innumerable temples this City of Temples has people of several races
and mixed culture spreading from Chenab to Ravi. Situated at an altitude
of 305 meters, surrounded by Pirpanjal and Shivalik mountains, Jammu,
the summer capital of J&K, has climate similar to northern India.
Popular as Dogras, Jammuites are friendly in nature and born warriors.
For decades, they have paved the way for the tourists into the State.
In AD 1800 Maraja
Ranjeet Singh of Punjab took over Lahore and marched to Jammu. In AD
1812, Jammu was assigned as Jagir to his elder son, Prince Kharak Singh.
On realizing the spirit of Jamwals, Main Mota of Jammu was made the
Ministry by Sikhs. Maharaja Ranjeet Singh selected Gulab Singh and his
brother Dhyan Singh to rule Jammu in AD 1813. Gulab Singhs grateful
sovereign bestowed him Jammu as his Jagir and he became Maharaja in AD
1822. He appointed Zorawar Singh as Hakim of Kishtwar who further
advanced to Ladakh, Baltistan and Tibet for expansion of the empire.
Maharaja Ranjeet Singh
entrusted Gulab Singh with administration of large territories and
transferred the lease of Gujarat in AD1830, which yielded huge revenue.
After Maharaja Ranjeet Singhs death, Gulab Singh succeeded in getting
control of Sialkot and appointed a governor and appointed a governor in
Peshawar. He purchased Kashmir from the British against a sum of money,
some cattle, gifts and a yearly tribute under the Treaty of Amrisar in
AD1846. His force joined the British troops and he got the title of
Maharaja of Jammu & Kashmir. Thereafter Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh became
the empire of Dogras whose rule lasted up to 1947.
Sightseeing in Jammu
(Distance are in Km
and from Raghunath Bazaar)
Raghunath Temple: -
Once of the oldest
temples, the Raghunath Temple houses deities representing the Hindu
pantheon. Its construction was started by Maharaja Gulab Singh in 1851
and was inaugurated six years later by7 his son Ranbir Singh. Raghunath
Bazaar, the area surrounding the temples, is most in most crowded &a
Located on Shalimar
Road, the temple was built by Maharaja Ranbir Singh in AD 1883 dedicated
to Lord Shiva. It has one central lingam measuring seven-and-a-half feet
in height, twelve Shiva lingam of crystal measuring from 15inches to
Peer Khoh is a cave
shrine located in the Circular Road, which has a mysterious, naturally
formed Shiva lingam.
This temple is situated
in the Bypass Road, behind Bahu Fort and overlooks River Tawi. A small
garden surrounded by forests provides a spectacular view of the city.
The daragh of peer
Badhan Ali Shah or Peer Baba, according to local belief, products the
people of this city from mishaps and evil spirits.
South wards on the
Pathankot road, is the charismatic Parmandal Temple complex, situated on
the banks of in Underground River. The river is cooked by sand, and one
can feel the water oozing out by a mere touch of the feet. It is often
referred to as Chota Kashi.
The majestic Bahu Fort,
the oldest edifice extant in the region is situated in the banks of
River Tawi. It is surrounded by a lush green terraced garden full of
waterfalls and flowers, popular as Bagh-e-Bahu, a favorite picnic spot
for the city folks.
Amar Mahal Palace
Overlooking the River
Tawi, the Amar Mahal Palace has characteristics similar to European
castle. A portion of the palace has been converted into a museum, which
also houses the citys finest library of antique books and paintings.
Another part of the palace has been converted into a heritage hotel that
offers breathtaking views and royal service.
Mubarak Mandi / Dogra
Built in AD 1824, the
palace is full of Mughal and Rajasthani architecture. The complex houses
an art gallery where paintings and miniatures of different periods from
Basohli, Jammu and Kangra are displayed. The gallery also has Shahnama
and Sikandernama, handwritten manuscripts in Persian. The art gallery is
closed on Monday and government holydays.
Alt 5,200ft. Km: 45
Katra, a small town in
the foothills of Trikuta, serves as the base camp to the Vaishodevi
Yatris. The shrine is approach on foot along a 12km path from Katra.
Every year, nearly 5million pilgrims visit Mata Vaishodevi. The shrine
has been a beacon of faith and fulfillment to millions of devotees.
Popular belief holds that anybody who walks the trail to the goddess
abode rarely goes back disappointed. The holy shrine contains the
holiest of holy Pindis, manifesting the Mata in three forms Maha Kali,
Maha Lakshmi and Maha Sarasawati. It is believed that the Yatra is not
complete unless the pilgrim visits Bhairon ka Mandir as well (2.6 km
from the main shrine).
Yatris on reaching
katra need to get a Parch (registration sleep) from Shri Mata Vaishno
Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) counters near the Bus Stand. Counter No 1for
9 persons & No2 for 10 person and above. Counters are open from 6am to
Pithus, palkwalas and
ponywalas registered with the authorities are available from Katra to
Banganga. The rates from Katra to the shrine and back are fixed as per
the weight of luggage and yatri. Yatris are advised to check the
identities of hired pithu, Palkiwala, ponywala and note their card
numbers / names in case of any kind of eventuality.
