Jammu India is one of the three administrative divisions that can be found within the borders of the Jammu and Kashmir state. The name "Jammu" doesn’t only apply to a specific division, however—the largest city in the region also shares the name Jammu. This city serves as the winter capital of the Jammu and Kashmir state, and among other things, it is a great place to visit if you have an interest in checking out some beautiful temples and shrines.
Jammu and Kashmir is the northernmost state in India, and it is also one of the country’s most beautiful. The high-rising Himalayan Mountains run through the region, and the variance in the terrain creates both stunning scenery and a wide range of possibilities for things to do. Trekking is popular, as is mountain climbing, and there are opportunities to go mountain biking, skiing, and white water rafting. When travelers aren’t enjoying such activities outside the city, they can explore Jammu itself, visit smaller towns such as Katra, and head to any number of interesting religious and historical sites in the area. These are just some of the options for things to do in Jammu and Kashmir, however, and since the state government is dedicated to increasing tourism in the region, there has arguably never been a better time to visit.
Temples in Jammu
Temples in Jammu
The city of Jammu is also known as the City of Temples. This is an appropriate nickname, as some of the most popular Hindu shrines in India are in this area. Among the most renowned temples is the Raghunath Temple. Built between 1835 and 1860, this temple is right in the heart of Jammu city and is surrounded by other temples. Among its most notable features is the main temple, where three sides of its interior are covered with gold sheeting. Other local temples include the Bahu Fort and the Holy Shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji. The Bahu Fort is only a few miles from Jammu city and was built more than 3,000 years ago. Inside the fort is a temple that honors the goddess Kali, and pilgrims flock to this temple on Tuesdays and Sundays. The Holy Shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji is one of India’s most revered places of worship and also gets its share of visiting pilgrims.
The small town of Katra serves as the main starting point for visits to a lot of the area temples. Millions of people visit the Holy Shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji on an annual basis, and this alone makes the base camp town of Katra a popular India travel destination. Hotels have sprung up to serve the needs of travelers, and there are also smaller guesthouses. Complementing the lodging establishments are restaurants, and no Katra visitor should miss the town’s main bazaar. This market is a wonderful place to see local crafts and other goods, and the shopping can be especially rewarding if you are willing to put your negotiation skills to the test. Katra visitors can arrange auto rickshaw or helicopter transportation when trying to get to the Holy Shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji, and Katra is well connected to Jammu city and easy to reach.
While exploring the city of Jammu, the Amar Mahal Palace is a beautiful place to stop. Situated on the banks of the Tawi River, this former palace has been converted into a museum, and the exhibits are fascinating. Many are art exhibits, and among the main highlights is the golden sofa that was used by Dogra rulers. Also of interest when it comes to the Amar Mahal Palace are its architectural attributes. Completed in the 1890s, the building wouldn’t look out of place in France—it was designed by a French architect and is largely based on the French Chateau style. As a side note, one of the best Jammu hotels adjoins the Amar Mahal Palace should you be looking for a good place to stay while in town.
As it is the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir in addition to being well connected to other area destinations, Jammu serves as a major tourist hub, and it features a good selection of hotels. As mentioned in the last paragraph, one of the top hotels in the city is the Hari Niwas Palace. This palace-turned-hotel was built in the early twentieth century and has an attractive Art Deco design. There are 40 comfortable rooms available, and the facilities are excellent on the whole. At least a dozen other inviting hotels call Jammu home should you wish to broaden your lodging horizons. Examples include the well-equipped Hotel Fortune Inn Riviera, the centrally located Hotel Novelty Jammu Tawi, and the relatively cheap Hotel Jammu International. Elsewhere in the state, there are hotels in Katra and in the summer capital of Srinagar, about a 100-mile drive away.