Srinagar is the summer
capital of the State and, in winter, when Srinagar becomes too cold, the
administration shifts to Jammu city in the plains.
Click here to know more about Srinagar hill station.
Jammu - The Jammu region consists of six of the southern
districts of the State. The upland region of Kishtwar, Rapuri, Doda, Poonch and
Bhadarwah is geographically very similar to Kashmir and is famous for the
walnuts, morels and saffron grown there. And the lower hilly area around Jammu
is renowned for high quality 'basmati' rice as well as dried pomegranate
The second largest city in Jammu & Kashmir, Jammu city
is popularly called the 'City of Temples'. Innumerable temples and shrines dot
the city. their glittering 'shikhars' soaring into the sky and seen from a long
way off. Most people hurry through Jammu on their way to
Srinagar. But it is
worth stopping here for a day or so to visit the temples and
The Raghunath Temple is the largest temple complex in
North India and much of its interior is covered in gold leaf. The
Ranbireshwar Temple, the largest Shiva temple in the region, is famous
for the central 'lingam', over 2m high, and twelve crystal lingams. The
Dargah of Peer Budhan Ali Shah attracts a very large number of devotees
of all faiths as it is believed that the shrine protects the people of the city
from mishaps and evil spirits. The Amar Mahal Palace Museum has
excellent Pahari paintings and the Dogra Art Gallery has fine miniatures of the
Jammu and Basholi schools.
A 48 km drive from Jammu brings you to
Katra. This is the start point of the pilgrimage to the Vaishno
Devi shrine, set in a deep cave 13 km away in the Trikuta hills. The well
laid foot path leading to the shrine is brightly lit and an unending stream of
devotees can be found trekking up the steep hill right through the night. Some
four million pilgrims visit the shrine every year.
The region has a
number of popular hill resorts. Sitting atop a beautiful plateau surrounded by
giant deodar trees is Patnitop (2024 m), about 110 km north-east of
Jammu on the Srinagar highway. It is ideal for a quiet retreat into the hills,
as well as walks down hill slopes to sparkling streams and little temples. Just
17 km away is Sanasar, popularly known as 'Mini Gulmarg', because it too
is set on rolling meadows amidst pine covered hill slopes. Kud (1738 m)
and Batote (1560 m) are the other hill resorts nearby.