(Mr. Iqbal Ahmad, 48, was born in Parigam Chek, Kulgam. He is a graduate with Diploma in Numismatics, Archaeology and Heritage. He is an archaeologist, writer, and a cultural historian. He is employed by the Jammu and Kashmir State Government. Mr. Iqbal Ahmad has published 12 reference books on Kashmir archaeology and heritage.)
The City That Painted Wonderfully
Jammu city, the winter capital of the state, stands on the spur of a hill over looking the picturesque river Tawi.
It is about 1.030 ft. high from the sea level. The old city spreads over more than a mile, with a population of 15,71911 people.
According to a legend the city was founded by one Raja Jamboolochan, who is said to have lived in 9th century AD. No concrete record is available of its ancient and medieval history. Records are available of Raja Ranjit Deva, son of Raja Dhruv Deva who was a Dogra chief of a Rajput family. He proclaimed himself, the ruler of Jammu in 1730 AD. Maharaja Ranjit Singh of the Punjab came to power later, Nain Kishor Singh a descendent of Raja Dhruv Deva held an eminent position in his court. His son, Gulab Singh, rendered such distinguished service to Ranjit Singh that, in 1820 the principality of Jammu was conferred on him with the hereditary title of Raja. In 1846 Gulab Singh merged Jammu and Kashmir into one state under the Dogra rule.
Although Jammu has no such natural as well as human heritage as compared to Kashmir valley still there are few places in Jammu which has some historic and natural beauty. Jammu City it self is called the city of temples. There are number of temples scene in old city. The architecture of these temples is quite different from the temples of Kashmir valley. These temples are very much close to the temples what exist into the northern India. In addition to large number of temples there are number of Mosques, Gurdwaras and Churches, the Maharajas palace at its top in the north over looks the whole city. Other worth seeing buildings in the city are the old palaces (now known as the old secretariat), the New Secretariat across the parade ground with the Gandhi Bhawan and the Gulab Bhawan in close vicinity.
Jammu is the gateway to Kashmir valley. Visitors to Kashmir have to pass through the city on their way to or back from Kashmir. They usually spend a day or two here for the city has so much to offer. It is the city of Dogras that is why it is also called Dogra Desh besides Dogras there is a good population of Muslim. Gojares and Pahari people. In 1989 most of the Kashmiri Pandits who migrated from Kashmir valley settled in Jammu. There is a good population of Sikhs too. The city of jammu I rich repository of it distinctive cultural heritage, beide other heritage jammu and it adjoing area ha been famous for rich painting heritage. It ha produced glorious minature during it ancient period. The dogra art mueum and Amar Mahal Mueum houe a rich collection of thi heritage. Thee institution have got good collection of Baoli, Dogra and Kangra painting,
Basohli paintings are among the great achievements of jammutie . The history says that Sangrampal 1635-73 son of Raja Bhupat Pal was a royal favourite in the court of Shah Jahan. During his stay at Delhi he came to known the Mughal artists and is stated to have encouraged some of them to move to Jammu. He is known as the founder of paintings Raja Amrit Pal (1757-76). The another Raja is reputed great lover of paintings.
The theme of love is prominent in the Basohli painting, besides the themes are taken from epics and Puranas, M S Randhawa, the expert gives the following description of Basohli painting, `they have vigour and the quality of frankness, vitality and vigour which is not seen elsewhere vibrant colours like yellow and red which the Basohli artists used so liberally seem to penetrate the eye and move the viewers deeply.
The Dogra painting known also the Pahari school, produced the most charming and lyrical of the Rajput paintings. The style initially was founded in late 17th Century and it flourished in 18th Century and 19th Century under the patronage of Dogra Maharajas. This style was characterized by vigorous use of primary colours.
These are actually the Dogra paintings but have been done on walls of the Dogra palaces i.e. why these are called wall paintings. Their themes are same as that of Pahari miniatures. These wall paintings are seen are seen at Purmandal, Ramnagar Rangmahal Sui Simbli and some temples in Jammu city.
These all paintings need to be preserved on modern conservation lines so that the heritage is very well preserved for the future generations