Jammu Travel Guide
Jammu Travel Guide: Jammu region changes weather every few 100 kilometers. Nestled against the snow-capped Per Penal Mountains, it encompasses a diversity of scrub-covered hills, forested mountain ranges and river valleys. But that is not what tourists come here for. Though the focal point of the region’s commerce and the winter capital of the state, it will remain the starting point for the darshan of Vaishno Devi- the holiest of Hindu shrines and the granter of all wishes. And the city of Jammu- though housing much lesser known temples is world renowned as the city of temples.
Places to visit in Jammu
Temples and Shrines
As the largest temple complex in northern India the Raghunath Mandir occupies the pride of place. Constituting the heart of the city, it comprises of a cluster of temples. Enormous statues of deities and numerous ‘lingams’ stand within its inner sanctums and. which make it a rare site to behold.
Bawey Wali Mata Temple
Every Tuesday and Sunday, the faithful congregate to worship the goddess in the temple inside the Bah Fort .
A little further away, stands a temple dedicated to Maharaja, the Dogra heroine
The Peer Kho cave temple, the Panchbakhtar temple and the Ranbireshwar temple are the other famous temples in Jammu.
Twelve Shiva ‘lingams’ of crystal measuring 12″ to 18″ and galleries with thousands of ‘saligrams’ fixed on stone slabs attract thousands at the Ranbireshwar Temple.
Other important temples are Lakshmi Narayan temple, Duda Dhari temple and the Panj Mandir in Gandhi Nagar.
Peer Baba Shrine at Satwari
If Bawey Wali Mata is the presiding deity, the ‘durgah’ of Peer Budhan Ali Shah or Peer Baba as it is known, protects from evil spirits. On Thursdays, Hindu and Sikh devotees outnumber Muslims, Most VIPs among them.
Forts and Palaces
The majestic Bahu Fort, the oldest in the region reminds us of the thunder and lightning of the clashing steel as wars were fought and invaders repelled. It gives a fair measure of the opulence of the royal family. Today it is and oasis of placidity with lush green terraced garden, waterfalls and flowers of myriad colors – and a favourite picnic spot for the entire city.
The unlikely, European looking grand palace, with sloping roofs and tall towers harks back to continental castles of France. Today, it houses a museum and is known for the city’s finest library of antique books and paintings. An entire series of miniatures on the epic Nal-Damayanti are displayed inside.
Unique shopping in Jammu
The main bazaars – Vir Marg, Raghunath Bazaar and Hari Market – are famous for Kashmiri handicrafts, traditional Dogra jewellery and various dry fruits, chiefly walnuts (‘akhrot’) and almonds. Jammu is also known for the superlative quality of its ‘basmati’ rice, ‘rajma’ (red beans), ‘ampapar’ (dried and candied mango peel), ‘anardana’ (dried pomegranate seeds) and ‘barfi’ (milk sweets). Shop for the authentic Kashmiri handicrafts, including Pashmina shawls and exquisite hand-knotted carpets of silk and wool, from the J&K Government Arts Emporium.