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Jammu

Jammu pronunciation is one of the three regions comprising the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Jammu borders Kashmir, the disputed part of the state, to the north, Ladakh to the east, Himachal Pradesh to the south. Sandwiched between the Vale of Kashmir to the north and the Daman Koh Plains to the south, the Shivalik Range comprises most of the region of Jammu. The Pir Panjal Range, the Trikuta Hills and the low-lying Tawi River basin adds beauty and diversity to the terrain of Jammu.

Home to some of the most popular Hindu shrines, such as Vaishno Devi, Jammu is one of the most famous pilgrimage tourism destinations in India. Once a seat of the Dogra Rajput dynasty, Jammu came under the control of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in the 19-century and became a part of the Sikh Kingdom. Maharaja Ranjit Singh soon appointed Gulab Singh the ruler of Jammu. After the defeat of The Sikh Kingdom by the British, the bankrupt Sikh court transferred the entire hill country to the British as war reparations. Not having the resources to occupy the hills immediately after annexing parts of Punjab, the British recognized Maharaja Gulab Singh, the strongest ruler north of the Sutlej River, as ruler of Jammu & Kashmir. But for this he had to pay a sum of Rs. 75 Lakhs in cash...this payment being legal as the Maharaja was a former vassal of the Sikh Kingdom and was partly responsible for its treaty obligations. Maharaja Gulab Singh is thus creditited as the founder of Jammu and Kashmir. After his descendant Maharaja Hari Singh, the last ruler of Jammu and Kashmir, signed the Instrument of Accession in 1947, Jammu became 'a part' of the Union of India.

Jammu enjoys the status of an administrative division within the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Jammu city, the largest city in the region, is the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir. The majority of Jammu's 2.7 million population practices Hinduism , while Islam and Sikhism enjoy a strong cultural heritage in the region. Due to relatively better infrastructure, Jammu has emerged as the main economic center of the state.

History of Jammu

Many historians and locals believe that Jammu was founded by Raja Jamboolochan in 14th century BC. During one of his hunting campaigns he reached the Tawi River where he saw a goat and a lion drinking water at the same place. The king was impressed and decided to set up a town after his name, Jamboo. With the passage of time, the name was corrupted and became "Jammu". The city name figures in the ancient book Mahabharata. Excavation near Akhnoor, 20 miles from Jammu city, provides evidence that Jammu was once a part of the Harappan civilization.

Remains from the Maurya, Kushan, Kushanshahs and Gupta periods have also been found in Jammu. After 480 AD the area was dominated by the Hephthalites and ruled from Kapisa and Kabul. They were succeeded by the Kushano-Hephthalite dynasty from 565 to 670 AD, then by the Shahi from 670 to the early 1000s, when the Shahi were destroyed by the Ghaznavids.

Jammu is also mentioned in the campaigns of Timur. The area witnessed the change of control from the invading Mughals and Sikhs before finally falling under the control of the British. After independence it became a part of the Indian republic the direct successor of India itself following a bitter Kashmir war. It is said that in olden times the area now known to be as Jammu and Kashmir across the river Tawi was thick forest and was inhibited by wild animals. Once ruler of Bahu state, Raja Jambu Lochan came for hunting in this area and witnessed a Asiatic lion and a lamb drinking water at a small distance from each other on a lake. Having more satisfied their thirst, they went their own ways. The Raja was amazed and abandoned the idea of hunting and returned to his companions. Expressing what he had seen, exclaimed that this place is a place of peace and tranquillity, where a lion and a lamb can drink water side by side. The Raja commanded a palace to be built at this place and a city to be built at this place and a city to be founded around it. Thus, a city in the name of Jambu Lochan was developed and was named Jambu-Nagar which then later changed into Jammu later.

Jambu Lochan was the brother of Raja Bahu Lochan who had constructed a fort on the bank of river Tavi. Bahu fort is one of the famous historical places of Jammu.

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