September 14, 2011

Bahu Fort Kali Temple - Jammu and Kashmir

Kali, the ferocious Hindu Goddess is the presiding deity for Bengalis. The Kolkata city  in Bengal state of India is famous for its Kali temple. However, Jammu, which is located in the northern part of India, also has a famous temple for Kali. Jammu, the city of temples, has a lot of huge temples. However, the presiding deity for the citizens of Jammu city is Kali, is not located in any such magnificent temple but inside the Bahu fort of Jammu city.

As per the mythology, the Bahu fort, perhaps the oldest fort of Jammu city, was built by Raja Mahalochan around 3000 years ago. It is located at a distance of around 5 kms from the city center on the banks of river Tawi. Historically, it was rebuilt by the Dogra king Maharaja Gulab Singh in 1822 CE. The Mahakali temple, located inside the fort, is the main temple for Dogra rulers as well as the people of Jammu city. This Kali temple is the second most popular Goddess temple in Jammu and Kashmir state after the popular Vaishno Devi shrine.

Although the temple, which is also called as Bawe Wala Mata temple, is very popular in this region, it is very small. The main shrine has the idol of Mahakali. She is found in the usual form of ferocious style with her tongue hanging out.

Within the main shrine, the idol of Vaishno Devi is also located. The temple has few other shrines and idols also such as Ganesh, Narasimha, Radha Krishna, Ram-Lakshman-Sita-Hanuman, Panchmukh Hanuman, Shiv Linga and Vaishno Devi. There is a separate shrine where the three main Goddesses Kali, Lakshmi and Saraswati are found together.

The animal sacrifice is still carried out in this temple. You can find the signs and symbols for the same. The temple is crowded every Tuesday and Sunday by the local pilgrims.

Happy travelling.
Fast Facts:
Site Name: Bahu Fort Kali Temple
Site Type: Temple, Fort
Location:  Jammu city, Jammu and Kashmir state, India
Highlights: The most important temple in Jammu city
Nearest Railway Station: Jammu - well connected from the cities/towns all over India
Nearest Airport: Jammu
How to reach: Train, road or air
Hotel: A lot of hotels are available in Jammu; 
Restaurants: Good restaurants are available in Jammu

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