People And Culture of Jammu

Jammu region is home to several ethnic communities which follow traditional life-styles with distinctive cultures of their own. Among these communities, the Dogras constitute the dominant group. They are mainly concentrated in the outer hill and outer plain zones covering Kathua, Udhampur and Jammu districts and the lower parts of Rajouri district. A martial community by tradition, their folklore centres on eulogies for war heroes, both legendary and historical. Even the region’s architectural heritage, comprising elaborate castles and hilltop fortifications that are visible everywhere, bespeak the community' s long-drawn preoccupation with battles and ruling of distant lands. Yet the region’s history is not completely bereft of traditions of art and culture. Thus, while the troops fought battles in distant areas, the royalty and the nobility nurtured art and culture. The Pahari miniature paintings that have justly become famous throughout India, are the finest examples of their artistic achievements.

The second largest ethnic group of the region is formed by the Gujjars, a semi-nomadic people living along the hill slopes of Doda and Rajouri districts while in Poonch they also dominate the main valleys. Some of them have settled down to agriculture, but the majority are primarily herdsmen. They cultivate maize along the slopes of the mountains, but only as a secondary occupation.

The Bhalessa tract enveloping the adjoining hills of Chamba in Himachal Pradesh, is inhabited by the Gaddis, another semi-nomadic community, who graze immense flocks of goats and sheep along the Himalayan slopes. As summer draws on, the Gaddis move up the mountain pastures with their flocks, and return to the lower area with the first snowfall. Gaddis are generally associated with emotive music played on the flute.

The most interesting ethnic community, however, is that of the Bakkarwals, a wholly nomadic pastoral people who move all along the Himalayan slopes from the south to the north, always in search of pastures for their huge flocks of goat and sheep. Every summer, they move en-block across the various mountain ranges as far as the Suru Valley in the Ladakh region. They are an ancient people, the majority following the lifestyle that their ancestors have been leading throughout the ages. The Bakkarwals tend to sacrifice all personal comforts for the welfare of their goats and sheep, their economic mainstay.

People of Jammu
Jammu is not only beautiful because of its breathtaking natural beauty but also the warmth and love of the people in Jammu makes it beautiful. Amongst the diverse races in Jammu, the Dogras are one of the significant people.The Dogras are the Aryan descendants who speak Dogri language which is a mixture of Sanskrit, Punjabi and Persian. Another significant achievement of the Dogras is the Basohli School of paintings which has made an immense contribution to the Indian paintings. Besides Dogras the Brahmins are also there who are mainly engaged in agriculture.The Chibbalis and the Sudans are also one of the Muslim martial races. Khatris and Majhajans in Jammu follow trade and commerce while the Harijans are also there. The Paharis are the warm and friendly people who are mentally and physically quite strong. The Kishtawari populations are quite simple village folk who still believe in age old superstitions and lead a simple life. Uniqueness in people, culture and lifestyle in Jammu is visible in every sphere.

Lifestyle of People
People, culture and lifestyle in Jammu is quite diverse and has a rich variety which allures the tourists. Globalization has changed the lifestyle of all the cities and Jammu is no different but still it has retained its unique charm and vintage flavor. Jammu is now slowly on its way to modernization but there are certain things which remain inherent to Jammu. Most of the Muslim women wear burqa and phiran is the traditional dress of the womenfolk.

Jammu is famous for its art and craft and there are a number of handicrafts industries of Jammu and Kashmir that flourish in Jammu. There are a number of open air markets which sells exquisite items. Jammu is also called the land of temples and people here are quite religious and God fearing. From Islam to Buddhism, Jammu strengthens the kaleidoscopic fabric of India.