~By Anu. I've just returned from my native place, Jammu. Wikipedia says, in olden times, the area around the river Tawi was thick with forest. One day, the ruler of Bahu state, Raja Jambu Lochan, came hunting... and reportedly saw a lion and a lamb drinking water together.
Exclaiming it to be a place of peace and tranquility, he ordered a palace to be built at the site (a good way to destroy the peace if you ask me). Thus, a city called 'Jambu-Nagar' was built, which later came to be known as Jammu.
I've always known Jammu to be a noisy, crowded trading town where gaunt, dusty porters with steel trunks on their backs compete with auto-rickshaws, impudent scooters, imposing bulls and endless streams of colorful pedestrians in the city's narrow lanes. My grandfather's house is in the old bazaar, Purani Mandi, across from the Government Boy's School, where my parents and most of my aunts and uncles were married.
As kids, we were always taken to Bagh-e-Bahu, a Mughal garden on the eastern side of the Tawi river, for picnics. We were also made to climb up to Bahu Fort, a temple whose entrance is perpetually lined with beggars and cheeky rhesus monkeys who will snatch food and cameras if not voluntarily given their fair share.