The Jammu, besides being the winter capital, it is also the second largest metropolitan city of the state of Jammu and Kashmir with a total area of 20.36 square km. The National Highway 1A passes through the city and is well connected with other neighboring places of North Indian states. With a major railway station, domestic airport and important bus station, Jammu serves as the gateway to the regions of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. Renowned for ancient temples, imposing historical monuments, religious shrines and some attractive natural landscapes, the city is a perfect destination for excursion and pilgrimages tourism in India. Popular fairs and festivals of Jammu provide opportunities to the tourists to visit in the festive seasons. Here, Kashmir tourism unleashes the comprehensive information on the most popular and unexplored destinations to provide the tourists an experience of unique trip to Jammu. The Best time to visit Jammu is from September to April.
Unlike Kashmir Valley, climate in Jammu is humid subtropical type similar to the north western India. Weather in summer days are hot and soaring with average maximum temperature of 46 degree Celsius and in winter seasons, temperature drop below freezing points with extremely cold weather. While June is the hottest month with an average maximum temperature of 40.6 degree, January is the coldest month with a recorded minimum temperature of 1 degree.
One of the most popular temples in Jammu, the Raghunath Temple is situated on the bank of River Tawi right in the heart of Jammu city. The Temple is dedicated to Lord Rama, an incarnation of deity Vishnu. The cluster of seven shrines devoted to the Gods and Goddesses connected with the Ramayana makes it the largest temple complex in Northern India. This 130 years old temple was established by Dogra kingdom which is renowned for the paintings of Ram Lila and Krishna Lila.
The main idol of Lord Rama was brought here from Ayodhya, the birthplace of Rama. The gallery of the main temple houses rare sight of 12, 00000 Shaligrams, the symbol of deity Vishnu. The temple is beautifully built and decorated with gold plated interiors and elegant architecture structure and its library has rich collection of ancient texts and manuscripts. It is thronged by the devotees in morning and evening time when aartis and chanted prayers are being performed.
The Peer Kho Cave
The Peer Kho cave is a cave temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The cave temple is also called as 'Jamvant Cave' and located in northeast of Jammu on the side of circular road above the terrace of Tawi River. It is believed that Ramayan character 'Jamvant' (the Beer God) meditated in this cave. Devotees throng the temple on Poormina, Amavasya and Ekadashi of every month. During Shivratri, Purnima and Raksha Bandhan, some important festivals held in this temple.
HOW TO REACH JAMMU
By RoadJammu is well connected to other neighboring cities with NH1A. Private and state govt. operated buses ply from Ambala (310 km), Ludhiana (229 km), Amritsar (243 km), Jalandhar (215 km) Chandigarh (436 km), Delhi (586 km) and Katra (48 km) etc. A significant numbers of Volvo, Super Deluxe, Deluxe and general buses with Sleeper and Semi Sleeper facilities ply from Delhi to Jammu. Bus fare for Delhi-Jammu is ranges from Rs.300 to Rs.1500/-. Buses can be board from following boarding points in Delhi:
Jammu has its own railway station that is well connected to major cities like Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, Jaipur, Chennai, etc through numbers of express and special trains.
Jammu has a domestic airport and receives regular flights from Delhi, Srinagar, Leh, Jaipur operated by airlines like Spicejet, Air India, Jet Lite, GoAir, Indigo, Jet Airways.
THINGS TO DO
Ranbireshwar Temple is a renowned Hindu religious shrine in Jammu. With a 7 feet Shiva lingam in black stone, it is the biggest Shiva temple in North India. It also has 12 other lingam carved out of crystal, which heights ranges from 15 centimeters to 38 centimeters. There are almost 1.25 lakhs Bona (dwarft) lingams available in two big halls of the temple. This ancient temple was constructed by the Dogra ruler Maharaja Ranbir Singh in 1883. It is situated on the Shalimar Road in the vicinity of Peer Kho Cave and Panchbakhtar Temple.
Bahu Fort and Garden
Bahu fort is located at a high plateau of the Jammu city and overlooks gurgling River Tawi. 5 km away from heart of the Jammu, this imposing architectural marvel dates back to about 3000 years and perhaps, it is the oldest monument in Jammu. The Fort was constructed by Maharaja Bahu Lochan and refurbished by Dogra rulers in 19th century. The fort houses renowned temple of Goddess Kali, the presiding deity of the region. The temple is widely popular and locally known as 'Bave Wali Mata Temple'.