After darshan, one must
not miss trying maalish (Body Massage) at Katra. The maalishwala will
loosen your muscles using different massage methods and a variety of
For your food taste,
Katra is no less than a metro city. The modern Fast Food restaurants
fulfil the needs of every yatri be it Punjabi, Gujrati, Marathi,
Bengali, NRIs or foreigners. The food at Dhabas and Restaurants is
equally tasteful and reasonable. In obeisance to Mata, the entire Katra
town and nearby Katra areas are declared vegetarian and alcohol free.
Katra main bazaar is
full of Kashmiri handicraft items, all types of dry fruits, bhaints,
gift items and other specialties from the region.
The helicopter service
from Katra to the shrine and back can be availed at a fixed price. The
chopper makes many sorties during the day subject to weather conditions.
The helipad at katra is just 11/2 kms away from
the main market in the Kashmir road.
Shrines nearby: -
The main attraction
here is a natural 4ft high Shivling in a kilometer long cave. The day
trip from Katra (35km) is generally of interest to the pilgrims visiting
Mata Vaishnodevi. During Shivaratri, a fair is held which is visited by
devotees from all corners.
Traveling 10 km from
Katra towards the famous Salal-dam in Reasi, a cool spring gushes out of
the mountainside on a thick grove of trees and forms a number of small
waterfalls. Next to the spring is a naturally formed Shivling on which
the droplets of water fall. Every year a festival is organized during
Shivaratri at Baba Dhansar.
Altitude: 2024 meters
Perched among dense
forests and green carpeted meadows, overlooking the Pipanjal range,
Patnitop is the most popular picnic spot among locals and tourists
alike. It provides an escape from the summer heat. The nearby area of
Padora and nathatop are favorite excursion spots. The snow fall during
winter makes Patnitop more lively since everyone desire to have fun in
the snowcapped mountains. Skiing and sledging thrills one and all in the
snow covered meadows of Patnitop.
A/C and non-A/C rooms
are reasonably priced in most of the hotels situated right from the
highway to Padora area. Tourist Bungalow and cottages of JKTDC,
beautifully located in the meadows, can be a nice stopover.
Altitude: 2079m Km 130
19km from patnitop,
Sanasar is a cup shaped meadow where one can go on day-trips during
summer. Paragliding is one of the major attractions here. JKTDC tourist
bungalow and hutments are available.
Best time to visit:
62km from Jammu, Mansar
is a mysterious lake deeply connected with Hindu mythology. For this
reason, fishing in the lake is prohibited. Parikarma of the lake is
believed to being good fortune. Crystal clear waters and cool breezes
make it a pleasant destination. Boating on the lake and a deer park in
the banks are other attractions. Come Baisakhi, a food festival is
organized every year. Surinsar, yet another lake nearby, is an off shoot
of the Mansar Lake. JKTDC tourist bungalow and hutments offer economical
accommodation with excellence view of the lake.
178 km from Jammu,
Doda, with altitude varying from 8000 ft to 15000 ft, has some
fascinating spots which are yet to be explored. The natural beauty is as
romantic and adventurous as Kashmir. For this reason.
Festivals of Jammu
Lohri (13 January)
This festival heralds the onset of spring and is also known as Makar
Sankranti. The whole region wears a festive look on this day.
Thousands take a dip in the holy rivers. 'Havan Yagnas' light up nearly
every house and temple in Jammu. In the rural areas it is customary for
young boys to go around asking for gifts from newly-weds and parents of
A special dance called the 'Chajja' is held on the occasion of Lohri. It
makes a striking picture to see boys along with their 'Chajjas'
elaborately decorated with coloured paper and flowers dance on the
street in a procession. The whole atmosphere comes alive with pulsating
Baisakhi (April 13 or 14)
The name Baisakhi is taken from the first month of the Vikram
calendar. Every year, on the first day of Vaishakh, the people of Jammu,
like the rest of northern India, celebrate Baisakhi. Also known as the
"harvest festival", it is considered auspicious especially for
marriages. Devotees who take a ritual dip every year, throng the rivers,
canals and ponds. Many people go to the Nagbani temple to witness the
grand New Year celebration.
By Air: -Indian
Airlines, Jet Airways, Spice Jet, Air Sahara, Kingfisher, Go Air and Air
Deccan operate mostly daily flights to Jammu from Delhi. Jammu airport
is at a distance of 8kms from the city.
By Train: -The
northernmost railway junction of India, Jammu Tawi railway station is
connected by trains from many cities. It is 6km from the Tourist
By Road: -
National Highway 1A
connects Jammu with rest of India. Most northern State Road Transport
Corporations like Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi have daily
bus services to Jammu