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Shankaracharya Temple in Srinagar Jammu Kashmir

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

Location: On Gopadari Hill, in south-east of Srinagar
Built in:371 BC
Built By:Raja Gopadatya
Dedicated to:Lord Shiva
Entry: Free
Photography: Allow
Temple Timing: 6:00Am to 10:00Pm
Significance: One of the most temple in srinagar
Visiting Timing:30 Mins
Best time to Visit:September-October
Nearest Railway Station:Jammu
Nearest Air Port: Badgam

About  Shankaracharya Temple  

The Shankaracharya temple is housed in the Srinagar district on the hill known as Takht-e-Suleiman. It is at a height of 1100 ft. above surface level of the main city on the peak of the hill. The Shankaracharya Mandir in Kashmir is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is thought to be the oldest shrine for worship in the Kashmir valley.
The temple as it is today has undergone many repairs throughout its life. Ever since under the rule of Lalitaditya and then repairs were undertaken by Zain-ul-Abideen after the temple got damaged in an earthquake. The repairs were also carried out during the Governorship of Sheikh Mohi-ud-Din. Maharaja Gulab Singh, a Dogra ruler, who is credited for the stone steps that form a part of the passage to the shrine. In 1925, the electrification of the temple was done.
The structure of the temple boasts about the architectural style of those times. However, many additions and changes have been made to the original structure. Erected on a high octagonal platform, the temple can be reached by a flight of steps. The fencing walls of the steps have some inscriptions on them. Inside the temple, there is a Persian inscription that dates back to period of Shahjahan. 

The main shrine is in the shape of a circular chamber and provides a breathtaking view of the valley. After numerous repairs, the ceiling of the main chamber appears to be modern in its approach. Shankaracharya Mandir is regarded as the oldest temple in the valley of Kashmir. Throughout its life, the temple has seen many repair and renovation works. 

The first work of renovation is considered to have taken place during the reign of Lalitaditya. When the temple got damaged in an earthquake, the second repairs were done by Zain-ul-Abideen, under the rule of Sheikh Mohi-ud-Din. The stone steps that lead to the main shrine, are known to be built by Maharaja Gulab Singh. In 1925, the facility of electricity was made possible at Shankracharya Temple.

History of Shankaracharya Temple 

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.

How to Reach  Shankaracharya Temple 

By Air: The nearest Airport is approx. 25 Kms away in Badgam Dist, for the temple. This Airport is connected with major cities of India .

By Rail: Jammu is the nearest railway station to Srinagar, which is at a distance of 290 km. Jammu railway station is well connected to all major cities in India by rail. Direct train services are available from Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and Trivandrum.

By Road:The Highway NH1A connects the Kashmir valley with India. 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 mountainous road which crosses some beautiful spots and the famous Jawaharlal Tunnel linking Kashmir Valley with India.
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