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Timings : 5:00 AM - 10:00 PM

Time Required : 2-3 hrs

Entry Fee : Adult: INR 10
Child: INR 5

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Bahu Fort, Jammu Overview

Jammu is referred to as the Gateway to Heaven, and the impeccable beauty and magnificence of the Bahu Fort surely stand to be a significant contributing factor. Located only 5 km from the central part of the city, the Bahu Fort stands tall and sturdy on the left bank of the Tawi River. Raja Bahucholan constructed this magnificent fort over 3000 years ago, making it one of the oldest monument in the city. The Dogra rulers then made some restorations and renovations to the fort and extended its reach. 

Legend says that the construction of the city of Jammu itself and that of the Bahu Fort are connected and are mutually inclusive events. Raja Jambu Lochan, then reigning king of the region, went on a hunting trip. This trip is where history was made for the city because, during this journey, the Raja witnessed a very curious and mind-boggling event- he saw a tiger and a goat drinking water by the Tawi River; side by side, together, calmly and peacefully, without the slightest attempt of attack by the tiger. He thought to himself that undoubtedly this was a divine location and decided to establish his new capital here - a place that signified peaceful coexistence. Later, his brother, Bahu Lochan, built the mighty Bahu Fort here.

This fort is also famous for its Goddess Kali temple. The people of Jammu worship Goddess Kali, a reincarnation of Goddess Parvati and a potent symbol of motherly love enhanced by insurmountable feminine energy. Inside the Bahu Fort is a temple dedicated to the great Goddess Kali. The locals often refer to this temple as Bave Wali Mata Temple.

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History of Bahu Fort

According to ancient records, the Bahu Fort has a connection with both, Bahu Lochan and Raja Jambu Lochan, who were the sons of King Agnigarbha II of the Suryavanshi dynasty. The eldest of the 18 sons of King Agnigarbha II, Bahu Lochan, has been accredited for the development of the city of Jammu as well as the Bahu Fort, giving a reason to name the fort so. However, the fort was eventually rebuilt in 1585 in the same location by Autar Singh, King Kapoor Dev's grandson.

The grand fort has been reconstructed, renovated, restored and repaired by many rulers from different dynasties from time to time. However, the current and final version of Bahu fort was built by Maharaja Gulab Singh in the very recent 19th century with minor changes made by Maharaja Ranbir Singh during his rule.

Architecture of Bahu Fort

Located on a high plateau land on the banks of the Tawi River and surrounded by blankets of green, the Bahu Fort stands 325 meters tall as a sign of power and prowess. The Mughal architecture of the fort is truly admirable and compels you to stop and stare at its artistic appeal. The interior architecture mainly revolves around ostentatious arches and intricate floral design carvings. The structure of the fort was initially built with bricks and limestone, but after all the rebuilding is currently made of high-quality sandstone.

The entrance of the fort is magnanimous, so intimidating and massive that it can allow an elephant to stroll inside without any difficulty of fitting in. The Bahu Fort is equipped with a royal stable, an enormous lake for boating, and a cable car system. The thick and sturdy walls of the fort are connected by eight octagonal towers that are hollowed with an enclosed space for the use of house guards who need to keep an eye out for any potential threats to the kingdom.

The fort also houses a beautiful 15 feet deep pond which lies adjacent to a pyramidal structure, which was mainly used to store arms and ammunitions. An underground prison chamber is also built under the fort to hold the enemy troops or captured spies. Like all other forts, the Bahu Fort was also created for protection against enemies and other potential threats; and hence it is equipped with a secret passageway in the event of an emergency or the need for a quick escape.


A lush green manicured garden called Bagh-e-Bahu envelopes the fort in its scenic wrap. The terraced garden is full of beautiful fountains, dense tall trees and colorful flowers. Butterflies fluttering from flower to flower and dragonflies dancing away; the Bagh-e-Bahu is a perfect spot for a family picnic or get-together with friends.

The garden is decorated with aesthetic stone sculptures that fit in perfectly with the green background. An artificial waterfall glistens in the sun and murmurs calming vibrations in the ears of the onlooker. Bagh-e-Bahu makes for the perfect front of such a majestic and royal edifice such as the Bahu Fort.

Mahakali Temple

The temple is dedicated to Jammu's presiding deity, Goddess Maha Kali. Raised on a 3.9 feet high platform, it is built entirely in white marble at the centre of which rests Goddess Maha Kali's idol in pure black stone. The area of the temple can only accommodate a few devotees at a time, and so hundreds of devotees stand in beelines to await their turn to be able to soak themselves entirely in the light and nurture of the great goddess.

Previously, the goddess was offered animal sacrifice. However, now the priest sprinkles holy water on the sheep or goat of slaughter and then sets it free, as a symbolic rendition of the sacrifice. This ritual is called 'Shilly Charana'. Many devotees firmly believe that it is the deity residing in the Bahu Fort that protects the city of Jammu from Pakistani air attacks.

The Maha Kali temple is always surrounded by Rhesus Monkeys, which are an active constituent of Jammu city's wildlife. As playful as they seem, they will snatch any camera, phone and especially snack that they might see you carrying. So be sure to tuck away any such perceivable playthings when around these monkeys. They are not harmful otherwise.

Bahu Mela

The festival of Navratri is celebrated in a colourful and joy-filled manner, twice a year- March/April and September/October, inside this very fort. It is an auspicious and fun-filled festival for the locals, and it attracts a lot of pilgrims.

Tips For Visiting Bahu Fort

Don't play around with monkeys. They can create a problem for you.

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