Jammu is one of the most beautiful places to visit in North India. It is famous for its age-old temples and historical monuments. Jammu is located to the north of Punjab and the south of the Himalayan mountains. Three rivers, Rawi, Tawi, and Chenab flow through Jammu. Dogra rulers who built impressive hilltop forts, temples, and palaces once ruled Jammu. Jammu is the starting point of all the routes that lead to Kashmir Valley and Leh-Ladakh. It is a major railway station in North India. Jammu is also important for pilgrimage sites. Vaishno Devi Yatra and Amarnath Yatra are the most important Hindu pilgrimage destinations which are close to Jammu. Jammu Kashmir Tour Packages are the best way you can visit the places in Jammu. You can include all these places to visit in Jammu in your Jammu Kashmir tour itinerary.
1. Vaishno Devi
Vaishno Devi is one of the foremost and most sacred temples in entire India. It is located near Jammu in Katra. Vaishno Devi is a divine form of Goddess Durga. The temple is located on top of a hill called Trikuta Hill. Old and young alike undertake the popular Vaishno Devi Yatra. They either take the ropeway up to the temple or climb steps to reach the temple. Pony rides and palanquins are also popular with devotees who wish to seek the blessings of the goddess. Helicopter services are nowadays offered to those who do not want to take the land route. Vaishno Devi is one of the important Shakti Peeth temples in India. Vaishno Devi is also one of the richest temples in India.
2. Bhairavnath Temple
Bhairavnath Temple is a highly worshipped temple in Jammu along with Vaishno Devi Temple. The mythological legend of Bhairavnath Temple is very closely associated with Vaishno Devi Temple. It is said that Goddess Vaishno Devi slew Kala Bhairav at the place where the temple is built. As Baba Bhairavnath was dying, he asked the goddess to show mercy, and the goddess granted him the boon that no visit to Vaishno Devi would be complete with a visit to Bhairavnath Temple. Devotees can take a ropeway from Vaishno Devi Temple, or a pony, or climb stairs to reach Bhairavnath Temple. Bhairavnath Temple offers you stunning views of the mountains and scenic panorama of the surrounding regions.
3. Mahamaya Temple
One of the most interesting facts about Mahamaya Temple in Jammu is that it is not dedicated to any Hindu god or goddess. Instead, Mahamaya Temple is built in the memory of a freedom fighter who laid down her life while fighting against foreign invaders. Mahamaya Temple is located on the banks of the Tawi river and is behind Bahu Fort. The temple offers glorious views of lush green forests, river valleys, mountains, and the surrounding regions.
4. Ranbireshwar Temple
Ranbireshwar Temple is a Shiva temple in Jammu and is also one of the oldest temples. It has the largest shiv linga in India and is 8 feet tall and is made of black marble stone. Maharaja Ranbir Singh built this temple almost 200 years back. The temple has a very elegant structure. There are many shiva lingas inside which are made of crystal stone. There are marble idols of Lord Shiva and Parvati. The walls are decorated with many images of Hindu deities. The temple has a garden which adds a touch of greenery to the entire landscape.
5. Raghunath Temple
Raghunath Temple is one of the biggest temples in North India and also in Jammu. Maharaja Gulab Singh started to build Raghunath Temple in 1822 and Maharaja Ranbir Singh later completed it in 1860. Lord Ram who is also called Raghunath is the main deity of this temple. Raghunath Temple has impressive architecture. The entire complex has many Hindu shrines with beautiful temple architecture. There is a gallery with a collection of shiv linga and shaligram stones.
Shivkhori is one of the holiest temples that you can visit on your trip to Jammu. This is a natural cave with a swayambhu Shiva linga, which is formed out of natural forces and is not man-made. Shivkhori is visited by lakhs of visitors every year and is one of the most popular shiv temples in Jammu and Kashmir. The route to reach Shivkhori goes through lush forests and mountain valleys. The natural formations inside the cave resemble Hindu deities like Shiva, Parvati, Nandi, Kartikeya, Sheshnag, and Ganesh. Visitors have to crawl through narrow tunnels and passages to reach the main shrines. One of the passages is said to reach Amarnath Cave in Pahalgam.
7. Dudhadhari Mandir
Dudhadhari Mandir is a hilltop temple that you can visit on your trip to Jammu. The temple is built in memory of a local saint called Dudhadhari Baba, who survived only by having milk. Being at the top of the hill, Dudhadhari Temple offers you majestic views of the surrounding areas. The temple is also known by the name Dudhadhari Barfani Ashram. The entire temple is built of white marble stone. Devotees visit this temple as it is said to grant the wishes of his devotees.
