|Nestled against the backdrop of the snow-capped Pir Panjal Mountains, the region of Jammu constitutes the southernmost unit of the state of Jammu & Kashmir.
Jammu - Pir Panjal Mountains
It forms part of the transition between the Himalayan range in the north and the dusty plains of Punjab in the south. Between these two extremities lie a series of scrub-covered hills, forested mountain ranges and river valleys, encompassing several microclimatic regions that extend from Kishtawar in the north-east to Akhnoor in the south-west, and the historic town of Poonch in the north-west to the borders of Kangra (H P) in the south-east. The Shivalik hills cut across the area from the east to the west while the rivers Ravi, Tawi and Chenab cut their way through the region.
Physically, the region of Jammu is not homogenous. It is broadly divisible into three discernible zones determined by the terrain condition and the geo-climatic environment. The southern-most of these is the Outer Plains zone comprising the skirt of level lands in Jammu and Kathua districts which merge into the plains of Punjab. Toward its north and north-east rises the Outer Hills zone attaining heights of 2000 to 4000 ft above mean sea level. Basohli, Reasi and better parts of Rajouri district fall in this zone. The landscape here shows open scrubs that gradually thicken from low scrub to taller trees of acacias, rhododendrons, cacti, etc. Above this zone, the terrain becomes acute in incline, the vegetal cover rich and the climatic conditions increasingly salubrious.
PLACE TO VISIT
Peer Khoh is a cave shrine located on the Circular Road, 3.5 kms from the heart of the town. There is a naturally formed Shiva lingam in the cave which is quite mysterious as neither its antiquity nor its cause are known. Legend has it that the cave leads underground to many other cave shrines and even out of the country.
Ranbireshwar Temple in Jammu
Located on Shalimar Road near the New Secretariat and built by Maharaja Ranbir Singh in 1883 AD, this historic temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It has one central lingam measuring seven-and-a-half ft in height, twelve Shiva lingams of crystal measuring from 15" to 38" and galleries with thousands of others carved on stone slabs.
Situated in the heart of the city and surrounded by a group of other temples, this temple, dedicated to Lord Rama, is outstanding and unique in northern India. Work on its construction was started by Maharaja Gulab Singh, founder of the principality of Jammu and Kashmir, in 1835 AD and was completed by his son, Maharaja Ranbir Singh, in 1860 AD. The inner walls of the main temple are covered with gold sheet on three sides. There are many galleries with innumerable saligrams. The surrounding temples are dedicated to various Hindu deities from the epic Ramayana.
Taghunath Temple in jammu
A small garden along the Ranbir Canal, which runs through the city outskirts, provides a cool picnic spot during the summer. The canal branches off from the river Chenab at Akhnoor, 32 kms away. Its water remains icy-cold throughout the year and its banks serve as good viewpoints and walkways.
Bahu Fort & Gardens
Situated 5 kms away from the city centre, Bahu Fort stands on a rock face on the left bank of the river Tawi. Perhaps the oldest fort and edifice in the city, it was constructed originally by Raja Bahulochan over 3,000 years ago. The existing fort was more recently improved upon and extended by the Dogra rulers. Inside, there is a temple dedicated to the Hindu goddess Kali. An extensive terraced garden, known as Bagh-e-Bahu, has been developed around the fort.
Bahu Fort and Gardens in Jammu
Behind the Civil Airport is the famous durgah of the Muslim saint, Peer Budhan Ali Shah. On Thursdays, Hindu and Sikh devotees who visit this shrine, vastly outnumber the Muslim devotees.
Mahamaya Temple and City Forest
On the bypass Road, behind Bahu Fort, the city forest surrounds the ancient Mahamaya temple overlooking the river Tawi. A small garden surrounded by acres of woods provides the best view of the city.
Mubarak Mandi Palace in Jammu
Mubarak Mandi Palace
The oldest buildings in this palace complex date back to 1824. The architecture is a blend of Rajasthani, Mughal and even baroque elements. The most stunning segment is the Sheesh Mahal. "The Pink Hall" houses the Dogra Art Museum which has miniature paintings of the various Hill Schools.