Places to see in Jammu

Jammu is often synonymously used with Jammu and Kashmir as if it were a place. However, the state of J & K has three distinct Divisions – Ladakh, Kashmir and Jammu. Jammu city is the largest city of Jammu Division, and also the winter capital of the state of J & K.

Again, Jammu is not traditionally considered a tourist spot and it is often overshadowed by the formidable tourist potential of Kashmir and Ladakh. However, Jammu should not become just a stopover point while you are going to Kashmir. It too is a tourist destination.

Here are some places of interest in Jammu.

  • Vaishno Devi Mandir

Vaishno Devi Mandir is one of the most popular and revered pilgrimage centres in India. Dedicated to the Vaishno Devi deity, also known as Mata Rani, the temple is located in Katra, which is 44 km away from Jammu city. It is situated at an altitude of 5200 feet. It is believed that the goddess resides in a holy cave of the three-peaked mountain known as Trikuta. Unlike most temples, there are no idols here. All you will see is three natural rock formations called the Pindies that are symbolic of the deity’s three forms Maha Kali, Mata Saraswati and Maha Lakshmi. The Bhairon Temple, which is just 2 km away, is also a must visit.

  • Bagh-i-Bahu Garden

This beautiful garden is located on the banks of River Tawi. Graced with lush greenery, colourful flowers, fountains and an amazing water body, it is one of the most beautiful spots of Jammu. The complex also has a huge artificial lake, surrounded by walkways and flower beds.

A fish-shaped aquarium and the Bahu Fort are the other highlights of the garden. The aquarium is a new addition to the garden, and is the largest underground aquarium of the country. The Bahu Fort is an old edifice that has a temple of Goddess Mahakali within it.

  • Surinsar Lake

This beautiful lake is located about 40 kilometres from Jammu city. It is believed that Arjun, one of the five Pandav brothers, shot an arrow that pierced the Earth at one place and emerged from another. Surinsar Lake is supposed to be the point from where the arrow came out, as a result of which a water body was formed there.

 

Swimming and boating is not allowed here. The lake is very peaceful, and you can go for bird watching. During the summer season, you can find lotus flowers blooming on the surface of the lake. It is an ideal picnic spot and you can spend the entire day here.

  • Dogra Art Musuem

The Dogra Art Museum is located inside the the Mubarak Mandi Palace complex. You can find interesting artefacts, manuscripts and several items of historical importance that belong to the rule of the Dogras, Mughals and others on display here.

Some of the museum’s prized possessions are Emperor Shah Jahan’s golden bow and arrow, and terracotta heads brought from Akhnoor. The museum has over 700 miniature paintings from Basohali.

  • Peer Kho Cave Temple

Located 3.5 km away from Jammu city, this is the oldest site in the Shivalik region. The Peer Kho Cave Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and enshrines a black Swayambhu (naturally-formed) Shiva Lingam. It is believed that Jamvant (the King of Bears), a character in the Ramayan, meditated at this spot, which is why it is also known as Jamvant Cave.

There are two natural caves inside this shrine. To reach the Shiva Lingam, you have to go through a flight of marble steps from the ground level.

 

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