JAMMU

JAMMU THE "CITY OF TEMPLES"

Situated at an altitude of 305 meters, surrounded by Pirpanjal and Sivalik mountains, Jammu, the summer capital of J&K, has climate similar to northern India. It is the second largest city of Jammu and Kashmir. Bestowed with innumerable temples, this city has people of several races and mixed culture spreading from Chenab to Ravi. Jammuites are friendly in nature and born warriors. For decades, they have paved the way for the tourists into the State.

It is Situated on the banks of Tawi River and on the foot of Shivaliks. Its history dates back to 9th century and was built by Raja Jambu Lochan. One day when he was hunting in the woods, he saw the most astonishing and the most inspiring sight of his life. He saw a tiger and a lamb drinking water from the same spot by the banks of river Tawi. At that moment, he decided that he would build a city where all kinds of people will live together with peace and harmony. The city was named Jambu, but later came to be known as Jammu. The city is the southern most part of the state. The temperature in the city during the winters is quite pleasant, whereas the summer capital Srinagar becomes extremely cold, due to which the every winter the capital was shifted to Jammu , thus making it the winter Capital of the state. The city is famous for the numerous temples that dot the face of the land, specially the biggest temple complex in north India, Raghunath Temple and the holiest shrine of Vaishno Devi.

Jammu City experiences a sub tropical climate. The summer days are hot and dry whereas in winters, the temperature is quite pleasant. Jammu serves as a home to many communities like Dogras, Gujjars, Gaddis and Bakkarwals. The languages spoken here are Dagri, Hindi and Urdu. The city has grown leaps and bounds in terms of development. The once sedate land of Jammu is now one of the most bustling cities of the state. And as far as shopping is concerned, the city is a real treat. What you will get elsewhere in the state, here you will get it more and better. The markets here give you best feel of new and old together. The decade old shops here stand wall to wall with the trendiest of international showrooms. The Shahtoosh and Pashmina shawls with the exceptional embroidery work are the best buy. The most preferred shopping places in the city are Vir Marg, Hari Market and Raghunath Bazaar.

Getting There National Highway 1A connects Jammu with rest of India & Jammu - Tawi is the rail head for the Travelers to Jammu . There are overnight trains operating from Delhi to Jammu : Shalimar Express / Jammu Mail / Jhelum Express / Pooja Express / Uttar Sampark Kranti Express, besides day trains Viz. Malva Express / Super fast Express. Jammu is also connected by train with Bombay , Calcutta , Madras and other cities in the Country Jammu connected by direct flights operated by Indian Airlines / Jet Airways / Sahara Airways/Kingfisher/Go Air / Spice Jet /Air Deccan, etc. There are daily direct flights from Delhi / Srinagar / Mumbai / Ahmadabad to Jammu

PLACES OF WORSHIP IN JAMMU

Shiv Khori This holy cave is nearly a kilometre long and houses a 4 ft high, naturally formed ' Shivling'. It is considered second only to the shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi in religious importance. There are stalactites and stalagmites dripping milky limestone water. Situated at a distance of about 100 kms from Jammu and about 75 kms from Katra, Shiv Khori hosts a major fair during the 'Shivratri' festival every year.

Mansar Lake Situated 62 kms from Jammu, Mansar is a beautiful lake fringed by forest-covered hills, over a mile in length by half-a-mile in width. Besides being a popular excursion destination in Jammu, it is also a holy site, sharing the legend and sanctity of Lake Mansarovar. Newly weds consider it auspicious to perform three circumambulations ('Parikarma') around the lake to seek the blessings of Sheshnag, the lord of serpents, whose shrine is located on its eastern bank. There are also some ancient temples on the lake's shores, which are visited by devotees in large numbers. Mansar is also ideal for boating for which the Tourism Department provides adequate facilities. For the convenience of visitors a well lit flagstone walkway has been laid all around the shores.

Other Places of Worship

Christian

  • Garrison Church, Satwari.
  • St. Paul 's Church, Wazarat Road, Jammu.
  • St. Peter's Church, Christian Colony, Jammu.
  • Muslim

  • jama masjid, Talab Khatikan.
  • jama masjid, Ustad Mohalla.
  • jama masjid, Gole Market.
  • Ibrahim Masjid, Wazarat Road.
  • Sikh

  • Sunder Singh Gurudwara, Gurudwara Road.
  • Tali Sahib Gurudwara, Talab Tillo.
  • Maharani Chand Kaur Gurudwara, below Gumat.
  • Gurudwara Singh Sabha, Nanak Nagar.
  • Kalgidhar Gurudwara, Rehari.
  • Singh Sabha Gurudwara, Raghunath Bazaar.
  • City Information

    Area 20.36 sq.kms
    Altitude 305 m
    Temperature Max         Min
    Summer 43.0 C     23.4 C
    Winter 26.2 C     4.3 C
    Rainfall 107 cms (July to September).
    Best Season September to April.
    Clothing Summer : light cottons
    Winter   : woollens
    Population 6,98,674 (as per Census 2001)
    Languages Dogri, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu and English

    PLACES OF INTEREST IN JAMMU

    Attractions of Jammu - Amazement Is Just the Start

    Unlike other cities of J & K, Jammu is not as famous for its natural beauty as it is for its man made marvels. You will find the most amazing temples, forts and palaces in the city. Jammu is also considered the holiest city of north India due to the presence of Vaishno Devi Temple which beckons pilgrims from all over the world.

