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Jammu :

Jammu – A Traditional City and a Prominent Hindu Pilgrimage Center
An Overview of Jammu
Situated amidst beautiful surroundings, Jammu is one the three administrative divisions in Jammu And Kashmir State. Located at the foothills of the Himalayas, this winter capital of the state is believed to have been established in the 14th century BC, by king Jamboolochan. The city is renowned for its ancient temples and religious places and hence is often referred to as “The city of temples”. There is also enough historical and archeological evidence to prove that the city played a vital role in the Harappa civilization.

Prominent Places of Tourist Interest in Jammu City
Bahu Fort: This major tourist hotspot of Jammu city dates back to nearly 3,000, when it was constructed by Raja Bahulochan. This ancient fort comprises of thick walls made form sandstone and also features eight towers shaped like octagons, enclosures for the guards. The fort, which was restored by the Dogra kings in the 19th century, features the famous Bahu Temple, dedicated to Goddess Kali, which is believed to have been built in 1822, just after Maharaja Gulab Singh became the King of the region. The fort itself is located on top of a plateau, with the River Tawi flowing at its base. The front slope of the plateau has been developed into well maintained gardens, which are frequented by numerous visitors all through the year. Designed in accordance with the famous Mughal gardens of Kashmir, the fort gardens, which are also known by the name of Bhave ki  Bahu, offer a bird’s eye view of a major part of Jammu city.

Raghunath Mandir: This is one of the most famous temples of Jammu city and was constructed in 1835 under the tutelage of Maharaja Gulab Singh, who had also founded the Kingdom of Jammu and Kashmir. The temple took nearly 25 years to complete and the task was done by Maharaja Ranbir Singh, son of Maharaja Gulab Singh. Although the main shrine is dedicated to Lord Rama, the temple consists of numerous smaller shrines which are dedicated to the various gods and goddesses of Hindu mythology. The inner three walls of the main shrine have a covering of gold sheets, in addition to which there is also a statue of Maharaja Ranbir Singh located near the entrance. At one time, the temple served as the primary place of worship for the members of the Dogra royal family.

 Ranbireshwar Temple: Located in the heart of Jammu city, Ranbireshwar temple is an ancient shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple was constructed by Maharaja Ranbir Singh in 1883, and is one of the most prominent religious places in the city.  The temple features two main halls depicting beautiful images of Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartikeya. In addition to the main Shiva Linga, which stands nearly 7.5ft tall, there are twelve small shivlingas located within the temple, each of which is made from crystal. The temple also features the statute of Nandi, The Bull, which is located at the entrance of the main hall.

Peer Kho Temple: This is a holy cave temple dedicated too Lord Shiva, and is also famous by the name of Jamwant Cave. The temple features a svayambhu shivalinga and is believed to be amongst the oldest temples in the region. According to local legend, this cave temple acts as a gateway for other temples and caves located outside India. Situated amidst the acacia forest growing next to igneous rocks, the temple is thronged by devotees on the occasion of Shivratri, which is celebrated with great zeal and fervor at this ancient and holy place.

Shivkhori: This is one of the popular cave shrines in Jammu, which depicts formation of the Shivlingam in a natural way. This cave is 200 meter in length and in width it is just 1 meter. Inside the cave you will get to see images and impressions of Hindu Gods and goddesses.

Things to buy in Kashmir:
Carpets: The most expensive item which you will love to take back home is Kashmiri carpet. Here the carpets are woven by hand.

Shahtoosh and Pashmina: Pashmina shawls are made from the hair in the body of rarely found Ibex and very expensive too. Shahtoosh shawl is also popular in the name of Ring Shawl. This shawl is so soft that it can easily pass through the hole of the ring. It is made out of antelopes belly hair.


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