Jammu Development Authority
 
 
 
 

 

Jammu - A Historical Perspective               

Jammu, 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 Purani Mandi.             

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.