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.
Jambu Lochan was
succeeded by his son Puran Karan who shifted capital from Bahu Nagar
to newly founded Jammu. Down the line, succeeded ruled Jammu and
extended the kingdom to Banihal and Kashmir. Thereafter, Jammu saw
many rulers from dynasties of Dutts, Devs, Dhars and many more till
Amir Timur occupied Delhi in 1398. He entered Shivaliks, Kangra and
crossed Trikut hills to conquer Jammu in 1399, marching from Mansar.
Dogra Rajas again took over the charge of Jammu between 15th
and 17th century.
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: -
railway junction of India, Jammu Tawi railway station is connected by
trains from many cities. It is 6km from the Tourist Reception Center.
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
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 shopper’s delight.
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 38inches.
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 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 city’s 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.
(Some of the articles
have been shifted due to a recent fore).
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 11pm.
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
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, 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 Katra areas are declared vegetarian and alcohol
Katra main bazaar is
full of Kashmiri handicraft items, all types of dry fruits, bhaints,
gift items and other specialties from the region.
Helicopter service: -
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
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:
April – October.
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
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 new-borns.
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
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.