J-K: Tourism dept organises heritage walk to ancient Buddhist site in Akhnoor

Akhnoor (Jammu and Kashmir): In a bid to attract tourists here, Tourism Department on Saturday organised a heritage walk to the ancient Buddhist site of Ambaran on the occasion of Budh Purnima.

The walk started from Jio Pota Ghat at the banks of river Chenab where Raja Gulab Singh was coronated by Maharaj Ranjeet Singh.

The heritage walk was aimed at spreading awareness about the historic tourism circuit in Akhnoor which includes Jio Pota Ghat, Pandav Gufa and Ambaran.

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OP Bhagat, Director Tourism, Jammu said, “We get very rare occasions to talk of historical sites like this. This Buddhist site dates back to Harappan civilisation and was discovered in an excavation. Just like people are taken for Amarnath Yatra, we organised a heritage walk from Jio Pota to Ambaran.”

The locals feel that this area has huge potential and if promoted appropriately, it has the potential of attracting international tourists.

A participant who came from Ladakh, Logzan Nurbu, said, “I would like to thank the tourism department for organising a heritage walk like this. This will showcase the importance of civilization and the world would come to know about this.”

Ambaran is a Buddhist monastic complex on the right bank of river Chenab near Akhnoor dating back from 1st century BCE to 4th-5th century CE. The complex gives strong physical proof of a vibrant Buddhist phase in Jammu.

Such monastic complexes like Ambaran not only served as important transit stations for the iterant monks, who were constant companions to the caravans of traders ferrying goods from the Indian mainland to Kashmir and further afield to Central Asia, but also as centres for propagation of Dhamma amongst the local hill communities.


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