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About Chenani

Chenani is a small town situated in the Udhampur district of Jammu. It’s located at a distance of 90 km from the city of Jammu. This small town is regarded as the oldest state among the 22 states ruled by the Dogra kings. The town of Chenani, surrounded by the snow clad lofty Himalayas is a perfect getaway for relaxation from mundane city life. People here live in houses made of bamboo and lead a happy life by practicing farming. The town is as strong as it’s named which means "a pillar" as it has stood all the odds of time in history. The town of Chenani lends peace and solace to mind and it should definitely be in your list for next vacation.

Location of Chenani

Chenani is a small town in district Udhampur with a lot of diversity to its character. It is located at foothills of Himalayas in Shivalik range. It’s located away from the hustle and bustle of city life. The town is surrounded by lush green trees providing scenic beauty to this place. It is well connected by road and rail and tourists throng this place during the months of July to August.

About Chenani

History of Chenani

It is regarded as the oldest of the 22 Dogra states. It is also important from historical point of view as it was ruled by 52 generations of Anthal Rajput kings. Chenani was earlier ruled by the Ranas from whose atrocities the people got fed up and requested the king of Bilaspur to take over. Thereby the king of Bilaspur established Chenani as independent state and was ruled by the Anthal Rajputs until 1947.the small town has lot of resemblance and inheritance of culture and traditional practices of these kings.

The area of Jammu was initially a group of little Himalayan kingdoms until these got united under a solitary political unit by the Dogra Chief, Maharaja Gulab Singh and his siblings. The town of Jammu gained significance for the exchange Kashmir Shawls and different items amid eighteenth century which prompted problems in Lahore - Delhi route. The Shawl vendors liked to cross the Banihal-pass to go into Jammu markets. In 1834 Gulab Singh sent an armed force to attack Ladakh and he annexed Baltistan bordering Ladakh down the Indus stream. After four years by the arrangements of Lahore and Amritsar the British perceived Gulab Singh as leader of Kashmir and also of Jammu and Ladakh in light of his paying 50% of the repayment of 1.5 crore Rupees. Consequently the state of J&K as we know came into being.

After a century and quickly after the autonomy plunderers from Pakistan attacked Kashmir trying to take it by power yet the then Maharaja Hari Singh of the state backed by the National Conference and the Government of India fizzled their fiendish plans and marked the Instrument of Accession with India. In 1957 the Kashmir Assembly affirmed the Instrument of Accession by proclaiming the State as a basic part of India.

Ancient History of Chenani

Ancient History of ChenaniThe ancient history of Chenani which goes again to period of Mahabharata .54 eras without break ruled in Chenani since the clash of Mahabharata. Until 1947, Chenani realm was governed by Chandel (Antahal) Rajputs who came in the ninth century AD from Kot Kalhur, Bilaspur Himachal Pradesh. The account goes like this that locals of this district approached Raja Bir Chand of Bilaspur and asked for him to spare them from the outrages of nearby Ranas. Raja Bir Chand sent his more youthful sibling Raja Gambhir Chand alongside armed force to help the locals. On arriving at Chenani, Raja Gambhir Chand made Ranas to leave the spot and built an autonomous State which proceeded till 1947. Amid this period 52 Rajas of this tribe of Rajputs ruled this recent princely state.

Rulers of Chenani

Rulers of ChenaniAll these kings and sovereigns wedded the girls of different princely states and territories to have a hold on the rule of the town. Raja Kedar Chand, Raja of Chenani was a just and honest ruler. The later rulers took them from decision to distinctive games too and one of them was Major Rajkumar Jai Chand, he was an awesome polo player, and had represented the Jammu and Kashmir polo group in numerous competitions with HH Maharaja Hari Singh.

With the passage of time when the sovereignty was completing and the youthful era was on its rise Kanwar Balbhadra Chand, was an extremely decent and properly  decked up prince. He completed his education  from Presentation Convent College, located in Srinagar and Burnhall Cambridge School, Srinagar and after the completion of his schooling took to further studies at the College of Engineering, Pune. He is very well known as the prince who later joined the Public Works Department in 1957, and worked for his own State,under the department maintained by  Government of Jammu and Kashmir. He worked  in different sectors until 1991 when he resigned as Chief (Works); his administrations were awarded for his whole hearted dedication by the State Government with a Medal and a testament of Merit; he was of a religious and otherworldly personality and meticulously remade the temple of the family divinity, Mata Bhagwatiji, after the temple was gutted in a fire at Chenani Palace.

Overall the Chenani town got rulers who did all they could for the betterment and upliftment of their subjects. Their main objective was protection of the people due to constant threats from various autonomous forces and these Rajput rulers always stood the test of time. They were devotees of Bhagwatiji and had built a temple in palace premises which had great significance. These rulers in totality were a just, courageous and fearless.

