Kashmir is the principal region in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, the other two supplementary units being Jammu & Ladakh. They say a visit to Kashmir can divide your life in two halves – before and after Kashmir. For indeed, after a trip to this unforgettable land, you are never quite the same again.Nestling in the lap of the dazzling, snow-caped Himalayas, the Kashmir Valley is undoubtedly a jewel in India’s crown. An inspiration for so much of Art, Music and Poetry, Kashmir’s is also a Honeymooners’ paradise, a nature’s lovers wonderland and a shopper’s dream come true.Over the years, Kashmir has come to love and look after its tourists, fulfilling their every whim. Tourists are everywhere, soaking up all that Kashmir has to offer – the walk, the pony treks, the shikara rides at sunset on the Dal Lake. And once you have visited Kashmir, you will agree that what began as a dream, lives on as an unforgettable experience.
Romantic green meadows, majestic mountains, bewitching lakes and valleys. Yes, Jammu has the uncanny ability to surprise at every turn. Tucked snugly between glittering ‘Shikharas’ on ancient temple and holy shrine perched atop hillsides, lie the most picturesque scenes you can ever imagine. But, this fascinating place has to be discovered quietly, gently and patiently. For, when they do reveal their inherent beauty, you will indeed be swept off your feet. In fact, you won’t believe your eyes. Ladakh is a land like no other. Bounded by two of the world’s mightiest mountain ranges, the Great Himalaya and the Karakoran, it lies athwart two others, the Ladakh range and the Zanskar range. Ladakh lies at an altitudes ranging from about 9,000 ft. at Kargil to 25,170 ft. at Saser Kangri in the Karakoram. Thus summer temperature rarely exceeds about 27° C in the shade, while in winter they may plummet to minus 20° C even in Leh.
How To Go Jammu:
Air: Indian Airlines operate scheduled services from Jammu to Delhi and Srinagar/Leh. Jammu airport is 8 km from city centre. Jet Airways also operate services between Jammu-Delhi and Jammu-Srinagar.
Rail: Jammu Tawi is an important railhead of the northern railways serving the Jammu and Kashmir State.
Road: Jammu falls on National Highway no. 1-A and is connected by National Highway network to all parts of the country. Daily bus services operate to and from Jammu to Delhi, Amritsar, Ambala, Chandigarh, etc. Deluxe and Video coaches are available on all routes.
Tourist Attraction Of Jammu:
Peer Khoh: A cave shrine located on the circular road, 3.5 km from the heart of the town. There is a Shiva Lingam formed naturally in the cave; neither its antiquity nor its cause is known.
Ranbireshwar Temple: Located on Shalimar Road near the new Secretariat, which is built in 1883 A.D. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It has one central Lingam measuring 7.5 ft. height and 12 Shiva Lingam of crystal measuring from 15 cm. to 38 cm. and galleries with thousand of Shiva Lingam fixed on stone slabs.
Raghunath Temple: Situated in the heart of the city and surrounded by a group of other temples this temple dedicated to Lord Rama is outstanding and unique in northern Indian. It was built in 1835 A.D. The inner walls of the main temple are covered with gold sheet on three sides. There are many galleries with lakhs of ‘Saligrams’.
Ranbir Canal: A small garden along the Ranbir canal 2 km from the heart of the town provides a cool picnic spot during the summer. The canal branches of from the River Chenab at Akhnoor, 32 km away. Its water remains ice cold throughout the year. Its banks serve as good viewpoints and walkways.
Peer Baba: On the backside of the Civil Airport is famous Dargah of the Muslim Saint, Peer Budhan Ali Shah. On thrusdays, Hindu and Sikh devotees vastly outnumber their Muslim Brethren at the shrine.
Mahamaya Temple and City Forest: Mahamaya Temple and City Forest is located on the By-pass 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 best view of the city.
Mubarak Mandi Palace: The oldest building in this palace complex date to 1824. The architecture is the blend of Rajasthani, Mughal and even European influences. The most stunning segment is the Sheeh Mahal. The Pink Hall now houses the Dogra Art Museum, which are miniature painting of the various Hill School.
Gauri Kund: Short of Sudh Mahadev is the legendary spring where the Goddess Parvati used to bath before commencing Her daily prayers at Sudh Mahadev. This spring came to be named after Her as ‘Gauri Kund’.
Krimchi: On the way to Sudhmahadev Mantalai, a short detour takes once to Krimchi, site of three of the oldest temple of Jammu. The architecture of the temple shows distinct Greek influences. Pancheri, a hill resort is a short distance away from here.