    Vaishno Devi Temple

    The most holiest Vaishno Devi Temple is situated on the Trikuta Mountains at an altitude of 5200 m above sea level. The temple is around 62 km away from main Jammu City. One is required to walk to the shrine from Katra, which is around 14 km away. Some pilgrims take this walk bare foot, which makes the journey really tough. Vaishno Devi is an incarnation of the Hindu goddess Durga who emerged on earth to put an end to the terrors inflicted by demons. The Goddess is believed to be residing inside the cave. To enter the shrine you need to carry a special pass with you that you can acquire from Katra Bus stand.

    Raghunath Temple

    Raghunath Temple is the biggest temple complex in north India and is the most important shrine in entire Jammu . Situated right in the heart of Jammu City , the temple witnesses a lot of tourist from all over India . The temple, whose construction was started by Maharaja Gulab Singh in the year 1835, was completed by his son Maharaja Ranbir Singh in 1860 A.D. The temple is dedicated to Lord Rama. There are seven more shrines in the temple, which are dedicated to different gods and goddesses from the Epic Ramayana. The interiors of these shrines are completely gold plated. If you come to this temple in early morning or late evening, you can attend the daily prayers (aarti) that take place. Also find the library inside the premises which is full of rare manuscripts.

    Bahu Forts and Gardens

    The mighty Bahu fort has history of more than 3000 years behind it. The Fort was built by Raja Bhaulochan. The foundations of the forts were re-strengthened by Dogra rulers. Do not forget to pay a visit to the Temple of Goddess Kali and offer your prayers there. The fort is also famous for the exquisitely cut out gardens that you will find on all sides of the fort. Reaching the fort is not a problem at all as it is just 5 km away from the main city center.

    Amar Mahal Palace

    Amar Mahal Palace is stunning structure made up of red stones. This palace was once the abode of famous Raja Amar Singh but now is used as a museum housing famous paintings and portraits of rulers of Jammu and Kashmir . You will also find the renowned painting Nal Damayanti here. Also, get the opportunity to gaze on the splendid golden throne and a 120-kg pure gold sofa. It also has the city's finest library of antique books and paintings. The exterior beauty of this French Chateau type palace is perfectly complimented by the surrounding Shivaliks and Tawi River.

    Ranbireshwar Temple

    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 lingams of crystal measuring from 15 inches to 38 inches.

    Peer Khoh (3.5 kms)

    Peer Khoh is a cave shrine located on the Circular Road , which has a mysterious, naturally formed Shiva lingam.

    Mahamaya Temple (6 km)

    This temple is situated on the Bypass Road , behind Bahu Fort and overlooks River Tawi. A small garden surrounded by forests provides a spectacular view of the city.

    Peer Baba (7km)

    The dargah of Peer Budhan Ali Shah or Peer Baba, according to local belief, protects the people of this city from mishaps and evil spirits.

    Parmandal (40 km)

    Southwards on the Pathankot road, is the charismatic Parmandal Temple complex, situated on the banks of an underground river. The river is cloaked 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.

    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.

    Aquarium Bagh- I- Bahu.

    The subcontinent's largest underground aquarium in Jammu 's Bagh-I-Bahu area is drawing a large number of tourists ever since it was opened to the public. Besides students, the aquarium has become a centre of attraction for tourists, giving them an opportunity to revel in the exotic aquatic world. The aquarium has attracted large number of tourists visiting the State.

    MUSEUMS IN JAMMU

    Amar Mahal Palace Museum, Ramnagar

    Open 10 AM to 12 NOON & 3 PM to 5 PM (Winter); 5 PM to 7 PM (Summer); Sundays: 10 AM to 12 NOON. Closed on state holidays and Mondays.

    The exhibits include Pahari paintings, family portraits of the rulers of Jammu and Kashmir, and a library. The museum building itself, a former palace designed like a French Chateau, is of architectural interest. The museum also conducts a "heritage walk" programme for interested student to familiarise them with the history of Jammu. Check with the museum management for details.

    Dogra Art Gallery , Mubarak Mandi Complex

    Museums in Jammu

    Exhibits in the Dogra Art Gallery

    Open 10:30 AM to 4:30 PM (Winter); 8 AM to 1:30 PM (Summer); Monday closed. Exhibits include fine miniatures of the Jammu and Basohli School of painting.

    KATRA

    Alt: 5,200 ft. Km: 45

    Katra, a small town in the foothills of Trikuta, serves as the base camp to the Vaishnodevi Yatris. The shrine is approachable on foot along a 12 km path from Katra. Every year, nearly 5 million pilgrims visit Mata Vaishnodevi. 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 Saraswati. 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 Parchi (registration slip) from Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) counters near the Bus Stand. Counter No 1 for 1 to 9 persons & counter No 2 for 10 persons and above. Counters are open from 6 am to 11 pm.

    Pithus, palkiwalas 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 oils.

    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, Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali, NRI's or foreigners. The food at Dhabas and Restaurants is equally tasteful and reasonable. In obeisance to Mata, the entire Katra town and nearby 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 specialities 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 1½ kms away from the main market on the Kashmir road.

    PATNITOP

    Altitude: 2024 meters Km: 112

    Floating among intense forests and green carpeted meadows, overlooking the Pirpanjal 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 favourite excursion spots. The snow fall during winter makes Patnitop livelier since everyone desires to have fun in the snowcapped mountains. Skiing and sledging, snow fighting and other snow sports can be enjoyed by one and all in the snow covered meadows Patnitop.

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