Banks of Tawi River: Then and Now

The stroll along Tawi brings into sight Tawi banks are full of garbage and filth coming out of the city. But in good old days its banks were clean, beautiful and full of activity. The right bank of Tawi was lined up with beautiful gardens, the one being Raja’s garden. The foreigners would tent up here and wait for the permit to advance further. Baron Charles Hugel, an Austrian traveller(visited Jammu in 1835)writes that it was laid with aesthetic taste and in the centre of it was baradari where animals and birds of various kinds had been kept in cages.
Before Ram Lila came to be staged at Dewan Mandir, it was performed on the banks of Tawi. Maharaja Ranbir Singh used to invite Ram Lila and Ras Lila companies from Ayodhya and Mathura and other places who would set up an open air theatres on the banks of the Tawi.. The scene of Ramchandra’s marriage procession was taken out through the city with elephants, horses, buggies, bands and drums. Later Shri Raghunath theatre company was formed which gave performances in the compound of Raghunath Temple. Much later a pucca Ram Lila Mandap came up at Dewan Mandir.
Can we bring back the lost glory of Tawi and its banks… just thinking.

…History Beyond Classroom


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