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Jammu

»  Bahu Fort
»  Peer Khoh
»  Peer Baba
 
Jammu – The Temple City
Jammu is one of the three regions comprising India's northernmost state of Jammu and Kashmir. Jammu is also known as "City of Temples" has innumerable temples and shrines, with glittering ‘shikhars’ soaring into the sky, dot the city’s skyline, creating the ambience of a holy and peaceful city.

Jammu is located along River Tawi at the foothills of the Himalayas. The idyllic location was discovered by Raja Jambu Lochan. Legend has it that he saw a tiger and a goat drinking water side by side, and considered it a place where no one had enemies. So he built a city of peace and harmony, which we know today as Jammu. Home to some of the most popular Hindu shrines, such as Vaishno Devi, Jammu is one of the most famous pilgrimage tourism destinations in India. Once a seat of the Dogra Rajput dynasty, Jammu came under the control of Maharaja Ranjith Singh Ji in the 19-century and became a part of the Sikh Kingdom. There are 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.

Besides its breathtaking views and many temples, Jammu is a also good place for shopping.

Bahu Fort:
The Bahu fort, which also serves as a religious temple is situated about 5 km from Jammu city on a rock face on the left bank of the river Tawi. This is perhaps the oldest fort and edifice in the city. Constructed originally by Raja Bahulochan over 3,000 years ago, the existing Fort was more recently improved and rebuilt by Dogra rulers. There is a temple dedicated to the Goddess Kali inside the fort popularly known as Bave wali Mata. The fort overlooks the river running through Jammu city. Every Tuesday and Sunday pilgrims throng this temple and partake in "Tawi flowing worship". Bave Wali Mata is the presiding deity of Jammu. Today the fort is surrounded with a beautiful terraced garden which is a favourite picnic spot of the city folk.

Bagh-E-Bahu located on the banks of Tawi river, is a famous Mughal-age garden. It gives nice view of the old city and Tawi River. Bagh itself is very beautiful. There is a small cafeteria on one side of the garden.

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 a commanding view of the city.

Raghunath Temple:
Amongst the temples in Jammu, the Raghunath Mandir takes pride of place being situated right in the heart of the city. This temple is situated at the city center and was built in 1857. Work on the temple was started by Maharaja Gulab Singh, founder of the Kingdom of Jammu and Kashmir in 1835 AD and was completed 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. This temple consists of seven shrines, each with a tower of its own.

It is the largest temple complex in northern India. Though 130 years old, the complex is remarkable for sacred scriptures, one of the richest collections of ancient texts and manuscripts in its library. Its arches, surface and niches are undoubtedly influenced by Mughal architecture while the interiors of the temple are plated with gold. The main sanctuary is dedicated to Lord Vishnus eighth incarnation and Dogras' patron deity, the Rama. It also houses a Sanskrit Library containing rare Sanskrit manuscripts.

Amar Mahal Palace:
The Amar Mahal Palace, a sight to behold, is on an eerie 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.

Peer Khoh:
This cave shrine is located 3.5 kms from the town of Jammu. This shrine is dedicated to Shiva and a naturally formed Shivaling is worshipped here. The antiquity of this lingam is not known. It is said that this cave gives way to other underground caves and shrines, some of which are even located outside India.

Ranbireshwar Temple:
Located on Shalimar Road near the New Secretariat and built by Maharaja Ranbir Singh in 1883 AD, this historic temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It has one central 'lingam' measuring seven-and-a-half ft in height, twelve Shiva 'lingams' of crystal measuring from 15" to 38" and galleries with thousands of others carved on stone slabs.

Ranbir Canal:
A small 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.

Mahamaya Temple & City forest:
On the 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.

Mubarak Mandi Palace:
The oldest 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.

Peer Baba:
Behind the Civil Airport is the famous Durgah of the Muslim saint, Peer Budhan Ali Shah. On Thursdays, Hindu and Sikh devotees who visit this shrine, vastly outnumber the Muslim devotees.

The Art Gallery in Jammu is located opposite the New Secretariat. The Gallery has a rich display of Dogra art belonging to the Pahari and Basholi schools, fine miniatures of the Jammu and Basohli School of painting, Terracottas, medieval weapons, sculptures and ancient manuscripts.


 
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