Culture & Heritage
The built heritage of Jammu dates back to the 2nd century AD. Evidences of these are the Buddhist Stupa at Ambaran near Akhnoor, ninth to tenth century AD Temples at Krimchi, Babor and ancient Forts, Palaces and temples built in the middle ages. The important historical and heritage sites of Jammu are:
Amar Mahal Palace
Amar Mahal Palace is the architectural gem located on the National Highway towards Srinagar. Built like a French Chateau on a hill overlooking the river Tawi, is a beautiful palace of red sand stone which stands amidst most picturesque horizons of Jammu. Once the residential palace of Raja Amar Singh, the palace has been converted into a museum and is looked after by Hari-Tara Charitable Trust. The museum has the golden throne on which Maharaja used to sit, which is made up of 120 kg pure gold. The museum has a gallery of paintings and a library in which about 25,000 books on various subjects and disciplines have been presented
The ancient Bahu Fort in Jammu is believed to be originally built by Raja Bahu Lochan about 3,000 years ago. It was refurbished by the Dogra rulers in the 19th century. The fort is a religious place and within its precincts is a temple dedicated to the Hindu goddess Kali, the presiding deity of Jammu. The temple is known locally as the “Bawey Wali Mata temple”. Just beneath the fort is the terraced Bagh-e-Bahu Garden laid in the style of Mughal gardens which affords panoramic view of the Jammu city and underground fish aquarium.
The Fort was built during the early 19th century and commands a towering view along the right bank of the Chenab. The present fort was probably started in 1762 AD at the behest of Raja Tegh Singh, as an autonomous principle state. A devastating famine is said to have broken in the country during this time. In order to provide work to his famishing people Raj Tegh Singh started the construction of Akhnoor Fort and Palace on banks of the Chenab River. He supplied food to the workers for 2 years and thus saved the principality His son Alam Singh completed the Akhnoor fort in 1802. On the eastern side, there are steps leading down to the River Chenab. Though constructed in the 18th century, most of the steps are in a good state of preservation. The ghat served as the important spot for performance of religious sites by the people of the region. The turrets or Burj are still intact is called the Kishore Singh Burj after Maharaja Gulab Singh’s father who was a close associate of Guru Gobind Singh the 10th Sikh Guru. There are traces of paintings on the walls of the rooms of the fort.
Ambaran ,also locally known as Pambaran, is a village of Akhnoor tehsil in Jammu district and is said to have been founded by Amba Jagdev Pawar . A scion of Pawar dynasty of Dhar Ujjain which seems to have been the original capital of Akhnoor. It was named Ambari after the family diety Amba, one of the names of goddess Durga. The name got changed gradually into Ambaran. Ambaran is the eighth place in the world, where relics of Buddha have been found in a stupa. Historians are of the opinion that the place might have been an important centre of Buddhism between the 1st and 7th century B.C. A cultural sequence of four historical periods has already been unraveled at Ambaran. It is believed to be the only early Buddhist site in Jammu region. Excavations have unearthed terracotta figures, small sculptures, pottery and brunt brick structures dating back to pre Kushan and post Gupta period.