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Hiranagar Tourism

Jandi Fort in Hiranagar

Hiranagar is an ancient town located in the southern part of Kathua district. An old fort built by Raja Hira Singh is the main tourist attraction here. However, the area around the town also has few ancient temples, among which the Narshimha temple is the most well known. Let us however, start our journey with a visit to the fort.

The Jandi Fort

Jandi Fort is located on Border Road at a distance of 5 Km from the modern day Hiranagar. We do not know when Raja Hira Singh constructed this fort, but it must have been built any time between 1834 AD and 1844 AD. Once upon a time it was the pride of the Jasrota Kingdom and its founder King Hira Singh spent most of his time here. However, it was destroyed by the Sikh Force in 1845 and with that ended its days of glory. 

Jandi Fort from 1846

In 1846, the Treaty of Amritsar was signed between Maharaja Gulab Singh Dogra and British East India Company. It marked the beginning of a new chapter for this town, then known as Jasmergarh.

Soon Jesmergarh became the tehsil headquarters under the newly found Jasrota district and the fort was utilized to house some government offices including the office of Tehsildar. However, after independence in 1947, all these offices were shifted out and the fort lay abandoned and closed. A mass movement led by Swami Krishan Dev Ji Maharaj, forced the authorities to undertake partial restoration. The fort was finally opened to public. Then again in early nineties, this fort was turned into a jail for the political prisoners. This time too, there was a resistance by the local people and the jail was shifted out. Since then, visitors have unhindered access to every part of the fort. 

In 2013, that the Minister for Housing, Horticulture and Culture of Jammu & Kashmir, Raman Bhalla approved of a plan, which aims to restore Jandi Fort along with 27 other heritage sites in the region. It is expected that the work will start soon and the fort will be restored to its past glory. Nonetheless, this old and ruined force has an attraction even today. 

Attraction Inside the Fort

Temple of Mahakali inside Jandi Fort

Today, the main attraction of this fort is the temple of Mahakali. Although the present structure has been lately built, the sanctum sanctorum is said to be quite old. It is believed that the later was established during the reign of King Hira Singh. Today, one sees devotees from far and near coming to pay their homage to the Goddess. They are not only from Hiranagar or its nearby villages. People from other districts too come over to offer puja to the Mother. Devotes generally visit the temple all year around. However, the inflow touches a peak during Navaratri. Sansangs, jagrans, and other religious activities are also organized by the temple authority at this temple. 

Another important area of attraction within the fort premises is a deep well. It has beautifully carved flat bricks. One should take time to admire them. Just outside the fort premises on Sanyal Road are Mata Mahakali remains of another big well, which is surrounded by many other smaller wells. Many believe that these wells were washing platforms used by the royalty. It is also believed that the members of the royal family used to take their bath here. Their servants also used these wells to wash their clothes.. However, there is no official document to support this claim.

Other than that, the fort offers a unique ambiance that is much appreciated by the tourists. It is true that the fort is ruined; yet, the very structure evokes a sentiment that few other forts ever can. If you are in the vicinity of Hiranagar town, do take time to visit at least this fort.

Shree Anand Asharam

Shree Anand AshramThe Shree Anand Asharam is another prime attraction of Hiranagar town. It was built by Swami Dr. Omanand Maharaj as a spiritual retreat.

The ashram is located in the Suba Chawk area at the foot of a small hill. To its north it has a large and beautiful landscape; the old fort can be seen on its southeast. The surrounding echoes with the chirping of the birds.  The beautiful setting in the nature’s lap is bound to win the heart and soul of every tourist. The ambience of the place is fresh and pure and the area oozes with a spiritual aura.

Places to visit near Hiranagar

The Narsimha/Narsingh Temple in Ghagwal is another place to visit. It was built in 1600 AD and houses the idols of Narshimha Avtar, Narshimha Roop and Devi Annapurna under one roof. The Jinda Samadhi of Bawa Narhari Das Ji Maharaj is also located close to the temple. Fairs are arranged in this temple on every Janamasthmi, Makar Sakranti and Ratha Khara. If you are interested in local handicraft you may visit these fairs. 

Border Area near Hiranagar

Besides, you can also go to the border area and see the fences demarcating Indo Pakistan border. If you go there you will see our brave jawans standing guard along the border. Indeed, such a scene may evoke different kinds of emotion in you.

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