A land of
grand ancient temples, and beautiful palaces, all nestling
in the foothills of the Himalayas. It is said that, on
becoming King, the Suryavanshi Jambu Lochan went on a hunt
and, crossing the Tawi, found a deer and a tiger drinking
water from the same tank. His ministers explained that this
meant that the soil of the place was so virtuous that no
living creature bore enmity against another.
Raja Jambu Lochan, who lived in the later Vedic period,
decided to found his capital , Jambupura, on his soil, on
the right bank of the Tawi, overlooking his brother king
Bahu's fort. Today the 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 present temple was
built shortly after the coronation of Maharaja Gulab Singh,
in 1822. The existing fort, as well as the Manasabdar's
palace inside it, was constructed in 1820.
Legend has it that Jamboo Loochen founded the city about
three thousand years ago. The Raja was hunting in the area,
away from his capital city of Bahu when he came across a
lion and a goat drinking from the same pond. The Shivadawala
Shrine now stands on this spot in the city. Jammu is known
as 'the city of temples' because of its many shrines, with
their soaring golden spires or 'Shikhars'.
Fort & Gardens
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.
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.
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
There are many other shrines and temples around the city and
environs that date from earlier years but the recorded
history of Jammu begins from the time of the Dogra rulers in
the early 19th century. In 1846 the Dogra ruler of Jammu was
created Maharaja of an ill-defined Himalayan kingdom, 'to
the eastward of the river Indus and westward of the river
Ravi', by the treaties of Lahore and Amritsar at the
conclusion of the first Sikh war.