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Jammu, is a city of architectural grandeur and delight and when it comes to great structures, some of the best historical monuments are sheltered in this “City of Temples”. Some of the erstwhile structures are reminiscent of the great historical times that Jammu had witnessed across the rules of different rulers who have ruled Jammu and left a strong impact of their cultural taste on the locales of Jammu. One of such historical monuments is the Bahu fort, which is a testimony to the rich cultural elegance and architectural value of the ancient times. A visit to this place is a must and it should find a spot in your travel itinerary during your travel to Jammu.
History of Bahu Fort in Jammu
The Bahu fort was built by Raja Bahu Lochan who was the brother of the founder of the city of Jammu, Raja Jambu Lochan. This fort underwent several structural changes in order to retain its strength and beauty. The fort was originally built some three thousand years ago and was refurbished by the Dogra dynasty rulers in the 19th century. In 1585,the current fort was rebuilt, possibly at the same location as the ancient fort, by Autar Dev, the grandson of King Kapoor Dev.
This fort has undergone several demolitions and reconstructions over the years till the time, Maharaja Gulab Singh reconstructed the present fort in the 19th century, which was further refurbished during the rule of Maharaja Ranbir Singh. They first established temples for their tutelary deities; and the image of Mahakali sanctified in the temple in the fort was sourced from Ayodhya.
Landscape of Bahu Fort in Jammu
The scenic beauty of this fort is mesmerising and this breathtaking picturesque rejuvenates one’s soul in the lap of the Mother Nature. This fort is proudly positioned on a high plateau land overlooking the Tawi River on its rocky left bank. A well laid out park known as the “Bagh-e-Bahu” is developed from the erstwhile forest area that surrounds the fort. It is urbanized on the lines of the Mughal gardens from where an authoritative view of the city of Jammu can be watched. This garden is a strong attraction for the tourists.
This beautiful landscape of the Bahu Fort, the temple and the surrounding garden of Bagh-e-Bahu are located at a distance of 5 kilometres from the Jammu city centre. It is easier for the visitors to access the Bahu Fort, due to a widened city road. The city road to Surinsar was widened for providing an approach to the Oil drilling exploration project, which got shelved, but it helped the visitors get a good road to travel to these historic places.
Mahakali Temple inside Bahu Fort
There is a temple of Goddess Kali inside the fort, which was built in the 8th century. It is a tiny temple which can host a few worshipers at any given point in time. This temple attracts a lot of pilgrims and worshippers during the celebration of the festival named “Bahu Mela” which is held twice a year during the Navratras. The weekdays of Tuesday and Sunday are special days of offering puja at this temple and are thronged by huge number of devotees during these days of the week.