Jammu

Situated on the banks of the Tawi river, framed against the picturesque backdrop of the majestic Trikuta ranges, is the winter capital of the state, Jammu. It is believed that Jammu was founded by Raja Jamboolochan in the 9th century, though no such historical records of the region exist. The Sikhs took over from the Rajputs, following which, in 1832, Gulab Singh merged Jammu with Kashmir to form the present state. The region is inhabited by three large tribes - the sturdy Dogras dwelling in the plains, the Pahadis of the hills, and the nomadic mountain - dwelling tribes of the Gaddis and Gujjars.

Jammu houses a huge number of temples and shrines, the soaring spires of which seem to pierce the skies above. The Raghunath group of temples, the largest in the north; the Amar Mahal Palace; the Ranbireshwar Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva; the Baghi Bahu temple and Fort are some of the popular landmarks of the region. The Dogra Art Gallery showcases the Pahadi school of art, chiefly comprising of exquisite wall paintings that adorn the local temples. The handicrafts typical of Jammu are wooden ornaments, intricate bamboo work, straw fans, rush baskets etc.

Festivals

In keeping with Jammu being a colourful region, the festivals celebrated here are vibrant explosions of gaiety, the principal amongst them being, Lohri (January), Baisakhi (April), Bahu Mela (April and October), Chaitre Chandash (April), Purmandal Mela (February), and Jhiri Mela (October).

Access

By air: Jammu is connected by Indian Airlines with Delhi, Amritsar, Chandigarh, and Srinagar.

By rail: Jammu Tawi is an important railhead on the Northern Railway line. Express trains connect it with Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Calcutta and Amritsar.

By road: Located on the National Highway 1A, Jammu is linked by a network of roads to Amritsar, Chandigarh, Delhi, Katra, Srinagar, and Manali.

Jammu & Kashmir