Excursion Of Jammu:
Mantalai: Mantalai is situated a few km further away from Sudh Mahadev. Lush deodar forests, at an altitude of over 2,000 mts, surround Mantalai.
Bahu Fort: 5 km situated on a rock face on the left bank of the River Tawi, this is the oldest fort and edifice in the city. It was constructed more over 3,000 years ago. There is a temple dedicated to Goddess the Kali inside the fort.
Bagh-e-Bahu: Bagh-e-Bahu is situated 5 km. these extensive gardens, laid around the Bahu Fort provide a pleasant view of the city.
Jajjar Kotli: Jajjar Kotli is situated 35 km from Jammu. The crystal clear, cool water of Jajjar attract picnickers in large numbers during summer.
Akhnoor: Akhnoor, the historiuc town is situated 32 km to the west of Jammu, on the banks of the mighty Chenap River. Ruins of the Indus Valley civilization are to be seen along the riverbank commanding a panoramic view all around.
Purumandal: Purumandal is situated 40 km from Jammu, just of the National Highway leading towards Pathankot is the Purumandal Temple complex built on the bank of the sacred, mostly underground River Devak. The ancient temples are associated with Shaivites of the Kashmir Valleys.
Surinsar Lake: Surinsar Lake is situated 42 km from Jammu. It is a picturesque spot with a lake surrounded by wooded hills.
Katra: Katra is situated 50 km from Jammu. This small town serves as the base camp for visiting the famous shrine of Vaishnodeviji in the Trikuta hills. The shrine is approachable on foot along a 12 km long well laid footpath. Every year nearly 4 million pilgrims pass through Katra on their way to Vaishodeviji.
Mansar Lake: Mansar Lake is situated 62 km from Jammu. A beautiful lake fringed by forest-covered hills. Boating facilities are available on the spot. Every year around Baisikhi (April), a food and crafts festival is organized by J&K tourism.
Baba Dhansar: 65 km from Jammu, on way to Salal Dam, Baba Dhansar is a beautiful and cool picnic spot. Here, a huge spring gushes out of the mountainside in a thick grove of tree and forms a number of small water falls before flowing into the holy Banganga. Next to the spring in a small grove in the rock face is a naturally formed Shivling on which droplets of water fall naturally all the year round. A big mela is held during shivratri.
Dera Baba Banda: Dera Baba Banda is situated 75 km from Jammu. It is major Hindu-Sikh pilgrimage centre. Baba Bandra Bairaagi was Guru Govind Singh’s favourite Saint-soldier who had the Gurudwara constructed on the banks of River Chenab.
Salal Dam and Lake: 95 km from Jammu to the west of the holy shrine of Vaishnodeviji is the Salal Dam and Lake. The lake formed behind the dam is 33km long. With an installed capacity of 400 MW of electricity, this the largest Hydroelectric Project in this State.
Shiv Khori: Shiv Khori is situated 100 km from Jammu. This holy cave, nearly 1 km long with a 4 ft. high naturally formed Shivling, is considered second only to the shrine of Vaishnodeviji. A major festival is held here on Shivratri day.
Kud: Kud is situated 103 km from Jammu. This popular resort is located at an altitude of 1738 mts.
Patnitop: Patnitop is situated 110 km from Jammu. This famous hill resort is perched on a beautiful plateau at an altitude of 2024 mts. across which the Jammu-Srinagar Highway passes. Enveloped by thickly wooded forest, Patnitop offers beautiful picnic spot, peaceful walk and breathtaking views. In winter the resort is generally covered with a thick mantel of snow thus providing opportunities for various snow games.
Sudh Mahadev: This holy spot near Patnitop is situated at an altitude of 1225 mts., above 120 km from Jammu. Pilgrims visit the shrine on the full moon night of ‘Sawan’ (July-August) to worship the ‘Trident’ and a mace, which is said to belong to Lord Shiva. The Devak stream originates at Sudh Mahadev and disappeared among the rocks a few km down stream.
Batote: Batote is situated 125 km from Jammu, at an altitude of 1560 mts. on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway. This resort straddles the forested slopes of the Patnitop mountain range, overlooking the spectacular lie of the Chenab Gorge.
Sanasar: Sanasar is situated 129 km from Jammu and only 19 km from Patnitop, Sanasar is a cup shaped meadow surrounded by gigantic conifers. A place for a quiet holiday, the meadow now has been developed as a Golf Course. It also provides opportunities for paragliding.
Map Of Jammu, Jammu And Kashmir :