The former palace of the Dogra rulers, the old secretariat is near the centre of town. It's a huge complex of mansions with several styles of architecture incorporated in its overall structure. Its walls are adorned with intricate paintings of flowers, creepers, birds and other decorations, and interesting motifs on the ceilings and walls.
The collection in this includes over 500 paintings of the Basohli, Jammu and Kangra schools. The Basohli style miniature paintings here are of particular importance and interest. There are numerous other charming items of the old Dogra arts, including hundreds of exotic and exquisite Bahara miniatures. The gallery also houses a collection of sculptures, terracotta pieces, murals, weapons and illustrated manuscripts.
Clinging to a rock face on the opposite bank of the Tawi River, the huge fort is about 4-km from the centre. Although it is said to date back to Jammu's legendary founder, Jamboo Loochen, the present structure was built by the Dogras. An old, and highly esteemed, temple to the goddess Kali can be seen inside the fort. Crowds of worshippers go there on Tuesdays and Sundays. Opposite Bahu fort on another hilltop is the consecrated spot dedicated to Mahamaya, a Jammu heroine who died fighting invaders. A statue of Shri Hans Raj, another important personage in Jammu's history, is in a park at the entrance to the shrine.
Built in the last century for Raja Amar Singh, the palace is a curious example of French architecture. It's situated on a hillock overlooking the Tawi River and commands an excellent view of the city and its surroundings. The palace museum has a family portrait gallery, a rich library and an important collection of paintings of the Pahari School. It's worth a visit if one has the time.
A small garden along the Ranbir canal, 2-km from the heart of the town, provides a cool picnic spot during the summer. The canal branches off from the river Chenab at Akhnoor, 32-km away from Jammu. Its water remains ice cold throughout the year. Its banks serve as good viewpoints and walkways.
The oldest buildings in this palace complex date to 1824. The architecture is a blend of Rajasthani, Mughal and even baroque European influences. The most stunning segment is the Sheesh Mahal. The pink hall now houses the Dogra Art Museum, which has miniature paintings of the various hill schools.