Geography of Chenani

Located in the lower Himalayas, Chenani is 1062 m above sea level. The important river of the region is Tawi. The town is surrounded on by the lush green forests of deodar, oak pines and firs. It enjoys sub tropical type of weather. The winters here are generally cold and temperature ranges from 10 to -4degrees Celsius.The summer are usually hot with temperatures ranges from 30 to 40 degree Celsius.The hailstorms are very prominent in the region and are a cause of concern. Read More..............

Industries in Chenani

Being a small town there are no industries in the region. The principle occupation being agriculture and daily wage labor.The major issues for non development of industries is lack of power and land area.

Art and Culture in Chenani

Art and Culture of ChenaniThe art and culture of Chenani town is mainly influenced by the Dogra and Gurjara community. The people here speak various languages prominent being Hindi and dogri along with  Urdu and Kashmiri.

The major religion followed is Hinduism as it the place where the oldest Shiva temple of Jammu is situated. The people also follow other religions and everybody is free to practice whatever they wish to follow. All major festivals are celebrated with great joys and happiness in the region.

The 3 day fair at sudh mahadev temple however is a major attraction as thousands of devotees throng the town during those 3 days.

The town of Chenani has lots of skilled laborers who carve wonderful things from woods of deodar, pine etc. Many paintings and sculptures are examples of excellent workmanship by these talented artists. The embroidery patterns and the most intricate patterns on the woolen clothes can only be seen by the master craftsmanship of Chenani worker.

Festivals in Chenani

Festival of Chenani

One of the major and most important attractions of town of Chenani is the 3 day fair at the sudh mahadeva temple. It is regarded as the most colorful and vibrant fair of the region. Thousands of devotees line up to get blessings from their god. The authorities make proper arrangements for the tourists in every possible way. A lot of temporary sweet shops, eatery shops and toy shops attract the tourists along with the cultural programmes to entertain the people.

 Apart from this another major festival which is of huge importance to the people of Chenani is baisakhi which is celebrated during 13-14 of April .The festival sees hues of vibrant colors and freshness in the air. The festival is of major importance because majority of the people practice agriculture.

Entertainment in Chenani

The life of the people of Chenani is very simple in this regard. They prefer to sit together in their panchayats and chaupals and discuss the ways of life.

Definitely technology too would have spread its roots across the town with television and internet coming up in this 21st century to every household. For tourists also Chenani has lots to offer. To experience nature closely long treks, bike rides and forest expeditions could be carried out. At Patni top which is only few kms from Chenani lots of adventure sports and ice skating could be enjoyed to one’s heart content. The open spaces and lush green fields act ideal spots for picnics.

Tourist Places in Chenani

Tourist Places in ChenaniAlthough a small town, but Chenani has a lot to offer with regard to tourist places due to its picturesque beauty and calming ambience. 

You can take a stroll around the town to see the tumbling Tawi pul, ancient shiv mandir known as the Sudh Mahadev temple, Samooli village and also the Ladden fort built during ancient times which has a very ancient temple of Kula Devi of Chenani in its premises. Chenani is the gateway to famous Mantaai shrines and also the popular Gourikund. You can also enjoy the scenic beauty of nature with nature walks, jogging or trekking. Apart from these, nearby Chenani you can visit Patni top, Sanasar Lake in Udhampur and also Katra Vaishno Devi shrine.

It has great tourist places of historical importance as well. Some of them are:

  • Sudh Mahadeva Temple
  • Laddan Fort
  • Tawi Pul
  • Jalandhara Mata Mandir
  • Potato Farms on Hill Top
  • Baglihar Dam on River Tawi
  • Billo Ki Powri
  • Chenani Tunnel
  • Samooli Village

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Tourist Places in Chenani

Transportation in Chenani

Chenani is well connected by rail and road. The National Highway -1A is a very important landmark and also the most important link which connects Kashmir to rest of country.this  passes through Chenani and is really well maintained.

By Air

Jammu’s Satwari airport though 98 kms away is the closest airport. Travelers need to board flight from Delhi to Jammu and from there taxis or buses both govt. and private are available. The state run and the private buses take approximately 2 hours to reach Chenani

By Rail

Chenani doesn’t have a railway station to its name. The closest railway station is Udhampur which is 25 km from Chenani. Once in Udhampur there are lots of shared taxis or jeeps along with the pvt and govt. buses which take 35-40 min to reach Chenani.

Transportation in ChenaniBy Road

This town has to its credit the Chenani –Nashri tunnel which is the longest road tunnel in India. The 9.2 km long tunnel is being constructed to reduce the distance from Jammu to Srinagar and to reduce traffic jams caused due to snowfall and avalanches in winter at Patnitop.Chenani is well connected by road. The National Highway-1A which connects Kashmir to rest of India passes through Chenani thereby making it easily accessible to all vehicles on road.

Fact File of Chenani

Latitude: 33.03°N
Longitude: 75.28°E
Major River:
Tawi River
Main languages spoken:
Urdu, Hindi and Dogri.

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