Bagh-e-Bahu is a terraced garden built around the Bahu Fort. This picturesque garden is characterized by sparkling waterfalls, manicured lush lawns, artificial lake, vivid colored flowers, striking fountains and trees. This is a favorite picnic spots for the locals and tourists alike. Mini buses and auto-rickshaws are the common modes of the transportation to reach the Bahu Fort and Bagh-e-Bahu Garden.
HISTORY OF JAMMU
Jammu was founded by Raja Jambu Lochan, after whom Jammu (Jambupura) was named. Many historians and scholars believe that this city was founded in the 14th Century BC, after Jambu Lochan had seen a tiger and goat drinking water together on the bank of River Tawi. Recounting the incident, he had decided to set up his kingdom on the land where all living creatures live peacefully with each other. Earlier it was named as Jambupura which changed into present form later.
In subsequent years, the region witness invasions of Mughal and Sikh before it fall under the control of British Empire. In 1773, King Druv Deva of Dogra dynasty invades the region and started to rule over it. From founder ruler Druv Deva to Hari Singh, Jammu was the home to several Dogra rulers until the partition of India. Consequently, Jammu was once named as the seat of Dogra for their significant supremacy over the region. It is under the reign of Maharaja Gulab Singh that Jammu became winter capital of the erstwhile princely state of Jammu & Kashmir in 1872.
After the partition of India, Jammu became a part of Independent India following the Kashmir War. As a result of the war, clashes and turmoil continued for couple of decades over the entire state. However, Jammu was comparatively safe from terrorism activities except some major attacks such as 2002 incident, when two suicide bombers attack the Raghunath Mandir.
FESTIVALS IN JAMMU
The festivals of Jammu are very vibrant and widely diverse. It reflects the culture and spirit of Jammu people. There are significant numbers of fairs and festivals held around the year. The festive season begins with Lohri, a festival marks the onset of spring with a elaborate feast, bonfire, music and dance on the 13th January of the year. Every year, first day of Baisakh (a month from Vikaram Calendar), people of Jammu celebrate Baisakhi, a colorful festival that is also known as 'Harvesting festival'. Other national festivals like Holi, Diwali, Navratri, Raksha Bandhan are also celebrated throughout the region with high spirit and zeal. However, some of the festivals are celebrated in some unique ways. For instance, Kite flying activities form an important part of Krishna Janmashtami and Rakshabandhan. People fly kites with the rhythm of loud music and enjoy feast following to religious activities. Apart from national festivals, people of Jammu also enjoy some regional fairs and festivals such as Jammu festival, Bahu festival, Jhiri Mela, etc. Festive season in Jammu fascinates a considerable crowd of tourists from far off places.
Jammu festival is an annual mega carnival of the region held on 13th to 16th April. The festival showcases the rich cultural tradition of Jammu by presenting various multi art performances, illumination of historic Mubarak Mandi complex, sound and light shows in Bahu Fort, handicraft exhibition in Jammu Haat, art exhibition and Nukad Shows, etc. It has become an important tourist attraction and its highlights of cultural activities are street plays and dance-drama, etc. Wide range of food joints available in Jammu Haat are important part of the festival. These are renowned for authentic Dogri food.
Bahu festival is the major festival of the entire Jammu region, held at the Bave wali Mata Temple in Bahu fort twice in a year during March/ April and September/October. During the festival, one can see large gathering of people including local and tourists around the Bahu fort. It is a perfect treat for children with wide sorts of amusement rides, food stalls, gift shops, etc. Elders also enjoy shopping, eating and other entertaining activities.
The village of Jhiri wears festive look every year during the Karthik Poornima (October/November) on celebration of week-long annual fair, Jhiri Mela. It is located at a distance of 20 km from Jammu, off the highway of Jammu-Akhnoor. Every year, lakhs of people throng the village during the fair to commemorate Baba Jittoo, a farmer who gave up his life for shake of welfare of the peasants of the region. Devotees visit the temple of Baba and take holy dip in Baba-da-talab, a natural pond believe to have some natural curative power. A huge market with plenty of food stalls, shops, and entertainment activities, the mela fascinates large numbers of visitors.