Jammu - The City of Temples!
Jammu valley is one of the three major regions of Jammu and Kashmir. The capital of the state, also known as Jammu, is a famous pilgrimage destination for the devout, and one of the major tourist spots of Kashmir. Jammu city is also a rich cultural site, with temples and palaces dotting the cityscape. A visit to the chief tourist attractions of Jammu, like the Bawey Mata temple, and the magnificent Raghunath Mandir are a must on your Jammu tour itinerary.
Raghunath Temple, constructed by Maharaja Gulab Singh and his son Maharaja Ranbir Singh starting in 1851 and finishing in 1857, is in the midst of a temple complex including Panjbakhtar Temple and Ranbireshwar Temple. The lovely temple complex consisting seven historical shrines adorned with a tower. The chief deities in these temples are different incarnations of Lord Vishnu, Lord Surya and Lord Shiva. The Mughal architectural style is prevalent in these temples, amply shown by the arches, niches and surfaces. An image of the king Ranbir Singh and an idol of Lord Hanuman are placed in the entrance. Gold plated interiors are lovely. It houses many mammoth statues of deities and a large number of "lingams" (altar representing Lord Shiva). The temple is renowned for its revered inscriptions. A Sanskrit library, contains the rarest and richest collections of manuscripts and ancient books, is functioning in the temple. It is a perfect religious place in which historians find more valuable materials.
Mansar lake, with its length more than a mile and
width half-a-mile, is a very attractive lake in the
midst of lusting greeneries surrounded by
forest-covered hills. It is considered as a very
holy site known from mythological periods sharing
the sanctity and legacy of Mansa Sarovar. It is a
very popular base of tourists.
A temple for a snake god, Sheshnag, is located on the banks of lake. It is believed that it is auspicious for newly wed couples to seek blessings of Sheshnag by performing three parikarma around the lake. Holy dip in the Mansar Lake is assumed to be purifying the sins.
A temple of Durga and two other ancient temples Narasimha and Parvathi Shiva (Umapati Mahadev) are located in the close proximity of the Mansar Lake. Mansar Lake is an ideal spot for boating, amidst the lusting greeneries of Jammu. There is a wildlife sanctuary nearby.
Amar Mahal, constructed by King Raja Amar of
Dogra in 1890s, is planned by a French architect and
looks like a French chateau with Indian artisans.
This beautiful architectural monument served as the
Royal family residence for many years. It was made
out of red sand stone. Later the palace was turned
to museum with rich collections of paintings, books,
inscriptions and sculptures.
Durbar hall of the museum is very attractive and is adorned with family portraits of rulers of Jammu and Kashmir along with magnificient Pahari paintings. The exhibits like throne of Maharaja Hari Singh, made of 120 kg solid gold, are spectacular.
The library in Amar Mahal Museum has more than twenty thousand books collected during the last 50 years. The collection also comprises of some exceptional volumes from the library of Raja Amar Singh.
Whipping calm, the feature of the beautiful lake
Surinsar, located in the proximity of Jammu, is
extra ordinary. Surrounded by thick forests in the
backdrop of hilly terrains, the lake is a much loved
picturesque tourist spot in Jammu region. Blossomed
with lotus flowers, the lake looks like water based
lotus garden in summer.
Hindu mythology points the origination of the lake to the legendary warrior Arjuna. It is believed that he shot an arrow to the Mansar land and the arrow pierced the earth and came out through at a place in Surinsar, hence both the lakes are formed.