villagers in gharana wetlands near r s pura in jammu during jammu mahotsav 2019
Kashmir and Ladakh

Jammu Mahotsav- A Display of the Rich Dogri Culture

If you’re not new here, you know about my recent obsession with the beauty that Jammu is. Not Jammu and Kashmir, but just Jammu. And if you’re new here, then you probably cannot believe what your eyes are reading. Of all the places, JAMMU? Wait, hold up. Isn’t Jammu the City of Temples, and best known for Vaishno Devi? Well yes, but that’s entirely the point.

Jammu is known mostly for its temples and the important Hindu pilgrimage to Vaishno Devi, but there’s just so much more to it! And for this exact reason, The Ministry of Tourism, Jammu, took it upon them to organize the Jammu Mahotsav this year as well to boost tourism in this region, and to make tourists aware of the gems Jammu hides. Not only this, this festival also encouraged local arts and artists to come together on one stage and showcase their skills to their fellow Dogri brothers and sisters. This three days long festival, spread across multiple venues throughout the region made for a great opportunity for tourists and locals alike to explore the region of Jammu beyond its temples and Vaishno Devi.

So here’s all that went down at Jammu Mahotsav 2019 from 8th February to 10th February:

Cultural PROGRAM at Bagh-e-Bahu
dogri performance at bagh e bahu in jammu during jammu mahotsav 2019

Situated right beside the mighty Bahu Fort housing a temple of the goddess Kali Ma, the Bagh-e-Bahu is a sight to behold! This garden is located atop a hill with stunning vistas of the Tawi River, the garden is home to lush green sprawling lawns, magnificent fountains and beautiful flower beds. What serves as the perfect picnic spot for families on weekends, was made into one of the many venues of the Jammu Mahotsav. The event here saw several cultural performances including a Dogri poem recital, Dogri dance performance by a 12 year old, and local street artists showcasing their hip hop moves to the tunes of the movie Gully Boy. This, along with the various food stalls and shops selling traditional Jammu handicrafts, made for the perfect afternoon to immerse in the rich culture of the Dogris of Jammu!

Family fair at Mansar Lake
family fair at mansar lake in jammu during jammu mahotsav 2019

The venues of the Mahotsav were not only inside the Jammu City but were spread to nearby places in the regions too. This was done to extend the benefits of this festival to those living outside the city and to help city dwellers venture out of the city and explore the nearby attractions too. One such event was the grand fair organized at Mansar Lake, with swings, food stalls, souvenir stalls, henna tattoo stalls and many other activities. People from in and around Jammu City flocked to this massive lake to enjoy a lazy Saturday feeding the fish in the water, strolling in the gardens, feasting on pakoras and samosas, and offering prayers at the Sheshnag Temple.

Tour Buses to Gharana Wetlands
villagers in gharana wetlands near r s pura in jammu during jammu mahotsav 2019

Gharana Wetlands is home to a large number of migratory birds’ species that flock here in the winter months to breed and feed. The Tourism Department of Jammu put tour buses in service that took people to this Wetland Reserve near R S Pura, for the perfect fun and educational Saturday!

Suggested Read: A Photoblog from Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

CULTURAL night with live performances at Yatri Niwas
kashmiri dance performance at jammu mahotsav 2019

The grand Jammu Mahotsav ended with an even grander cultural night that saw a host of live performances by local artists, and popular singers like Shuchi Arora and Sherry Mann. The highlights of the night were undoubtedly the three dance performances showcasing the three different dance forms throughout the state of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. The night ended with an impressive laser show presenting the various beauties of the Jammu Region and calling out tourists to explore it far and wide.

Jammu is indeed a magical region, with such beautiful places that you wouldn’t have believed existed! Read: Offbeat Jammu- More Than Just Temples for a comprehensive guide.

Follow me on Instagram for more stories and photos from my adventures in Jammu and elsewhere!

We love transparency! This post was sponsored by the Department of Tourism, Jammu.

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A twenty-something solo adventurer, Avantika finds comfort in learning about various cultures, its people and listening to age-old folk tales. When not on the road, she can be found cuddled up with her dog in her room, with a book in her hand.


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