No visitor to Kashmir can bypass Jammu, whether the visit is by air or by road. Form the point of view of the topography of the state; Jammu forms as much a part of the Himalayans as Kashmir.
One realizes this aspect of there inoperableness while flying over Jammu into the valley. Fredric Drew, a British geologist I the Maharaja’s services in 1862, wrote in 1875 that while Jammu forms part of the outer hills of the Himalayas, the Kashmir valley and the high surrounding ranges are the Middle Mountains.
Jammu- the winter capital of the state- still basks in its glory of Dogra chivalry and the many heroic deeds, kept alive by its handsome contribution to the Indian Army. It is the starting point of the 320 km long journey to Srinagar over a zigzag mountain road. At a distance of 32 kilometers is Do- mel from where a road branches off to Katra which is at the base of the famous Vaishno Devi visited by nearly four lakh pilgrims ever year. Three km further another bifurcation takes one to the Surinsar and Mansar lakes, which the state can develop as winter resorts when the valley is closed.