Jammu is the largest city in the Jammu Division in India. It is the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir state, sitting at a low elevation in the mainly mountainous state; Srinagar, the state's summer capital, is at a much higher elevation.
Jammu was founded by Raja Jambulochan in the 14th century BC who named it Jambupur. The name later morphed to Jammu. It was the winter capital of the Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir under British rule. After independence, it continues to be the state's winter capital.
Jammu is well connected by train to points south and east. Jammu Tawi railway station is an important railhead of the Northern Railways serving the Jammu and Kashmir state. It is the second last major rail stop heading north, the last one being Udhampur and most people only see it long enough to get from the train station to the bus stand to continue on to Srinagar. Jammu Tawi is connected to all major cities in India like Delhi (Jammu Rajdhani), Kolkata (Himgir Exp), Mumbai (Swarak Exp), Chennai (Andaman Exp) and even to the southern most Trivandrum Railway station (Himsagar Exp).
To Srinagar there are several J&K SRTC buses taking 12 hours and costing ₹150. Sumo 4wd jeep taxis also do this trip in approximately 8 hours and cost ₹200 per person (or more if you wish to hire the whole taxi to yourself). Minibuses also run from outside Jammu bus stand and more comfortable and sometimes cheaper than Sumos. For people who prefer comfortable journeys, try to hire a Toyota Innova for yourself, although it will be very expensive.
Jammu has an excellent airport which has many flights from Delhi and Leh. Spice Jet, Jet Airways, Indian Airlines, Goair and Deccan Airways have flights from Delhi. Jet Airways also operates regular services between Jammu & Delhi and Jammu & Srinagar.
Jammu is on National Highway 1-A and is connected by the highway network to all parts of the country. Some important road distances from Jammu are:
- Amritsar - 243 km
- Chandigarh - 436 km
- Delhi - 586 km
- Katra - 48 km
- Leh - 705 km
- Manali - 428 km
- Mansar - 62 km
- Patnitop - 108 km
- Srinagar - 305 km
Bus services of all classes operate to and from Jammu to Srinagar, Delhi, Amritsar, Ambala, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Pathankot, Shimla, Manali and Haridwar. The J&K State Road Transport Corporation (J&K SRTC) the road transport corporations of Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Chandigarh also operate bus services between Jammu and various cities in north India. All inter-state bus services operate to and from the Jammu General Bus Stand.
Distance is the same, but then riding a motorcycle to Jammu is not advised during winter because of sub-zero temperatures. The winding roads from Udhampur to Qazigund via Kud offer sharp turns and scenic views and presents the rider with perfect riding challenges. These roads entice and excite biking enthusiasts from all over the world year after year.
Tourist taxis- Tata Sumos operate between Jammu and Srinagar on shared seat basis. Taxis are available for local sightseeing or to visit any tourist destination. It can be hired at Jammu from the Special Tourist Taxi Association. There is a sightseeing tour of 2-3 hours available for tourists, which cover Amar Mahal Museum, Dogra Art Gallery, Ranbireshwar Temple, Raghunath Mandir, Bahu Fort and Bagh-e-Bahu.
Other transport- The widely used mini buses cover the entire city and suburban areas on fixed routes. Autorickshaws are also easily available from all points in the city at negotiable rates.
Buses run between the bus and train stations for ₹5 and take about 10 minutes.
Jammu is also known as City Of Temples. One can visit Raghunath Temple, Ranbireshwar Temple, Peer Kho Cave Temple, Bawey Wali Mata, Mahamaya Temple. Other Places of interest are Baag-e-Bahu Park, Amar Mahal Museum, Mansar Lake and the Fish Aquarium at Baag-e-Bahu.
Go to various temples and sights in and around Jammu city:
- Amar Mahal Palace Museum. A beautiful red sand stone palace, it stands amidst the most picturesque surroundings of Jammu.
- Bagh-E-Bahu. Open 08:00 to 20:00. 5 km. These extensive gardens, laid around the Bahu Fort provide a pleasant view of the city.
- Bahu Fort. 5 km. Situated on a rock face on the left bank of the river Tawi.
