Among the many known Dakkis of Old Jammu city, Dhounthali Dakki has its own significance. In old times it was a major thoroughfare for the people to access Tawi for fetching water and do other daily chores.
Its historical significance lies in the fact that two major protagonist of Jammu narrative, Maharaja Gulab Singh and General Zorawar Singh had their rendezvous. Hereafter, the camaraderie between the two contributed immensely to the making of Jammu and Kashmir State.
Zorawar Singh after having left the services of Rana Fateh Singh of Galian, came to Jammu. It is said that Gulab Singh while climbing up the Dhounthali dakki after taking bath in the River Tawi met Zorawar singh. They probably took liking for each other as Gulab singh recruited Zorawar Singh for Reasi campaign. Having distinguished himself in the campaign he became Gulab Singh’s favourite. Thereafter Zorawar Singh played a prominent role in maintaining Gulab Singh’s hold over Reasi.
Latter he was appointed the Governor of newly annexed Kishtawar and was given the title of Wazir. When Gulab Singh founded the Jammu and Kashmir State, Zorawar Singh assisted him in consolidating his hold over annexed territories and extended the boundaries of the state in the north by leading Dogra campaigns to annex Ladakh, Iskardu, Baltistan and advance towards Lhasa.
So we owe a lot to Dhounthali dakki….. it is hiding numberless such anecdotes, stories in its lap waiting to be unfolded.
….History Beyond Classroom
Pictures Credit: Kirpal Singh
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