By Avril- Ann Braganza
Situated in the heart of Jammu city is the Raghunath temple dedicated to Lord Rama. Believed to be the largest temple complex in north India, the surrounding temples are dedicated to the various deities from the Ramayana. It is said that construction of the Raghunath Mandir Complex was begun by Maharaja Gulab Singh in 1835 and was completed by his son, Maharaja Ranbir Singh in 1860. The temple is easily accessible by auto, taxi or mini bus.
Bahu fort, garden and aquarium
Approximately 5 km from the Jammu city centre stand the Bahu fort on a hill, on the banks of the Tawi river. It was constructed approximately 3,000 years ago by Raja Bahulochan. Within the fort is a temple, dedicated to the Hindu goddess Kali, popularly called Bave Wali Mata Mandir. You can also visit the terraced gardens near the fort, which has beautiful fountains and a light and sound show in the evenings. At the bottom is an aquarium, home to marine and fresh water fish. Apart from being a popular tourist spot, it also has a lecture centre and is believed to be one of the subcontinent's largest underground aquarium.
Hari Niwas Palace
The Tawi river
Once the palace of King Hari Singh, it is now converted into a heritage luxury hotel. Built on the banks of the Tawi river, it overlooks the Trikuta hills on the other side. Within the palace complex, you can visit the Amar Mahal Palace Museum, which contains the photographs and story of King Hari Singh, his throne and a 3D sculpture demarking his kingdom.
For the shopaholics
Head to Raghunath Bazar in the old Jammu city and you'll find almost everything you want. You can pick up some pashminas, pherans (the traditional Kashmiri dress) Kashmiri embroidered kurtas, dress material, bags. You can also buy, walnuts, almonds, saffron and Kashmiri Kahwa tea. Another popular buy is the naamda or prayer mat. At Gole market in Gandhi Nagar, you'll find handicrafts. There's also a small mall where you can find branded things.
For the Foodies
When it comes to food, head to Hari Niwas Palace to try wazwan a multi-course Kashmiri meal. Most of the dishes are non-vegetarian (chicken, lamb) and it is a heavy meal that includes delicacies like Tabakmaaz, Rista, Kababs, Goshtaba and more. For vegetarians, rajma chawal and kamal kakdi (lotus stem vegetable) are the main delicacies. Street food is a big hit in Jammu and you can head to Moti Bazar in Parade to sample some delicious kalari kulcha. Nav Durga Sweets and Pahalwan di hatti are well-known fast food joints that seve firni, samosas, aloo tikki, golguppas and chaat.
At Residency Road, Falak-The Revolving Restaurant you can enjoy a meal with spledid views of the city of Jammu.
With inputs from Akshay Sharma and Madhavi Patil
Images by Madhvi Patil