- The Dargah o Peer Budhan Ali Shah (Peer Baba). On the backside of the Civil Airport is famous Dargah of the Muslim saint, Peer Budhan Ali Shah
- Maha Maya Temple and City Forest. On the By-pass Road behind Bahu Fort, the city forest surrounds the ancient Maha Maya Temple overlooking the river Tawi.
- Martand Sun Temple. The most memorable and beautiful work of King Lalitaditya is the construction of spacious Martand temple, which the emperor got built in honor of the Sun God or Bhaskar.
- Mubarak Mandi Palace. The oldest buildings in this Palace complex date to 1824.
- Peer Kho Cave Temple. A cave shrine located on the Circular Road, 3.5 km from the heart of the town.
- Raghunath Mandir. Situated in the heart of the city and surrounded by a group of other temples
- Ranbir Canal. A small garden along the Ranbir Canal, 2 km from the heart of the town.
- Ranbireshwar Temple. Located on Shalimar Road near the New Secretariat.
- Sudh Mahadev Temple, Sudhmahadev. Situated in the town of Chanhani in the western part of the Jammu
Here the main bazaars – Vir Marg, Raghunath Bazaar and Hari Market – are famous for Kashmiri handicrafts, traditional Dogra jewellery and various dry fruits, chiefly walnuts (‘akhrot’) and almonds. Jammu is also known for the superlative quality of its ‘basmati’ rice, ‘rajma’ (red beans), ‘ampapar’ (dried and candied mango peel), ‘anardana’ (dried pomegranate seeds) and ‘barfi’ (milk sweets).
There are many good eateries in Jammu. At the higher end are "the Imperial Grill" famous for its service and excellent food along with the Bar 'Legends", Falak at KC Residency, 'The Earthen Oven' in Fortune, Chinese and Indian restaurants at Hotel Asia, and Hari Niwas Palace Hotel. For medium budget and fast food KC Plaza and Premier can be tried. For the lovers of non vegetarian cuisine Paras Ram di Hatti is a must visit place.Imperial Grill is in Bahu Plaza whereas Fortune is on the way to KC Residency and KC Plaza on Residency Road, Asia Hotel is near Gandhi Nagar and Paras Ram dhaba is near Panjtirthi in old city. Hotel Ashok and Hari Niwas Palace Hotel are at the far end of Jammu near Amar Mahal museum.
- Annapurna, Opp Jammu Station (Next to Nescafe). Huge Utensils to store food and next to bus stand makes it ideal for travellers going in and out of Jammu. Food is tasty and 2 men do rhythmic chapati dough flattening in fingers and putting to 2 ovens that churn out abt 5000-6000 parathas and chapatis.
There are lots of dhams or guest houses inside temple complexes or outside the railway station. They have dormitories for ₹60 to AC ₹100 per person and suites. The ones opp station are managed by Vaishno Devi Shrine Board - Vaishnavi, Saraswati and one more Dham under construction.
The ones at Shivam Temple Complex are about 200-300 range. Lots of buses run from Jammu Railway Station to Katra or General Bus Stand, and the ones around Jammu Station will admit only families with woman and children. Groups of boys and girls have good options in Katra at the same pricing.
- Shanker Lodge, 8 Partap Garh, Raghunath Bazar, Near Raghunath Temple, ☎ . Check-in: 12PM, check-out: 12PM.
- Hotel Shivam Lodge (come out of the railway station and take left, move 300-400 meters and it's on the other side of the road), ☎ . Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 12:00.. Located at a walking distance from Jammu Tawi Railway station. Good room service. ₹1200-1300(Ignore the price they give, ask for ₹1200 and stick to it.
- Vardaan Hotel Jammu ( near Gen Bus Stand Jammu), ☎ . Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 12:00. Located at a walking distance from Inter State Bus Terminal and 5 minutes drive from Residency Road Shopping Centre. Has 27 rooms, a cafe business centre, travel desk and meeting rooms. ₹1600.
- Katra (Katra Vaishno Devi) — a small town in the foothills of the Trikuta Mountains famous for the Vaishno Devi Temple
- Mansar Lake — the lake is a religous site - several old temples are located nearby
- Patnitop — a small hill-station town in the Jammu Division
- Poonch — a town in the Poonch District
- Udhampur — the second-largest city in the Udhampur District