Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir is the fourth largest city of the state. Udhampur Town forms the headquarters of this district. Encircled with lush green eucalyptus trees, the city rests on the foothills of Shivalik ranges, which are part of the mighty Himalayas. Udhampur is also the northern command headquarters of Indian army and forms an important transit point between Jammu and Srinagar.

This city holds a magnificent religious importance due to proximity to Vaishno Devi shrine near Katra and is a major halting ground for most of travellers visiting the holy shrine. Other attractions of this town are Gole Market, Devika Ghats, Jhakani Park, Ramnagar Chowk and many more. Despite being a relatively smaller city, Udhampur has been an important destination in many of the travellers list due to its serenity and secluded environment.

As a District

Udhampur district has its main administrative headquarters at Udhampur town. The district comprises seven tehsils and seven blocks. The blocks are further divided into panchayats under them. A majority of people staying here follow Hindu religion. Most of them belong to the Dogra community. This place is also populated by nomadic Gujjars and Bakharwals. The district is quite elaborative in terms of administration and has divided all areas of jurisdiction accordingly.


Situated in Shivalik ranges of Himalaya, the topography of this district is mostly hilly. Due to this fact, the upper areas of this region receive a fair amount of snowfall during winters. The city is developed on a comparatively flatter terrain at an elevation of 756 meters. Udhampur is 70 km ahead of Jammu city and Katra is around 25 km from Udhampur.

The main rivers flowing through Udhampur are Chenab, Ans, Tawi and Ujh. The soils are rich with minerals such as coal, bauxite, gypsum and limestone.


There are many Hindu shrines and temples in Udhampur city but the major tourist attraction is the Vaishno Mata Temple in Katra region, which invites tourists all year round. So much is the power and belief in the goddess that believers walk for 14 km on the hilly pathway to reach the main temple.

Devika River

Devika is believed to be the younger sister of the Ganges. According to Nilmat puran written in the 7th century, Devika River is the incarnation of goddess Parvati who appeared on Shivratri to benefit the people of Mader Desha. Lord Shiva has rested alongside the course of the river in the form of 8 Shiva lingas. By only touching its waters, Devika River is supposed to fulfil all spiritual needs. Cremation on its banks is equivalent cremating on the banks of Ganges in Kashi. Devika River can be accessed by a 2 km drive from Udhampur city and there is private accommodation available to stay for a night.

The Temples of Kiramchi

Located 12 km from Udhampur, Kiramchi is a village fed by two streams, namely the Birunala and Kiramchi. There are five temples and two small shrines built on a flat area on the Birunala. It is said that Kiramchi was a halting place on a route Jammu-Kashmir via Banihal. Others believe that the Pandavas from the Mahabharata laid foundation of this place. Kiramchi was possibly also the capital of Bhuti. But later on it was won by Maharaja Ranjit Singh from one of the descendents of Bhuti, after which Bhuti was awarded to Raja Gulab Singh.

Ramnagar Fort

Ramnagar Fort can be reached after a drive 40 km from the city of Udhampur. The fort was the property of Raja Suchet Singh. Raja Suchet Singh was a great lover of art and he built Sheesh Mahal, Purana Mahal and Nawa Mahal and renovated the fort inside out. There is a Samadhi of queen of Raja Suchet Singh who performed sati in the yard of this fort after the death of Maharaja Suchet Singh in 1844. The fort has been renovated by the state tourism corporation also.

Sudh Mahadev and Mantalai Temple

Sudh Mahadev Temple is the place where goddess Parvati used to worship Lord Shiva. There is a small pond known as Gauri Kund, where after taking a bath she would worship the idol of lord Shiva. Devak, a stream of underground water flows through is supposed to be pious. The place is around 42 km from Udhampur and can be accessed via a bus or private taxi. Just ahead of Mahadev Temple is Mantalai temple, where Lord Shiva and Parvati got married. Naina Devi is another shrine which is a 5 km trek from Mantalai. It is situated between green deodar trees and offers magnificent views from the hill top.

Pingla Mata

Situated on a small hill in Pinger village is Pingla Mata. The place is a 20 km drive from Udhampur and about 6 km away from village Kaua on Domail-Ramnagar road. This shrine is a small cave through which a light can be seen glowing, which is believed to be Pingla Mata. A small trek has to be undertaken to reach the shrine.

Legends associated with this place state that there were some shepherds who brought their cattle to graze in the forest. They were fed by a young girl daily but she had warned them not to disclose this to anyone at home. One day their parents decided to follow them and saw that after giving food the girl used to disappear. Another story says that a group of hunters saw a lion entering into a cave, they immediately burnt the mouth of the cave using tree wood. They saw the lion coming out of the cave even after burning the entrance. This light can be still seen in the shrine.

Moungri Temple

This is a Lord Shiva temple in Udhampur. Moungri was also known as Sonara - a land of hundred water springs. It was the kingdom of Nag Devta according to Hindu mythology. Kansar Shrine here was erected after a farmer found a Shiva linga while tilling his land and tossed it into Kansar stream. After this, calamity fell on the villagers. The Shiva linga was immediately sought and restored in the form of a temple.


Patnitop is a hill station, 47 km from Udhampur. The place is covered with thick deodar trees and offers a scenic and adventurous destination. Paragliding is one of the most favourite adventure sports carried out here. It is next to Chenab River and has a peaceful and quite environment for long evening walks and breathtaking views of the Pir Panjal range. Sansaar Lake is around 20 km from Patnitop and is a spot for outdoor picnics, camping and trekking.


For years Udhampur has been following a peculiar Pahari culture. The people are also sometimes called Pahari here meaning from the mountains. In some parts, Dogri culture is followed and their language is also used. Gojri, a language restricted to the gujjars, is also spoken in few parts by this nomadic community. Nevertheless, Dogri has become a prime language spoken in most of the parts.

Hindu festivals such as Lohri, Ramnavami, Maha Shivratri, Baisakhi, Holi, Martyrs Day of Guru Arjun Dev, Raksha Bandhan, Dussehra and Diwali are celebrated with immense zest and enthusiasm. People here equally involve themselves in the celebrations of Hindu or Muslim community.

Best Time to Visit Udhampur

Summers at Udhampur are quite comfortable and refreshing with temperatures during the day time ranging between 25 to 35 deg C. Summers extend from the months of April to June. Udhampur has a flat terrain and the maximum temperatures go only up to 38 deg C.

Summers are followed by light showers during the months of July, August & September. Winters commence by October and widen till February. Minimum temperatures during these months go below 0 deg C and maximum temperatures are around 20 deg C.

How to Reach

The easiest way to reach Udhampur is by a bus, train or by a private taxi. There is a railhead at Udhampur and it can be reached in a journey time of 1 hour 10 min from Jammu. There are a number of slow and fast trains that connect Jammu and Udhampur.

Good networks of roads connect Udhampur with major cities such as Dharamshala, McLeodganj, Jammu and Srinagar.

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