worlds' most wonderful of natural gardens. In summer, the sleepy blue mountains with snow-capped peaks, clear streams, cool bubbling springs, noisy torrents, beautiful lakes, shady chinar groves, silvery poplars, drooping willows, and pine forests make Kashmir the "play ground of Asia." In autumn, the trees and forests turn into bronze and copper colours, and the foliage becomes a riot of golden yellow and green. In winter, the giant size trees wear a bare look when the landscape dons a mantle of snow.
EXCURSION : Katra/ Sri Vaishno Deviji Temple: This small town serves as the base camp for visiting the famous shrine of Vaishno deviji in the Trikuta hills. The shrine is approachable on foot along a 12 kms. Long well laid footpath. Every year, nearly 4 million pilgrims pass through Katra on they're way to Vaishnodeviji. Accommodations available in Tourist Bungalows, Yatrika and number of private hotels, besides pilgrims 'sarais'.
Kud: This popular resort is situated on the Jammu-Srinagar highway, at an altitude of 1738 metres. Accommodations available at the Tourist Bungalows of the J&KTDC as well as at several private hotels.
Patnitop: This famous hill resort is perched on a beautiful plateau, at an altitude of 2024 metres across which the Jammu- Srinagar highway passes. Enveloped by thickly wooded forests, Patnitop offers beautiful picnic spots, peaceful walks and breathtaking views of the mountain escape of the Chenab basin. In winter, the resort is generally covered with a thick mantle of snow thus providing opportunities for various snow games including skiing. For accommodation, there are a large number of huts and Tourist Bungalows, all managed by J&K TDC. Several private hotels also provide rooms to suit every pocket and preference.
Raghunath Temple, Jammu
Bahufort Bahu Fort Temple, Jammu
Mubarak Mandi Palace, Jammu
Sanasar: From Jammu and only 17 kms. From Patnitop, Sanasar is a cup shaped meadow surrounded by gigantic conifers. A place for a quiet holiday, the meadow has now been developed as a gold course. It also provides opportunities for paragliding. Accommodation is available in huts, Tourist Bungalows and dormitory of the J&K Tourism Development Corporation.
Batote: Situated at an altitude of 1560 metres on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway, this resort straddles the forested slopes of the Patnitop mountain range, overlooking the spectacular lie of the Chenab gorge. Accommodation is available in huts, Tourist Bungalows and dormitory of the J&K TDC.
Sudh Mahadev: This holy spot near Patnitop is situated at an altitude of 1225 mtrs, about 120kms from Jammu. The shrine is visited by pilgrims on the full moon night of 'Sawan' (July - August) to worship the "Trishul" (trident) and a mace which is said to belong to Lord Shiva. The Devak stream originates at Sudh Mahadev and disappears among the rocks a few kilometers down stream. Accommodation: Pilgrims Sarai of J&K TDC.
Gauri Kund: Short of Sudh Mahadev is the legendary spring where the Goddess Parvati used to bath before commencing Her daily prayers at Sudh Mahadev. This spring came to be named after Her as 'Gauri Kund'
Mantalai: Situated a few kilometres further away from Sudh Mahadev, Mantalai is surrounded by lush deodar forests, at an altitude of over 2000 metres. It is believed that Lord Shiva had got married to the Goddess Parvati here.
Attractions and Places to Visit in Jammu
Peer khoh: A cave shrine located on the Circular Road, 3.5 kms. From the heart of the town. There is a Shiva Lingam formed naturally in the cave; neither its antiquity nor its cause is known. And legend has it that the cave leads underground to many other cave shrines and even out of the country.
Ranbireshwar Temple: Located on Shalimar Road near the New Secretariat, and built by Maharaja Ranbir Singh in 1883 AD, Ranbireshwar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. IT has one central 'Lingam' measuring seven and a half feet in height (7.5 ft.) and twelve Shiva 'Lingams' of crystal measuring from 15cms to 38 cms. And galleries with thousands of Shiva 'Lingams' fixed on stone slabs.
Raghunath Teple: Situated in the heart of the city and surrounded by a group of other temples, this temple dedicated to Lord Rama is outstanding and unique in northern India. Work on the temple was started by Maharaja Gulab Singh, founder of the Kingdom of Jammu and Kashmir in 1835 AD and was competed by his son, Maharaja Ranbir Singh in 1860 AD. The inner walls of the main temple are covered with gold sheet on three sides. There are many galleries with lakhs of 'Saligrams'. The surrounding temples are dedicated to various Gods and Goddesses connected with the epic Ramayana.
Ranbir Canal: A small garden along the Ranbir Canal, 2kms from the heart of the town, provides a cool picnic spot during the summer. The Canal branches off from the river Chenab at Akhnor, 32 kms. Away. Its water remains ice cold throughout the year. Its banks serve as good viewpoints and walkways.
Bahu Fort: 5kms Situated on a rock face on the left bank of the river Tawi, this is perhaps of the river Tawi, this is perhaps the oldest fort and edifice in the city. Constructed originally by Raja Bahulochan over 3,000 year ago, the existing fort was more recently improved and built by the Dogra rulers. There is a temple dedicated to Goddess Kali inside the fort.
Bagh-E-Bahu: 5kms. These extensive gardens, laid around the Bahu Fort provide a pleasant view of the city. Open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Peer Baba: On the backside of the Civil Airport is famous Dargah of the Muslim saint, Peer Budhan Ali Shah. On Thursdays, Hindu and Sikh devotees vastly outnumber their Muslims brethren at the shrine.
Maha Maya Temple and City Forest: On the By-pass Road behind Bahu Fort, the city forest surrounds the ancient Maha Maya. Temple overlooking the river Tawi. A small garden surrounded by acres of woods provides best view of the city.
Mubarak Mandi Palace: The oldest buildings in this Palace complex date to 1824. The architecture is blend of Rajasthani, Mughal and even Baroque European influences. The most stunning segment is the Sheesh Mahal. The Pink Hall now houses the Dogra Art Museum, which has miniature paintings of the various Hill Schools.
How to Reach Jammu
Jammu by Air: The state has three airports, namely: Srinagar , Jammu and Leh. Major airlines like: Indian Airlines , Jet Airways operate regular flights to these airports.
Jammu by Road: The state has good road network connecting important neighbourhood cities Delhi , Amritsar , Ambala, Chandigarh , Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Pathankot, Shimla and Manali.
Jammu by Rail: The most important railways station is Jammu Tawi, which is served many important trains and is so well connected with the rest of the country.