is the winter capital of the state and next in importance
after Srinagar. Most of the tourists who come to the Jammu
region have the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine as their destination,
which is quite close by. However, the spirit of holiness
permeates through the entire city, so much so that Jammu
is also known as the 'City of Temples'. If Bahu Mata is
the presiding deity of Jammu, the dargah of Peer Budhan
Ali Shah is the other shrine that is believed to protect
the local people. The other major tourist attraction is
the Raghunath Temple Complex, which is the largest temple
in North India devoted to Lord Rama. The construction of
this temple was begun by Maharaja Gulab Singh in 1851 and
completed by his son Ranbir Singh six years later.
temple of Maha Kali (better known as Bahu or Bawey Wali
Mata), located in the Bahu Fort, is considered second only
to Mata Vaishno Devi in terms of mystical power. The temple
was built shortly after the coronation of Maharaja Gulab
Singh in 1822.
temples in the city include the Gauri Kund Temple, Shudh
Mahadev Temple, Shiva Temple, Peer Khoh Cave Temple, Ranbireshwar
Temple, and the Parmandal Temple Complex.
most stunning site in Jammu is the Sheesh Mahal. The Pink
Hall of the palace now houses the Dogra Art Museum, which
has miniature paintings of the various hill schools. The
museum also has the handwritten Persian manuscripts of the
Shahnama and Sikandernama. The palace was once the royal
residence of the Dogra kings. Built as a group of buildings
around a courtyard, the palace has a commanding view of
river Tawi on one side and the city on the other.
Amar Mahal Palace Museum is a beautiful palace of red sandstone,
which stands amidst the most picturesque environs of Jammu.
It offers a beautiful view of the Shivaliks in the north
and the river Tawi in the south. This was once the residential
palace of Raja Amar Singh, but now it has been converted
into a museum. The museum has a golden throne made of 120
kg of pure gold.
A treat for those interested in history is the town of Akhnoor,
32 km southwest of Jammu. Standing on the banks of the mighty
river Chenab, the town tells the tragic tale of the lovers
Sohni and Mahiwal. Along the riverbank are the majestic
ruins of the Indus Valley Civilization that are of great