8. Baba Dhansar
Baba Dhansar is a cave temple of Lord Shiva near Katra. There is a small waterfall beside the temple, which adds to the natural beauty of this temple. The pool of water is formed by the water of the fall. The shrine was built in memory of Baba Dhansar who was a devotee of Lord Shiva and Vaishno Devi. The caves are formed naturally and are not man-made. The natural scenery and beauty of this place send divine bliss to visitors. There are many stone tablets and ancient carvings.
9. Bahu Fort
Bahu Fort is a huge fort that was built by Raja Bahulochan. Although the fort is very old, rulers made many modifications to the fort structure. The structure that you can see of Bahu Fort is as old as the 18th century. Bahu Fort is a very massive fort and is built on the banks of river Tawi. Historians say that this fort is deeply connected with the city of Jammu itself. Bahu Fort has Mughal architecture and its construction is very strong. Huge doors, stables for horses, Mughal gardens, arched gateways, floral designs on the walls, underground chambers, and a lake, are some of the things to watch out for in this fort. The towers and thick walls of this fort made this one of the impregnable forts in Jammu. Thousands of visitors visit Mahakali Temple in this fort every day.
10. Nandini Wildlife Sanctuary
Nandini Wildlife Sanctuary is very close to Jammu and is very popular among tourists. The most popular attraction inside this sanctuary is the colorful pheasants. There are many other birds that you can see in this sanctuary. Birds like Blue Rock Pigeon, Peafowl, Jungle fowl, Mynah, etc. can be found here. Besides this, Nandini Wildlife Sanctuary is also home to langur monkeys, bears, leopards, and many other wildlife species.
Nathatop is one of the most beautiful and scenic tourist attractions. You can visit Nathatop from Jammu. Nathatop is close to Patnitop. Nathatop is famous for its adventure activities like paragliding. Skiing is another popular thing that you can do in Nathatop. You can also taste the delicious street food of Jammu Kashmir in Nathatop. Nathatop is full of green pastures during summers, but in winters, it turns into a place of snow. This hill station is very popular among tourists who visit Jammu.
12. Mubarak Mandi Palace
Jammu has some of the most royal palaces, and Mubarak Mandi Palace is among the finest of them. A visit to Mubarak Mandi Palace is a must on your trip to Jammu and Kashmir. You will see a blend of European, Mughal, and Rajasthani architecture in the construction of this magnificent palace. There is a museum inside where you can explore the miniature paintings, royal art collection, and armory used by Mughal kings. You will be amazed by the décor of Pink Hall, Hawa Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Rani Charak Palace, Gol Ghar Complex, Toshakhana Palace, Darbar Hall, and many other buildings inside this huge complex.
13. Peer Baba Dargah
Peer Baba Dargah is a Muslim mosque in Jammu. The mosque is a huge spiritual and religious place of worship in Jammu. Peer Budhan Ali Shah was a saint who lived here and this mosque is built in his memory. Peer Budhan Ali Shah is believed to have lived for over 500 years. A visit to this mosque is a must-visit. The saint was highly impressed with the teachings of Guru Nanak. He also accepted Sikh teachings during the time of Guru Gobind Singh. Both Muslims and Sikhs visit Peer Baba Dargah.
14. Surinsar Lake
Surinsar Lake is close to Jammu city and it is one of the beautiful lakes that you can visit on your trip to Jammu and Kashmir. It is considered to be a twin lake of Mansar Lake which is situated 30 km from Surinsar Lake. According to a Mahabharata legend, Surinsar Lake arose from under the ground when Arjuna shot an arrow into Mansar Lake. Surinsar Lake is situated in very scenic surroundings. Forests and mountains surround the lake and lend it a very scenic look. There is an island in the lake where there is a huge colony of bats. Many birds can be seen in this lake and the lotuses bloom in this lake.
15. Amar Mahal Palace
Amar Mahal Palace is such a huge tourist attraction of Jammu that it is a must-visit for anyone who visits this place. Raja Amar Singh was a ruler who built this palace during the 19th century. The French-style architecture of this palace will amaze you the most. Today you can visit the museum inside the palace. There are various exhibits that you can explore here and age-old relics will tell you so much about the history of this palace. There are miniature paintings, an art collection of the royal family, priceless books and manuscripts, a golden throne, portraits of rulers, and many other things to see here.
