Jammu is the largest city in the Jammu Division and the winter capital of State of Jammu and Kashmir. It is situated on the banks of Tawi river and is administered by a municipal corporation.
The name Jammu is derived from its ruler who founded it. Raja Jambulochan founded this city and named it Jambupur which later changed to Jammu.
Many historians and locals believe that Jammu was founded by Raja Jambu Lochan in the 14th century BC. During one of his hunting campaigns, he reached the Tawi River where he saw a goat and a lion drinking water at the same place. Having satisfied their thirst, the animals went their own ways.
The Raja was amazed, abandoned the idea of hunting and returned to his companions. Recounting what he had seen, he exclaimed that this place, where a lion and a goat could drink water side by side, was a place of peace and tranquility. The Raja commanded that a palace be built at this place and a city was founded around it. This city became known as Jambu-Nagar, which then later changed into Jammu.
Jambu Lochan was the brother of Raja Bahu Lochan who constructed a fort, Bahu Fort, on the bank of river Tawi. The city name figures in the Mahabharata. Excavation near Akhnoor, 32 kilometres (20 mi) from Jammu city, provides evidence that Jammu was once part of the Harappan civilization. Remains from the Maurya, Kushan, Kushanshahs and Gupta periods have also been found in Jammu.
After 480 CE, the area was dominated by the Hephthalites and ruled from Kapisa and Kabul. They were succeeded by the Kushano-Hephthalite dynasty from 565 to 670 CE, then by the Shahi from 670 CE to the early 11th century, when the Shahi were destroyed by the Ghaznavids. Jammu is also mentioned in accounts of the campaigns of Timur. The Dev Dynasty ruled it for about 984 years from 840 CE to 1816 CE. The city remained in scientific isolation and lagged behind other Indian cities. Then came the Dogra Rule, which after betraying the Sikhs, built hindu temples and renovated old shrines.
A 43 km long railway line connecting Jammu with Sialkot was laid in 1897 but it was abandoned after the Partition of India as the railway link to Sialkot was broken. Jammu had no rail services until 1971, when the Indian Railways laid the Pathankot - Jammu Tawi Broad Gauge line. The new Jammu Tawi station was opened in 1975. In 2000, much of the old railway station was demolished to make way for an art centre. After partition of India, Jammu continued to be the winter capital of the state.
There are 3 Historic Sikh Gurdwaras in Jammu.
This historic Gurdwara is built to mark the visit of Sri Guru Nanak Sahib Ji. It is situated near historical Mubarak Mandi Complex of Dogra rulers near Chowk Chabootra Jammu. It is said that Guru Sahib while returning to Punjab via Kashmir stayed here. Representing the rich religious fervor of the local inhabitants of Jammu and Kashmir, the sacred Gurdwara of Sri Guru Nanak Sahib Jammu is one of the prominent religious sites of the state.
Located in the upper part of market close to the famous complex of Mubarak Mandi, Gurdwara Sri Guru Nanak Sahib Jammu attracts Sikhs from far and wide. In this small Gurudwara there is a 3 feet marbled statue of Guru Nanak installed by Rajput Raja Partap Singh. During the Singh Sabha Movement when statues were removed from Gurdwaras this statue remained unnoticed. Until now, very few people knew about this statue. Constructed out of white marble, the idol of Sri Guru Nanak is three feet high. Maharaja Partap Singh was responsible for installing the statue as he thought he was respecting Guru Nanak's memory.
Apart from the religious significance of the Gurdwara, Gurdwara Sri Guru Nanak Sahib Jammu is noted for its architectural splendor that reflects the rich artistic skill and imaginative creative of the ancient times. Unaltered and unaffected by natural calamities and disturbances in the political and social scenario of Jammu and Kashmir, Gurdwara Sri Guru Nanak Sahib Jammu bears relics to the rich religious ancestry and historical legacy of the state.
Amidst the picturesque landscape of Jammu and Kashmir, the giant structure of Gurdwara Sri Guru Nanak Sahib Jammu stands tall with its overimposing monument that adds to the old glory and grandeur of the region. The divine sanctity of Gurdwara Sri Guru Nanak Sahib Jammu imparts an aesthetic appeal to the surrounding areas.
Gurdwara Sri Tahli Sahib Talab Tillo marks the site where Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji is said to have visited during his visit to Jammu. Guru Hargobind stayed at a place below a Tahli tree called Pacca Gharat, Talab Tillo.
A beautiful Gurdwara has been built by the Jammu Sikh Sangat although the old one room Gurdwara is still present. There is a small canal near this Gurdwara Sahib situated in the heart of Jammu city. Every year the 'Parkash Utsav' (birth anniversary) of Guru Sahib is celebrated here with much enthusiasm and zeal.
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