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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

Which are the popular religious sites in Jammu?

Nitin Gurha DEC 10 2012
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Answer: The pious side of you will never take a backseat in Jammu, with religious sites always close at hand. Dubbed as the city of temples, you can see the city dotted with large and small shrines, each with a little story of its own. This part of Jammu and Kashmir is largely Hindu, so most temples are dedicated to Hindu gods and goddesses. Some of the popular places where you can offer your prayers are:

  • Raghunath Temple

    Built between 1835 and 1860 by Maharaja Gulab Singh, this temple complex with 7 shrines is one of the largest in northern India. The main deities in the shrines all revolve around the famous Indian epic of Ramayana. The central is of course Lord Rama, or Raghunathji, the presiding deity of the Dogra dynasty. Devotees flock to this temple to witness the sacred Hindu rituals, including daily pujas and aartis. Intricately built with several galleries and saligrams, this temple is situated right in the middle of the city of Jammu and is thus a popular temple among devotees and tourists.

  • Vaishno Devi (Katra)

    Visit the magical and scenic Mata Vaishno Devi cave-shrine, after a 14 km steep, hilly trek from Katra (50 km from Jammu), while enthusiastically chanting Jai Mata Di with other pilgrims. Pay your respects to Maa Vaishno Devi, a reincarnation of Goddess Shakti, and soak yourself in all its legend and culture. There are three Pindis at the temple representing three Goddesses- namely Maha Saraswati, Maha Lakshmi and Maha Kali. Picturesque surroundings and the verdant, green surroundings keep company to tourists and pilgrims on their journey to the temple.

    Most pilgrims prefer to take the train till Jammu and then opt for either buses or cabs till Katra. Buses ply at a good frequency of 10 to 15 minutes and are a cheaper alternative to cabs. From Jammu, it takes about 1 - 1.5 hrs, depending on the traffic and the mode of travel you choose. The best time to visit this shrine is during the months of
    March to October, even though the temple is open for devotees all throughout the year. Pilgrims must also remember to leave behind any leather shoes or accessories as these are forbidden at the shrine.

  • Peer Kho Cave

    Another one surrounding the epic of Ramayana, it is believed that Jamvant, the bear god, meditated in this cave. The temple is now dedicated to Lord Shiva, with a lingam inside the shrine as a mark of devotion to the main deity. On the banks of River Tawi, this one has a unique, ancient charm to it.

  • Ranbireshwar Temple

    Right next to Peer Kho Temple, this temple is also situated along the banks of River Tawi and is intricately linked with the royal history of Jammu. Built by Maharaja Ranbir in 1883, the temple is named after him although the central deity of the temple is Lord Shiva. The beauty and magnificence of the temple lies in the 12 crystal Shiva lingams, each measuring between 12 and 18", all surrounding a massive 7.5 feet lingam as a tribute to Lord Shiva. This one is located on Shalimar Road, right next to the New Secretariat.

Experience the almighty here, surrounded by his best creation - the absolutely serene natural landscapes - and you're sure to go back home feeling transformed!

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