JAMMU, May 18: Over 200 people gathered at Jio Potha Ghat Akhnoor for heritage walk to Ambaran a Buddhist Monastic complex on the right bank of river Chenab. The heritage walk was organized by Directorate of Tourism, Jammu as its initiative to make people aware about the rich heritage and culture of Jammu region. The importance of Ambaran lies in the fact that it is the earliest recorded Buddhist site in the entire region of Jammu. The site has already been visited by the Dalai Lama on November 9, 2011.
The heritage walk from Jio Potha Ghat, Akhnoor was flagged off by Om Prakash Bhagat, Director Tourism, Jammu in presence of Ansuya Jamwal, Deputy Director Tourism, Jammu, Gopal Singh, SDM Akhnoor and Deepesh Singh, Chairman Municipal Committee, Akhnoor. The Jio Potha Ghat is located at bank of Chenab river where under a tree, coronation of Raja Gulab Singh was performed by Maharaja Ranjit Singh on 17th June, 1822.
Buddhist students some of them in colorful traditional dresses while others from far flung areas like Paddar, Zanskar ,Ladakh etc. participated in the walk along with locals chanting religious hymns. During the walk participants were made aware about the historical and cultural importance of monuments like Jio Potha temple and other landmark monuments like Pandav Gufa, Gurudwara Tapo Asthan Sant Baba Sunder Singh Ji Alibegh, Parshuram Temple etc. by.K.P Singh.
The walk which was approximately of two kms finally culminated at Ambaran- locally known as “Pambaran”. The site was decorated with colorful Buddhist prayer flags and a traditional folk cultural programme was organized. Besides it, to celebrate Budh Purnima (a Buddhist festival that marks Gautam Buddha’s birthday, enlightenment and Nirvana) the participants offered prayers along with fruits, flowers, lamps etc. Also the historic details about the site was explained by Jai Karan Singh Assistant Archeologist from Archaeology Survey of India Srinagar Circle.
Director Tourism, Om Prakash Bhagat while addressing the gathering said that the department is making every effort to promote State’s historical places which have tourism potential. Besides this, in view of upcoming Amarnath Yatra target would be to divert people to local Jammu destinations.
Large number of locals of Akhnoor participated in the event.