Bahu Fort is a beautiful monument located at Jammu. The fort is said to have built 3000 years ago by Raja Bahu Lochan. It is said that once Raja Jambu Lochan (brother of Raja Bahu Lochan) was on a hunting trip and he noticed that a tiger and a goat were drinking water from the river without the tiger attacking the goat. Considering it as a sign of peaceful coexistence of the beings and he decided to establish his new capital at this place.
Bahu Fort is a famous tourist attraction of the city of Jammu. Major attractions of the Fort include the Mahakali Temple, Bagh e Bahu and the aquarium.
Bahu Fort is situated on a plateau facing the left bank of the river Tawi. One can enjoy the panoramic view of the city from here. This beautiful monument is just about 5km away from Jammu city center.
Bahu fort was built and improved upon by many rulers. The Fort has said to have been the residence of the Dogra Royalties. The Fort has octagonal towers that are connected by strong walls. The main entryway is built in such a way that the passage of elephants is convenient.
There is an underground chamber in the fort which served as a prison. The underground chamber also has a secret passage (exit) which was meant for times of emergency.
Its first floor is built like a Baradari, having beautiful arches that are adorned with floral designs. The forest around the fort is converted into a beautiful Mughal style garden called Bagh e Bahu.
The fort was improved upon by the Dogra ruler Raja Gulab Singh in the 18th century. Bahu Fort has a beautiful temple called Bawe Wali Mata Mandir which is dedicated to the goddess Kali. The devotees consider it auspicious to visit the temple on Tuesdays and Sundays.
The Mahakali temple built inside the fort is said to have originally built in the 8th or 9th century. However, by the appearance, the temple looks relatively moderns. The temple is situated on a raised platform and is built with white marbles. The size of the temple is small and it can accommodate only a few devotees at a time.
In the olden days, the act of Pashu Bali i.e. animal sacrifice was practiced in the temple. This act is now discontinued.
Behind the fort, there is a temple, called Maha Maya Temple. This temple is situated in the city forest. MahaMaya is the local goddess of the Dogras, it said that the goddess lost her life fighting the invaders about 14 centuries ago.
Another attraction of the Fort is the Aquarium. Ever since its opening, it has been a popular attraction for tourists. The entrance of the aquarium is shaped like a fish’s mouth and the exit is shaped like a fish’s tail.
This aquarium is the largest in the subcontinent. It has 24 aquarium caves; 2 big caves for marine water fishes, 13 smaller ones for freshwater fishes, 9 medium-sized caves for holding fresh and marine water fishes.
This aquarium has a Public gallery, state of the art equipment, museum, multimedia conference hall and a laboratory. In the museum, about 4000 types of marine and freshwater fished are on display.
Also read about the other amazing places of Jammu & Kashmir Martand Sun Temple, Amarnath, Parihaspora , Avantipur Temple, Hari Parbat , Narastan Temple , Dal Lake , Pari Mahal, Hemis Monastery, Thiksey Monastery