is the largest city in the Jammu Division the winter capital of Indian administered state of Jammu and Kashmir and situated on the banks of Tawi river. It is a municipal corporation.
Jammu is also known as the "City of Temples" owing to the number of historical temples and domes of old mosques located within the city. With its fast growing urban agglomerations and booming infrastructure the winter capital of state is the second largest city in the state. It is also a transit point for travelers on a trip to north to Kashmir. Jammu is still on the plains, so in summer season it is a sweltering, uncomfortable as compared to the cool heights of Kashmir. The winter capital of the state is also an important trade centre and a convenient stage on the road journey to Srinagar. The number of forts, most of them now in ruins in the Jammu region is great.
The Raghunath Temple
History of Jammu
Jammu has historically been the capital of Jammu Province and the winter capital of the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir princely state (1846–1952). Jambu Lochan was the brother of Raja Bahu Lochan who constructed a fort, Bahu Fort, on the bank of river Tawi.The city name figures in the ancient book Mahabharata. Jammu was under Dogra rule till the British took over. In the ancient times Jammu was a stop over for trading caravans. Jammu has a rich cultural heritage and is an interesting tourist destination, especially for those interested in natural beauty and history. Legend has it that Raja Jambu Lochan discovered this place while on a hunting trip.
Tours and travel to the Jammu region includes a visit to several tourist attractions in and around Jammu. Jammu has a dominant Hindu population. There are several temples and shrines in Jammu. The most important of these are Mata Vaishno Devi, the Jujjar Kotli tourist complex, the historical region of Akhnoor, the Ranbireshwar temple, Gauri Kund temple, Shudh Mahadev temple, the Peer Khoh Cave temple and the Raghunath temple.
The Amar Mahal Palace is also an important tourist attraction. Jammu serves as a base camp for those visiting the Vaishno Devi Shrine. Jammu is rightly known as the city of temples. Krimchi is an important tourist destination. The commonly spoken languages in the area include Kashmiri, Dogri, Urdu, Hindi, Ladakhi and Tibetan. Over the years Jammu became an important center of arts and culture.
Jammu is very popular for its handicrafts, silk saris, carpets, wickerwork, basket making, miniature paintings, classical dance and choral painting. The Himalayan range lies in the north of Jammu and the dusty plains of Punjab flank the region in the south. The Jammu area can be divided into three physical zones. These are the outer plains that include the level lands that merge with the Punjab plains.
The Vaishno Devi Temple
The outer hill zone and the area beyond that is the one that merges with the Kashmir valley. Jammu serves as a base for those who trek to Kargil and for pilgrims to Vaishno Devi. Tours and travel packages to the Jammu region offer various travel options to the shrines and monasteries. There are several monasteries around the Jammu region.
Jammu is popular among tourists for its water sports, especially rafting and canoeing. Other adventure sports that tourist can enjoy in Jammu are mountaineering and trekking. Most of the native population in Kashmir is Hindu. Those living around the Jammu area are mostly Buddhists and Tibetan.
The Major Fascinating Sight at Jammu
The Raghunath Temple :
This temple is situated at the city centre. It was built in 1857. The temple consists of seven shrines, each with tower. Its arches, surface and niches shows the Mughal influence. The interior of the temple is decorated in gold. Its main sanctuary is dedicated to Vishnu's eighth incarnation and Dogras' patron deity the Rama. There is a Sanskrit Library here which has rare sanskrit manuscripts.
The Vaishno Devi Temple :
This cave temple is 61kms north of Jammu. It is dedicated to Mahakali, Mahalaxmi and Mahasaraswati, the three mother goddesses of Hinduism. The holy cave shrine is one of the region's most important Hindu pilgrim sites.