The Akhnoor fort which lies towards east of the town, on the bank of the Chenab river holds great significance and is extremely important for reconstruction of the past history. The fort was built by Raja Alam Singh in 1802. Work on the fort, actually began in 1762 at the behest of Raja Tegh Singh and was completed by his son Raja Alam Singh in 1802. This two-storeyed fort which is perched on a cliff overlooking river Chenab is under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) since 1982 and has been declared a national monument protected under the Monument Act, 1958. There are two-storeyed watch-towers at corners. The fort also has an access through the river side. This fort, where excavation is still in progress in a phased manner, is perched upon an ancient site depicting three periods of history. The first period is represented by the Harappan red and grey earthenware that include jars, beakers and goblets. The second period is marked by the presence of early historic pottery and the third period is represented by Kushana objects and an impressive wall of rubble diaper masonry flanked on both sides by a 3-metre wide street.
Just as Akhnoor finds a place of pride in history for its antiquity and historical importance, the Jia Pota Ghat on the right bank of Chandrabhaga i.e. today’s Chenab at Akhnoor is the crowning glory of this ancient town. Any old timer of Akhnoor will reveal that Jia Pota Ghat is one of many ghats situated on the right bank of Chenab, the other being Pehra, Gurgi Pattan and Harmandar (named after Hari Mandir) situated downstream.
Interestingly the Jia Pota Ghat got its name from the Jia Pota tree whose botanical name is Putranjiva roxburghii of Euphorbiaceae family under whose shade the Raj Tilak ceremony of Maharaja Gulab Singh took place. The coronation at the ghat would always remain etched in the collective psyche of the people of this state and more particularly the Dogras as the first concrete step towards the foundation of the modern state of Jammu and Kashmir.
It was on 17th of June 1822 A.D. that the magnanimous Maharaja Ranjeet Singh, the most powerful king in the realm of Hindustan coronated Gulab Singh as Raja of Jammu region at Jia Pota in the backdrop of Akhnoor fort and lapped by the icy waves of Chenab. To commemorate the coronation day of Maharaja Gulab Singh, a commemorative tablet has been installed at the ghat depicting the scene of Raj Tilak. It is believed that original tree got uprooted and ultimately washed away in the floods of 1957. However solace can be sought in the fact that a few specimen of healthy Jia Pota trees are flourishing in the adjoining Jiya Pota Park which was developed in 1999.
The importance of the place lies in the fact that Jia Pota Ghat is probably witness to the march of civilization right from the existence of early man. It is in the vicinity of a Neolithic site. Moreover historians consider Akhnoor as the northernmost point of Indus Valley civilization. Just imagine Harappans navigating river Chenab and using river front at Jia Pota to reach their flourishing settlement at Manda which is presently inside the Akhnoor fort
How to Reach:
35 Kms from Jammu Airport
33 Kms from Railway Station Jammu Tawi
30 Kms from Bus Stand Jammu