The Indian region of Jammu is one of the three areas that make up India’s northern state of Jammu and Kashmir. It’s northern border is Kashmir, the eastern border is Ladakh, and the southern border is Himachal Pradesh. This area is set 600 km away from New Delhi and is connected to a national highway, so it is easily reachable from New Delhi by taxi or other basic modes of transportation.
Legend says that this land was originally discovered by Raja Jamboo Lochan in the fourteenth century B.C. The Raja had embarked on a small hunting excursion when his eyes fell upon a strange site – a mighty tiger and a meek goat were peacefully lapping up the sparkling water at the same pond. He had been so inspired by this abnormality that he built a city where both the mighty and the feeble could live in peace and tolerance. The land was originally called “Jamboo”, named after the Raja himself, but over the years the pronunciation of the name became slightly corrupted to become Jammu.
Jammu, known globally for the splendor of its temples, has many wonderful attractions for visitors, one in particular being the Amar Mahal palace museum. This stunning palace is composed of red sand stone and offers a wonderful view of the Shivaliks and the river Tawi. The museum features a golden throne made of 120 kg solid gold and has golden lions engraved on it. It once belonged to Raja Amar and can be seen in the hexagonal room.
Located 32 km southwest of Jammu settled at the shore of the Chenab river lies the historic village of Akhnoor. This town is famous for being related to the legend of son Mahiwal. It is said that the ruins of the Indus Valley civilization are located along the river bank.
Five km from Jammu city, on a rock surface on the left shore of the Tawi river looms the Bahu Fort. It is possibly the oldest fort in the entire city and was originally constructed by Raja Bahulochan over 3,000 years ago. A temple dedicated to the Goddess Kali (Bave Wali Mata) is situated inside the fort. These days, the fort is encircled by a lovely garden with waterfalls, grand trees and beautiful flowers. The garden is a favorite picnic location of the locals.
The Lohri or Makar Sankranti festival is celebrated every year on the 13th of January, and paves the way for spring. Local residents’ show their festive spirits by wearing decorated outfits on the occasion, and thousands flock to swim in holy rivers. It is also customary for young boys to find newly-weds and couples who have just had a baby and seek gifts.
Baisakhi, celebrated widely by all of northern India on the 13th and 14th of April is celebrated as the first day of Vaishakh. This holiday is also known as the harvest festival, and is believed to bestow good luck on marriages happening on this day. Devoted traditionalists take ritualistic swims in rivers, canals, and ponds, and many travel to the Nagbani temple to witness a spectacular New Year celebration.