Bagh-e-bahu is an impressive Mughal garden that you can visit on your trip to Bahu Fort. The design and landscaping of Bagh-e-bahu is the most impressive thing to watch out for. A quiet stroll inside will reveal elegant stone sculptures, fountains, lawns, and walking pathways. There is an aquarium that is shaped like a fish. The aquarium has 400 freshwater fish species. Visitors can visit this aquarium which has the latest equipment and laboratory. In the evening, there is a musical fountain show at Bagh-e-bahu, where multicolored lights make the view beautiful.
17. Akhnoor Fort
Akhnoor Fort is a very powerful fort that you can visit in Jammu. The fort was built in the 18th century and many modifications were done to the structure of this fort by successive kings. Maharaja Alam Singh completed construction in 1802. Akhnoor Fort was originally built over a Harappan town called Manda. The location of this fort on the banks of the Chenab River makes it even more scenic. In its time Akhnoor Fort was a very powerful fort with impressive fortifications. Even today, you can see the ruins of this fort. The huge walls, bastions, and towers were built to resist enemy attacks. There are courtyards inside the fort and decorated arches, palaces, and paintings.
18. Dargah Garib Shah
Dargah Garib Shah is one of the holy religious places that you can visit in Jammu. The Muslim shrine was built in the memory of a Sufi saint called Baba Garib Shah. The dargah has his Samadhi which is maintained by local Hindus. This Sufi shrine is a perfect example of communal harmony and peace among religions. People have tremendous faith in this dargah and visit it to get their wishes fulfilled.
19. Mansar Lake
Mansar Lake is one of the spectacular lakes in Jammu. It is considered to be very holy and auspicious by Hindu people who live here. They perform a ‘mundan’ ceremony here. There are two temples in this lake of Umapati Mahadev and the other is the Narsimha temple. Mansar Lake is as scenic as it is holy. The surrounding greenery and forests make the best backdrop to this lake. There are many fishes in this lake, and viewing decks are built to view the fishes. Boating and bird watching are one of the few activities that can be done here in Mansar Lake.
20. Poonch Fort
Poonch Fort is one of the spectacular forts that you can visit in Jammu. It was built during different periods by various kings. There is a distinct Mughal and Sikh architectural styles in the construction of this fort. The entire complex of Poonch Fort is one with courtyards, palaces, temples, and other structures. There is a small mosque, a Sikh gurudwara, and a temple inside the premises of this fort. Poonch Fort is built on a small hill and it offers magnificent views of the surrounding areas.
21. Peer Kho Cave
Peer Kho Cave is a temple in Jammu. Raja Ajaib Dev. started the temple construction in the 15th century. There is a big courtyard on the temple premises and the main deity of this temple is Lord Shiva. There are many other shrines for different Hindu deities. According to mythological legends, Jamwant, the bear from Ramayana, used to come here and meditate in a cave. Other famous temples like Ranbireshwar Temple and Panchbakhtar Temple are close to this temple.
Purmandal Temple is an amazing temple in Jammu with a glorious past. In ancient times, the place was a school for studying ancient Hindu scriptures. Because of its ancient religious importance, Purmandal is also called Chhota Kashi. Lord Shiva who is also called Umapati is the main deity of this temple. Purmandal Temple is famous as many saints and historic personalities have visited it during their lifetime. Among them are Saint Kabir, Bismillah Khan, Guru Nanak and Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Purmandal Mela is a religious festival that is held in this temple for three days during February every year.
23. Bhimgarh Fort
Bhimgarh Fort is an important landmark in Jammu. The fort is a mighty impressive one and its strong walls and fortifications are features that made it very strong and impregnable. Bhimgarh Fort was built on top of a 150-foot high hill. Construction of this fort started in 1817 and successive rulers made many modifications to the fort structure. It was completely built in 1841. There are gates through which to enter the fort and these have elegant carvings on solid stone. Many structures is there to inside this massive fort. There is a pond, temples, and chambers to keep arms and treasures.
24. Manda Zoo
Manda Zoo is one of the best places in Jammu where you can watch different animals and birds. It is very close to other attractions like Amar Mahal, Mubarak Mandi Palace, Hari Niwas Palace, etc. The natural greenery of the place is very peaceful. There are monkeys, ducks, wild boars, deer, leopards, snakes, crocodiles, and peacocks, in this zoo. Benches offer a seat for visitors who visit Manda Zoo.