Duggar land where the past still has a living presence. A land of
grand ancient temples and beautiful 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 Bahu Fort, 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.
Legend has it that Jambu Lochan who founded the city about three
thousand years ago. The Raja was hunting in the area, away from
his capital city of Bahu when he came across a lion and a goat
drinking from the same pond. The Shivadawala Shrine now stands on
this spot in the city. Jammu is known as 'the city of temples'
because of its many shrines, with their soaring golden spires or 'Shikhars'.
There are many other shrines and temples around the city and
environs that date from earlier years but the recorded history of
Jammu begins from the time of the Dogra rulers in the early 19th
century. In 1846, the Dogra ruler of Jammu was created as a Maharaja of
an ill-defined Himalayan kingdom, to the eastward of the river
Indus and westward of the river Ravi', by the treaties of Lahore
and Amritsar at the conclusion of the first Sikh war.
It was the lack of definition of this state - the forerunner of
Jammu and Kashmir - that caused the continuing disputes with
Russia and China over territory. The British created the state as
part of a complex political buffer zone between their Indian
Empire and China and Russia.
For the Maharaja Gulab Singh, the treaty confirmed for him almost
25 years of fighting and negotiation with the small hill tribes
along the northern border of the Sikh Empire, centred on the
Punjab. The region remained under Dogra rule until the partition
of India in 1947, when Hari Singh, the Maharaja of Kashmir,
decided that it would remain as part of India and the state of
Jammu & Kashmir was born.
garden along the Ranbir Canal, which runs through the city
outskirts, provides a cool picnic spot during the summer. The
canal branches off from the river Chenab at Akhnoor, 32 kms away.
Its water remains icy-cold throughout the year and its banks serve
as good viewpoints and walkways.
Fort & Gardens
kms away from the city centre, Bahu Fort stands on a rock face on
the left bank of the river Tawi.
of Bahu Gardens (Bagh-e-Bahu)
oldest fort and edifice in the city, it was constructed originally
by Raja Bahulochan over 3,000 years ago.
existing fort was more recently improved upon and extended by the
Dogra rulers. Inside, there is a temple dedicated to the Hindu
goddess Kali. An extensive terraced garden, known as Bagh-e-Bahu,
has been developed around the fort.
Temple and City Forest
bypass Road, behind Bahu Fort, the city forest surrounds the
ancient Mahamaya temple overlooking the river Tawi. A small garden
surrounded by acres of woods provides the best view of the city.
buildings in this palace complex date back to 1824. The
architecture is a blend of Rajasthani, Mughal and even baroque
elements. The most stunning segment is the Sheesh Mahal.
"The Pink Hall" houses the Dogra Art Museum which
has miniature paintings of the various Hill schools.
opposite bank of the Tawi river, on an upland plateau, is situated
the majestic Bahu Fort, the oldest edifice extant in the
region. Looking at this fort one can imagine the wars fought,
invasions prevented, and yes, even the grandeur the royal family
must have enjoyed at the time. Today it is surrounded by a lush
green terraced garden, with waterfalls and flowers of just about
every kind and colour. It is a favourite picnic spot for the city
Mahal Palace, a sight to behold, is on an eyrie overlooking
the Tawi river. This grand palace, with sloping roofs and tall
towers, so characteristic of continental castles, reminds one of
France. The palace has been converted into a museum which also
houses the city’s finest library of antique books and paintings.
An entire series of miniatures on the epic Nal-Damayanti can
be seen in the museum.
Old Bazaars and Designer boutiques
two charmingly contradictory aspects to the city of Jammu which
one can see while shopping. For instance, in the crowded streets
of Raghunath Bazaar, among the age-old dry fruit shops,
you’ll find designer boutiques that display the very latest in
fashion and fashion accessories.
main bazaars – Vir Marg, Raghunath Bazaar and Hari Market –
are famous for Kashmiri handicrafts, traditional Dogra jewellery
and various dry fruits, chiefly walnuts (‘akhrot’) and
almonds. Jammu is also known for the superlative quality of its
‘basmati’ rice, ‘rajma’ (red beans), ‘ampapar’ (dried
and candied mango peel), ‘anardana’ (dried pomegranate seeds)
and ‘barfi’ (milk sweets).For purchasing authentic Kashmiri
handicrafts, one can visit the J&K Government Arts Emporium
near the Tourist Reception Centre on Residency Road. The emporium
displays and sells a wide variety of handicrafts, including Pashmina
shawls and exquisite hand-knotted carpets of silk and wool.