Jammu - A
winter capital of J&K state, is beautifully perched on the hillock at the
foothill of which flows river Tawi, often described as ‘Sureyputri’ in Holy
Scriptures and historic books. Located between 32 o44’ North and 74 55’ East
at 1200ft above sea level, Jammu city has expanded on both the banks of
river Tawi but the gilded pinnacles of several temples still add to its
striking view. The city derives its name from the legendry ruler Raja Jambulochan.
According to the most acceptable and popular legend one day the Raja while
hunting at the foothills of the Shivaliks near the picturesque Tawi River,
witnessed a tiger and goat drinking water at the same place quietly.
Fascinated by this unique sight of unparallel harmony, the king built a city
at this site which was named after him.
Initially it was be believed to
called Jamboopura but gradually it came to be known as Jammu. Historians
believe that Raja Jambulochan founded the city in the 14th century BC. The
name of jamboo figures in the historic Mahabharta and memoirs of Timur.the
two principal chronicles, Gulabnama and Rajdarshani held that Jammu kingdom
was established 3000 years ago. The historic reference to Jambu is
available in the eighth century AD when muslim saint Pir Roshan Shah Wali
came to the city. There is mention of Jambu is also found in Indian history
in late 11th century. The famous Rajtarangini also mention two
rulers of Jammu in 11th century.It is reprted that during Timur’
invasion of India, the ruler of Jambu Raja Maldev put up a brave resistance
to him. He is belivedto have built his palaces in the heart of the city at
There is not much historical evidence of the growth of city
except that the city grew around the temples and shrines constructed by
Hindus and Muslims under the patronage of different kings. Growth of city
is of medieval character with a wide bazar and narrow streets and lanes,
single storeyed buildings adjoining each other. The layout however
indicates that there has been a deliberate effort to plan the old city in an
orderly manner. The city was divided into various mohallas named after the
dominant community/caste, e.g. Malhotrian Mohalla, Afghan Mohalla, etc.
Dogra rule started in 1846 with Maharaja Gulab Singh as the
first ruler of the Dogra dynasty. Dogras made Jammu the capital of the
state to meet administrative exigencies. Maharaja Gulab Singh constructed
the old Secretariat Complex at a commanding height. Under Dogra rule, the
city transformed its medieval character to a feudal one. The seat of the
government was located at the highest point. Nobles lived in the close
proximity to the palace. The market functioned at the centre and the
lowest class of the society settled on the outskirts. This is evident from
the buildings like old secretariat and Palace Complex, Raghunath Bazar and
Gummat Bazar in the centre and Gujjar Mohalla on the banks of Tawi River.
The Dogra rulers took keen interest in the construction of temples.
Development of city centred around these temples. Mahraja Pratap Singh (1885‑1925) contributed to the physical development of
the city by constructing Tawi bridge, hospital and sadar, schools and
colleges, Silk Factory and Dak Bangalow at Residency Road and Leper Home.
He also added infrastructure on modern lines by constructing Ranbir Canal ‑
a life line for agriculture of Jammu district, power house, a pumping
station at River Tawi to supply piped water to the city and the Banihal road
connecting Jammu with Srinagar. The physical character of the city improved
considerably in a lateral form with the construction of new roads and
provision of infrastructure. This comprehensive layout of infrastructure
appears to have necessitated formation of a Municipal Council. With this,
an attempt was made to prepare a layout plan for a housing colony in Rehari,
indicating regular plots, grid‑iron pattern of road system and open spaces.
During Maharaja Hari Singh's period Development oriented
towards expansion of industry and provision of community facilities and
infrastructure alike. Aerodrome at Satwari, SMGS Hospital and Reservoir at
Parade ground were constructed. The city actually took shape in 1962 and
its municipal limits extended on both banks of Tawi River.