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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

What is the history and culture of Jammu?

Kshitiz Ahuja DEC 10 2012
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Are you one of those travellers who could perhaps travel to a destination solely for its history and culture, Indiana Jones style? Undoubtedly, the past of a city and its present culture will add a whole new dimension to your holiday, adding the charm of an era gone by. The same is true for Jammu too, whose origins date back a couple of thousand years. Journey through the fascinating past of Jammu and be prepared to be enchanted:

  • Origins and Through the Ages
    The city of Jammu takes its name from its first ruler, Raja Jambu Lochan, who is believed to have established the city in 1475 BCE. The legend surrounding the establishment of the city goes like this - the king, while on a hunting trip, saw a tiger and goat drink water side-by-side from the river Tawi. After they quenched their thirsts, both animals walked their own way, without the tiger attacking the goat. At this sight, the king abandoned all ideas of hunting and told his companions that this incident could only mean that complete peace and harmony resides here. It is then that he decided to set up the city of Jambu Nagar, which later came to be known as Jammu.

    Archaeological excavations have revealed that the area in and around Jammu city was once home to ancient Harappan civilisations and the city even finds mention in the Indian epic, Mahabharata. Some remains also point towards the presence of Mauryan and Gupta dynasties, among the several rulers who ruled over the region, including the Ghaznavids and the Shahis. The most long-staying dynasty here was the Dev Dynasty, which ruled over the city for over 900 years, right up till 1816 CE. During this time, the ancient history of Jammu in terms of its monuments and its development were in ruins, until the Dogra Dynasty revived it post-1816.

    The Dogra kingdom revived many old monuments and shrines, established new ones including mosques, set up educational institutions and brought Jammu up-to-date with the modern world. This dynasty had perhaps the maximum influence on the culture and lifestyle in Jammu, in terms of cuisine, clothing, language and even religious rituals. The Dogra dynasty stayed in power until the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir merged with independent India in 1952.

  • After India's Independence
    Jammu and Kashmir (J & K) was one of the few states to retain its princely status after India's independence in 1947. The troubled history of the state, and its winter capital city, Jammu, by extension led to dissolution of monarchy in J & K and the eventual merging with the Indian state in 1952. Ever since, the entire state has been strife-ridden and has been quite a bone of contention between India and its neighbour, Pakistan. Jammu as a city remains under the rule of the Indian and state government. Political strife can be seen in the widespread presence of the Indian military forces in the region, a phenomenon that dictates the lifestyle in Jammu.

  • Jammu and it's people today
    With its fascinating historic backdrop, Jammu has progressed leaps and bounds, so much in fact, that it has one of the highest Human DevelopmentIndex in the country. The city now offers a unique blend of a beautiful folk culture with modern-day developments. The people retain bits of their past in their modest, simple lives, living close to nature despite all the urbanisation. This is particularly evident in the blend of Hindu and Islamic cultures in cuisines, apparel and handicrafts, even in names perhaps. You'll get pure vegetarian food in keeping with the Hindu religion and some downright amazing mutton dishes to honour the Islamic influences on the region. A largely Hindu state, the city also has a great number of residents of Islamic origin. People converse in Dogri, Kashmiri, Hindi and Urdu largely, with English also becoming prominent thanks to tourism.

Feel like all this is too much gyaan? Experience the culture and history of Jammu for yourself and you'll find that you can't stop raving about it! Happy holidays!

With the best things to do in Jammu and Kashmir, you'll be able to get a better grasp of its culture and history.

Find out about the best trains going to Jammu at the IRCTC train enquiry page on Ixigo.

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