For good reason, Jammu is often called the âcity of templesâ. Plain or gilded spires rise from every corner of this ancient town which can bring alive all the faith one can only experience and rarely express. According to the epic Mahabharata, Jammu is regarded as one of the most sacred places of Hindu pilgrimage. It is a city whose deep-rooted history, charm and character bear testimony to the unbroken civilization of India. An expression of this is in the layers and layers that form its marrow. For one, this is the winter capital of the state of Jammu and Kashmir (nullthe government of this state shuttles between Srinagar and Jammu). Apart from its importance as the seat of government and a place of pilgrimage in its own right, Jammu has large number of people that use it as a base for the pilgrimage to
the shrine of Vaishno Devi and a stopover en route to the Kashmir valley.
This apart, the city has long been the citadel of the Dogra community who have distinguished themselves in several fields â especially in the armed forces. The town has also has a sizable market and is a wholesale center for numerous commodities; this may well date back to the time when Jammu was a stopover along one of the peripheral paths of the old trade routes that led to Central Asia and beyond. The river Tawi which flows through Jammu has given it a substantial measure of its character and its importance in the area may be gauged by the fact that before the partition of India, large numbers of people from Sialkot (nullnow in Pakistan) would take the evening train to Jammu to sleep along the cool bank and then take the early morning train back to Sialkot.
Todayâs Jammu combines all its past with a unique brand of modernity. Numerous eating places and one of the highest human population to car ratios in the country all add to make it an unusual city.