From the main city, I took a five-minute ride in my then favorite driver Kabir’s car to Bahu Fort and Garden in Jammu. To explain the previous sentence, I must add that the friendly banter of the man finally had softened me and I had even come close to enjoying it. After all, it was always appreciable to have a driver cum guide in tours like those. So, to quote him, I was being taken to the ‘Bave Wali Mata’ as the locals referred to the place. If only my mother could have seen me worshipping in two simultaneous temples, I would have surely gained brownie points from her.
What caught my attention first about the place was the fact that the fort was built on a high platform, thus making the views on every side worth watching. While on one side was the Tawi river flowing, another view gave a spectacular glimpse of the entire city of Jammu from that height. The entire vegetation around the fort had been developed into a Mughal-like garden area, which attracted a fair amount of tourists. If Kabir’s stories were to be attached with any credence, then he maintained that the fort and the temple there had been constructed by the two Raja Lochan brothers about 3,000 years ago because they once witnessed a goat and a tiger there drinking water together without the tiger attacking the goat, which they considered as a divine signal for peaceful coexistence. So, they had their capital shifted there and the fort built.
The temple was in white marble and was also popularly called the Shakti temple. Well, I had read it somewhere that the temple had animal sacrifices in its premise in the past but it was no longer observed and now the animal may have some holy water sprinkled over it with some religious chanting but was let free after that. Some stories and some facts at Bahu Fort and Garden in Jammu, I had had my fill of it but as the day wore off, I looked forward to my stay in Fortune Inn Riviera, Jammu Hotel.