Shiv Chander Sharma
On the outskirts of walled Jammu city there on the south-eastern end is a famous gate near the DPS School at Shahidi Chowk which the people know as Jogi Gate and is among the main five gates which were used to enter or exit the city during royal period.
This Jogi gate is situated on the right bank of river Tawi and opens near the present Gujjar Nagar locality which did not exist at all during the royal period. The people know the Jogi Gate for the main crematorium of the city which was the only crematorium before 1947 but now many have come up in present times with the vast expansion of the city.
This Jogi Gate came up in the walled city during the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1733 AD-1782 AD) who is believed to have built wall around the city to protect the people and the capital of Jammu Raj from invaders. There were five main gates to enter or exit the city, the main Gumat gate, other Maheshi Gate (which is no where these days) and the third Jogi Gate. The other two gates, which do not exist are Dennis Gate and one adjacent to Main Telephone Exchange, Exchange Road near Kachi Chawni in main Jammu city.
When Ranjit Singh started construction of wall around the city the first of all Gumat gate was built which was the main point to enter the city for outsiders. The other Gate, the Maheshi Gate, just adjacent to Gumat adjoining to present Government Hari Singh School led towards a Basti of washermen which is now called Vivekanand chowk, said Shanti Saroop, an elderly citizen living in a nearby locality of Pratap Garh.
The third gate is Jogi gate which still leads to a flight of down stairs which end on the now Circular Road just outside the main cremation ground of the city. Few saints known as Jogis used to live in this area around the cremation ground on the bank of river Tawi during those times and thus it was named Jogi Gate. However, some believe that it was named Jogi Gate because Jogis are the sect of saints who are not affected by birth and death, happiness or agony which the common people also feel for few moments when they visit crematoriums.
Since population of the city in the 18th century was few thousands against the present population of over 12 lakh, this crematorium was sufficient for the purpose. The people in those times used to get scared of this Gate and would come towards this side only while to join mourners during cremation.
However, now neither the wall exists nor there is the old look though pillars of the Jogi Gate are still visible. The entire area is a thickly populated now and all around there are localities including Gujjar Nagar, Shaheedi Chowk etc. The flight of stairs leading towards crematorium from Jogi Gate has been repaired many times but still it needs repairs.
In the present times, few people take the bodies of their relatives on foot via this route while others follow the road started from Vivekanand Chowk which is a plain road, said Vishav Bandhu.
Shiv Chander Sharma