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Shankaracharya Temple in Srinagar Jammu Kashmir

Here is Some Information about Shankaracharya Temple in Srinagar Jammu Kashmir India.

Location : Takht-e-Suleiman Hill, Srinagar
Dedicated to:Lord Shiva
Built in:371 BC
Built by:Raja Gopadatya
Height : 1100 ft above the city
Attraction:Ancient architecture
Temple Timing: 7:00 am till 8:00 pm.
Best time to visit:May to September
Entry : Free
Photography : Allow
Nearest Airport : Badgam Dist
Nearest Railway Station: Jammu

More Information about Shankaracharya Temple Srinagar

Shankaracharya Temple stands at a height of 1100 ft above the city surface of Srinagar, on the Shankaracharya Hill popularly known as Takht-e-Suleiman. The temple is dedicated to the Hindu god of destruction, Shiva.It is believed that the temple was built in 371 B.C by Raja Gopadatya, after whom the temple was named, making it one of the oldest temples in the valley of Kashmir.

The name of the temple was later changed from Gopadari to Shankaracharya Temple after Adi Shankaracharya supposedly stayed here during his tour of Kashmir.Dogra ruler, Maharaja Gulab Singh, later added stone stairs up to the Temple for the convenience of the devotees. The electrification of this temple took place in 1925. Besides being a major religious centre for Hindus, this temple holds great archaeological value.

History of  Shankaracharya Temple in Srinagar

The temple was built by Jalauka, the son of the great Emperor Ashoka, about 200 B.C. King Gopadatta of Kashmir who ruled from 79 to 109AD, rebuilt it and dedicated the temple to Jyesteswara. The hill was called Gopadri and the village at its foot on the south is still called Gopkar.

Mulla Nadri wrties in the first history of Kashmir, "Tarikh-i-Kashmir", 1420AD:"Raja Ach ascended the throne and ruled for 60 years. He founded the town of Achabal in Kotiar, Kashmir. After his death, his son Gopananda ruled the country, under the name of Gopadatta. During his reign many temples were built and repaired. At that time the dome of the temple on the top of Solomon hill had cracked. He asked one of his ministers, named Sulaiman, who had come from Persia, to repair the cracked dome of the temple. On this, the local Hindus raised objections saying that as Sulaiman was an infidel and followed another religion, he had no right to repair the sacred temple of the Hindus.

During this very period, Hazrat Yuzu Asaph arrived from the Holy Land, Bait ul Maquaddas, to the Holy Valley, Wadi a Aqddas, and proclaimed his ministry. He absorbed himself in prayers day and night, and having attained an elevated position in virtue and piety, he declared to the people of Kashmir that he was the messenger of God. He called upon the people to follow the words of God, and many believed in him. Thereupon, Raja Gopadatta referred the objections of Hindus to him for his decision. It was under his orders that Sulaiman, whom the local Hindus named Sandiman, completed the repairs of the cracked dome of the temple, in the year 54. Sulaiman also had engraved the following inscriptions on the stones leading to the stairs of the temple: "During this period Yuzu Asaph declared his Ministry. He was Yusu, the Prophet of the Children of Israel".

In a work by a Hindu it is said that this Prophet was in reality Hazrat Issa, the Soul of God - on whom be peace and salutations. He had assumed the name of Yuzu Asaph during his life in the valley. The real knowledge is with Allah. After his demise, Hazrat Issa, on whom be peace and salutations, was laid to rest in the tomb in the locality of Anzimar. It is also said that the rays of prophethood used to emanate from the tomb of this Prophet. Raja Gopadatta passed away after having ruled for 60 years and 2 months."

The present struture probably dates back to the 9th century AD and are dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple was renamed Sankaracharya, under a Hindu Maharaja in 1848.

Architecture of Shankaracharya Temple in Srinagar

The temple is built in early Kashmiri style. It tries to introduce the early Sihara style and has still one-storeyed gable pediment which is evident even now. The temple is an early specimen of the horse shoe arch, prominent in the final stages of this architecture, as, for example, in Martand.
It is said that massive polished steps was leading right from the Jhelum River up to the top of the hill. These stones were removed in the 16th century by Muslim rulers and used for the construction of a mosque.

How to Reach Shankaracharya Temple in Srinagar

By Air : The nearest Airport is approx. 25 Kms away in Badgam Distt.This Airport is connected with major cities of India.

By Rail : The nearest Rail Head is at Jammu which is 300 Kms away and from there National Highway NH1A connects the Kashmir valley with India

By Road : Every sort of transport to suit every budget from Buses to Taxis ply on this Highway. It Takes around 10 to 12 hours to cross this mountaineous road which crosses some beautiful spots and the famous Jawahar Tunnel linking KashmirValley with India.

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