Jammu is known for its outstanding historic Hindu temples, but the temple mostly comes to our mind when we think about Jammu is Raghunath Temple. The temple not only shows the spirituality of rulers of Jammu but also shows the richness of the state and Dogra culture. The temples of Jammu are the most important historic and Hindu mythology temples in India.
This Hindu temple is the identity of the Jammu city, situated in the heart of Jammu city. The market around this temple is known as the Raghunath market. It is the most famous and crowded market of Jammu city. There are many Dry fruits and handicraft shops around the temple. The environment in and around the temple is very spiritual.
History of Raghunath Temple
The construction work of the temple was started in 1835 by the Dogra Ruler Maharaja Gulab Singh, but the temple was not completely built-in his life span. After that, Maharaja Ranbir Singh, son of Gulab Singh, laid the final stone. Rulers of Jammu built so many temples in Jammu, and this is one of the most important of them.
Connection with Ayodhya
There is a story behind this temple. Shri Ram Dass Bairagi, a saint from Ayodhya, came to Jammu to spread the teachings of Hinduism. He forecast about Maharaja Gulab Singh that he will be the king of Jammu. After finding his Prediction right, Gulab Singh was impressed by him. Shri Ram Dass Bairagi is the follower of Lord Rama. Therefore, Maharaja Gulab Singh built this temple and worshiped.
Magnificent Characteristics of the Temple
Raghunath temple has Seven Shrines in its premises. It is the biggest temple of Lord Rama in Northern India. The inner three walls of the temple are covered with Gold, which shows the faith of Rulers in Hinduism, and it also shows how rich was the state. The rulers of Jammu worshipped hindu gods and goddesses, which is reflected in these temples. There was no evidence or even a story where rulers of Jammu Torture his Praja. People of Jammu are also followers of Hinduism. That’s why these temples are still in excellent condition, which is not possible without the devotion and worship of peoples of Jammu.
The seven sacred shrines in the temple represent different characters of Ramayana and Mahabharata. In the main central part, Garb Greh is of Lord Rama shrine with Lakshman and Sita Mata statue. There were also other sculptures of Lord Hanuman and Maharaja Ranbir Sing in the entrance of the temple.
There are four rooms in the temple representing the four most important Pilgrim places of Hinduism (Char Dham). i.e Rameshwaram, Dwarkadheesh, Badrinath, and Kedarnath. They are constructed in such a way that all of them can be seen from one direction.
Raghunath Temple has all the Lingams of 33 crores Devi Devtas (deities) in the premises. The architecture of the temple is fascinating. Mughal Architecture inspires the front of the temple, and the inner premises are inspired by Sikh architecture. There is also a Sanskrit Library on the premises, which has all the books related to Hinduism and various manuscripts.
Raghunath temple terror attack
Raghunath Temple Jammu also faced a terror attack on 24 November 2002. When some devotees were praying in the temple, some terrorists of Lashkar-e-Taiba entered the temple premises and blasted it. Result in 13 deaths and several injured.
After this, the temple was closed for 11 years and was reopened in 2013. But the people of Jammu stood against all evils, and once again, activities started in the temple. The prayers were performed two times a day, Morning and Evening.
Raghunath temple is situated on the bank of river Tawi in Jammu and Kashmir. There were many deity temples built on the bank of Tawi, and it is one of them. The temple is in the heart of Jammu city. Temple is at some elevation from the city, but now it is covered with the market. Due to this, the geographical location changes a bit with time. Raghunath market is also very beautiful. It is recommended to visit the temple by walking through this market, although the transport connectivity to the temple is excellent.
There were many temples nearby Raghunath temple Jammu which were also the heritage of Jammu most of these are dedicated to Lord Shiva temples. These temples are :
- Bawe wali Mata temple
- Ranbireshwar temple
- Maha Maya Temple
- Panchbakhtar Temple
- Peer Kho Cave Temple
- Aap Shambhu Temple
- Kol Kandoli Mata Mandir
How to Reach
National Highway (NH-44) passes by, Jammu to Raghunath temple distance is a walk distance of 2.4Km from Jammu Bus stand, or you can also hire a taxi or auto rickshaw. The Jammu Tawi Railway Station is also approaching. The distance of Raghunath temple from the Jammu railway station is 6.1km. Buses connectivity to the Railway station is also very good. There is also an Airport at (Satwari), Jammu airport to Raghunath temple distance is only about 7.8km.
Many people visit the temple because they were in Jammu for the pilgrimage of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi. Katra to Raghunath temple distance is about 47km by bus, or you can also choose Railways to visit here.
The temple is open from 6 A.M to 8 P.M every day. It will take about 2 to 3 hours for the complete darshan of the temple. Arti (Puja) is performed every morning and evening by pandits and worshippers. Cameras are not allowed in the premises.
There were many hotels around the temple. The hotels are in full range budget to 5-star hotels, and you will not find it difficult to search for your needs. There were also Oyo hotel rooms available in the city. The bank ATMs are also near to the temple. You will also find many restaurants and shops which will serve you tasty local food of Jammu like Kaladi, Rajma Chawal, Kulcha, etc.
Raghunath temple is one of the most important temples of Dogra Culture, and the Hindu god temples have its place in every heart of Dogri speaking people, who were the devote of Hindu God and Goddess because they believe in Hindu religion. It represents the Dogra Culture in every possible way. It’s a heritage of Jammu, and people of Jammu need to protect it in every possible way as they are doing this from generations. The Archeological Department is also doing its work in every possible way to keep our Heritages in good condition. In the end, I will say being a Dogra, I feel honored to take birth in this rich culture and the city of temples.