Udhampur

Udhampur is a city and a municipal council in Udhampur District in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Situated among lush green forests of Eucalyptus, it is the second-largest city of the Jammu region and the fourth-largest city in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Named after Raja Udham Singh, it serves as the district capital and the Northern Command headquarters of the Indian Army. A Forward Base Support Unit (FBSU) of the Indian Air Force is also stationed here. Udhampur is used by the Armed Forces as a transit point between Jammu and Srinagar when travelling by road (National Highway Number 1A).

The district of Udhampur is located in the Shivalik range of Himalayas and the terrain is mostly mountainous. The upper reaches of the district experience snowfall in the winter season. The city of Udhampur is located at 32.93°N 75.13°E[2] in a relatively flatter part of the district at an elevation of 756 metres (2480 feet) and rarely experience any snowfall. The city itself spreads on uneven hills of Shiwaliks.Udhampur is just 68 km ahead of Jammu city towards Srinagar.Katra too is only 23 km off Udhampur.

The city of Udhampur is governed by The Udhampur Municipal Council having 22 Municipal Wards. Udhampur consists of four tehsils (administrative districts), namely Udhampur, Ramnagar, Chenani and Majalta.

Talking of Udhampur city in particular the climate is sub tropical. Summer temperatures don’t cross 40 degrees while in winters mercury generally dips to 2 degrees or even sometimes to zero. Heavy downpour is also experienced. The annual rainfall is 130 cm mainly in monsoons and winters due to Western Disturbances. Ramnagar town nearby experiences heaviest annual rainfall in a year. Udhampur rarely experiences snow fall while there may be snow in upper reaches. However, due to changing climate patterns snowfall has been experienced in some years. In the year 2011 it snowed and there was about 15 cm snow. Heavy hailstorms with piles of hail can be experienced in February and March.

The culture of this area is Pahari which resembles the culture of other areas of Duggardesh. The other part of the district has Dogra culture. Dogri is the main language spoken by the people of the district. The Dogri spoken here is known for its sweetness in tone. Their main language is Dogri and Pahari. The language is the rural and hilly areas has maintained its native purity, accent and sweetness. Gojri is also spoken by the Gujjar Community settled here and there. However, Dogri is main language spoken in the district.

The district is culturally an integrated part of Jammu region and all important religious fairs like Lohri, Maha Shivratri, Id-ul-Fitr, Holi, Ramnavmi, Baisakhi, Basantpanchami, Martyr’s day of Guru Arjun Dev, Raksha Bandhan, Janam Ashtami, Mahanavami, Dussehra, Diwali, id-ul-zuha, Guru Ravi Dass’s b’day, Mahatama gandhi’s b’day Guru Govind Singh’s b’day, Chacha Nehru’s birthday. Above all, the Independence Day and Republic Day are celebrated with great enthusiasm. Holy Navratras also provide special occasion for worship and pilgrimage to holy places culminating into small to big fairs.

Udhampur is well connected by road as it is located on National Highway 1A to Srinagar, which is the only national highway that connects Srinagar to the rest of India. 95 percent of Four laning work on Jammu-Udhampur National Highway is complete and remaining will be completed in few months. Bus services (both private and state owned) are the most common mode of public transportation to and from Udampur. Frequent connections to the Kashmir Valley and Jammu are easily available.

The town was recently connected by the new Kashmir Railway line leg 0 from Jammu which is part of a wider project to connect the Kashmir valley with the rest of India via a rail link. The Uttar Sampark Kranti Express train from New Delhi was the first train to run on this link in 2005. Commuter unresrved passenger trains linking Jammu and Udhampur (and pathankot also) also run on a daily basis and are quite popular. The rail link to Katra is also complete. Many more trains from different parts of the country are expected to pass by the city. More recently, three more trains were extended/run till Udhampur.