Jammu ( Kashmir , North India )
According to a legend, the foundation of Jammu was laid by JambuLochan three thousand years ago. While the king was hunting in this area, he saw that a lion and a goat were drinking water together at the bank of a lake. He founded a town on the sacred part of the land to generate a feeling of brotherhood, cooperation and friendliness. Jammu is situated in the lower part of the Himalayas. There are dense forests, fast flowing rivers and waterfalls all over the region . There are innumerable temples and holy places dedicated to Lord Shiva and Shakti, which energise the Hindus. On some special festivals and occasions, these temples turn into festival grounds where thousands of devotees gather to worship Lord Shiva.
Raghunath Temple : situated in the centre of the town, is supposed to be the biggest temple compound of North India. Maharaja Gulab Singh of Jammu started the construction work. His son Maharaja Ranvir Singh completed it in 1860. The temple is dedicated to Lord Rama.
Ranvir Canal : has a small garden and famous picnic spot at the edge of this town. It is notable that the water of the canal remains ice- cold throughout the year.
Old Secretariat was once named as 'Mubarak Mandi'. It was the former palace of Dogra rulers. There are beautiful paintings of flowers, birds etc on its walls and roofs. It is an attractive building from the point of view of architecture.
Bahu Fort : is the oldest fort of Jammu which is situated on a hill top. The 200 years old Kali temple in the fort attracts a big crowd of devotees.
Bagh-e-Bahu : got its name from the gardens that surround Bahu Fort. It is a well- known picnic spot. One can have a complete view of Jammu town from this place.
Peer Babais : the dargah(shirne) of Muslim saint peer Budhan Ali Shah.
Dogra Art Gallery : is proud of having more than five hundred paintings of Basoli, Jammu and Kangra schools preserved here. In addition to this, there are worth visiting places like PirKhoh, Mahamaya Temple, City Forest and Amar Mahal Museum.
Patnitopis : situated at a height of 2024 meters from sea level and at a distance of 110 kms far from Jammu and 70 kms from Katra on Jammu- Kashmir National Highway. Surrounded by tall teak and 'Deodar' trees, it appears like a heaven for the tourists. In spite of it being a less known spot, its unparalleled beauty attracts people from all over the world. The hearts of tourists gladden when they watch its slopes, which are covered with snow throughout the year.
Sanasaris : a tourist spot 19 kms away from Patnitop. There are facilities for playing golf and paragliding.
ShudhMahadev : a religious place, is situated at a distance of 8km away from Pathitop and at a height of 1225 meters from sea level. On the full moon day in the month of 'Savan', it attracts a big crowd of devotees. Here lies a 'Trishul' of Lord Shiva, which is worshipped with great devotion.
Gauri Kundis : a spring near ShudhMahadev where Mother Parvati used to take bath before commencing her worship. That is how the place got its name Gauri Kund from her.
Mansar Lakehas : the facilities for boating . Every year on the occasion of Vaisakhi, Jammu and Kashmir tourist department organizes a big fair here.
Other worth visiting places near Jammu areSurinsar Lake, Shiv Khori, Akhnoorand Baba Dhansa.