Temples and shrines of Jammu
The city of Jammu has numerous towering temples slicing the skyline. The most famous temples among these include:
Situated right in the heart of the city, It consists of a cluster of temples and is the largest temple complex in northern India. Maharaja Gulab Singh, began the construction of the Raghunath Mandir in 1835 AD and was completed by his son, Maharaja Ranbir Singh,in 1860 AD. The complex houses a rich collection of ancient texts and manuscripts. The inner walls of the main temple are covered with gold sheet on three sides while the interiors of the temple are plated with gold. There are many galleries with innumerable ‘saligrams’. The temple consists of seven shrines, each with a tower of its own. The main outstanding temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu’s eighth incarnation of the Lord Rama.
Located on Shalimar Road near the New Secretariat and built by Maharaja Ranbir Singh in 1883 AD, this historic temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It has one central ‘lingam’ measuring seven-and-a-half ft in height, twelve Shiva ‘lingams’ of crystal measuring from 15″ to 38″ and galleries with thousands of other ‘saligrams’ carved on stone slabs.
Mahamaya Temple and City Forest
On the bypass 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 the best view of the city.
Sudh Mahadev (120 km)
Sudh Mahadev is a shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva, situated at a height of approximately 1225 m. The shrine gains significance especially on the full moon night of Sawan (July – August), when devotees come here to worship the “Trishul” (trident) and a mace, alleged to be of Lord Shiva. There is also a “Devak” stream originating at Sudh Mahadev and vanishes amid the rocks after a few km.
on the way to Shudh Mahadev, a short detour takes one to Krimchi, which is a site of the three of the oldest temples of Jammu.The temples resemble the shape of the Lingaraja temple at Bhubaneswar in Orissa. The main temple is 50ft high, is decorated with abstract designs and the porch strongly resembles the ancient stone temples of Kashmir. Pieces of the sculpture found in the rubble have images of Ganesh, Parvati, Shiva and Vishnu.
Peer Khoh is a cave shrine located on the Circular Road, 3.5 kms from the heart of the town. There is a naturally formed Shiva lingam in the cave which is quite mysterious as neither its antiquity nor its cause are known. Legend has it that the cave leads underground to many other cave shrines and even out of the country.
Behind the Civil Airport is the famous durgah of the Muslim saint, Peer Budhan Ali Shah. On Thursdays, Hindu and Sikh devotees who visit this shrine, vastly outnumber the Muslim devotees.