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The City of Grand Ancient Temples and Beautiful Palaces famous for its landscape, majestic mountains, enchanting rivers and gardens, Jammu is the second largest town in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The district is situated on the south-eastern slopes of the Shivalik range. Tucked away in the foothills of the Himalayas, Jammu is situated 290 km from Srinagar. The picturesque river Tawi also contributes a lot to the natural beauty of the region.
Vaishnodevi shrine is one of the most revered place in India and is located over the Trikuta Hills at a height of 1700 m in Katra (48 km from Jammu). The temple is built in a cave, 30 m long and just 1.5 m high. The temple is devoted to Mother Goddess (Maa Vaishno) and her three forms- Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasarasvati. The 13 km route to the Vaishno Devi shrine from Katra is on a steep hill, a perfect trekking trail too.
Located 62 km from Jammu, fringed by forest covered hills, the beautiful Mansar lake is known for several sacred values as well and is visited for Hindu rituals, be it the Mundan ceremony (First hair cut) of any baby or three circumambulations ('Parikrama') around the lake by the newly weds. People also take a holy dip in the water of the lake on festive occasions. This holy lake is a much sought after place because of the ancient shrine of Sheshnag (a mythological snake with six heads) on the eastern bank and the ancient temples of Umapati Mahadev & Narsimha and Goddess Durga. The lake is also an ideal spot for boating.
Located just 5 km from Jammu, on the left bank of the river Tawi, Bahu Fort boasts of being the oldest existing fort in the region also has religious values. A famous temple of "Bave wali Mata", devoted to Goddess Kali, is located inside the Bahu Fort. This highly revered temple is considered second to Mata Vaishno Devi in terms of mystical power. The fort is surrounded by Bagh-E-Bahu, a famous Mughal garden..
Raghunath temple, with its seven shrines, boasts of being the largest temple complex in northern India. The temple work was started in 1835 by Maharaja Gulab Singh and was completed by his son Maharaja Ranbir Singh in 1860. All the surrounding shrines are devoted to various Gods and Goddesses connected with the epic Ramayana. Another attraction of the temple is the inner wall covered with gold sheet on three side.