Shankaracharya Temple is a Hindu temple situated on top of the Shankaracharya Hill on the Zabarwan Range in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
It is named after the great philosopher Shankarcharya, who once visited Kashmir. The Hindu temple enjoys a strategic location from where devotees and tourists can see a panoramic view of Srinagar City.
It is believed that Adi Shankaracharya attained spiritual enlightenment at this place and it was after this enlightenment that he went out and formed the four Hindu schools of Advaita, or the philosophy of non-dualism.
Shankaracharya temple sits on a solid rock and is constructed on a high octagonal platform that is approachable by a flight of around 243 steps. The top of the temple affords a sweeping view of the valley below.
Also Read: ABOUT AMARNATH TEMPLE
- Address: Durgjan, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 190001
- District: Zabarwan
- Affiliation: Hinduism
- Timings: 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM
- Deity: Lord Shiva
- Entry Fee: Free
- Visit Duration: 1 to 2 hours
- Dress Code: decent outfit recommended
- Festivals: Shivratri
- Best Time to Visit: March To May
History of the Shankaracharya Temple
Though the exact date of construction of this temple is not known, people believe that Jaluka, the son of the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka, built it in 200 BC.
Sultan Sikandar, the ruler of Kashmir, destroyed the Shiva Lingam of the temple and several other idols of Gods. Later, different rulers at different times restored the temple because of the natural disasters and several attacks.
According to popular belief, several kings have repaired this temple over a period. The temple was rebuilt and renovated by King Godapatta in the first century AD, and he dedicated this temple to Jyeteshwara.
King Gopaditya (426-365 BC) and King Lalitaditya (697-734 AD) carried out later renovations. Gulab Singh of the Dogra dynasty renovated the Durga Naag shrine on its premises.
The King of Mysore installed electric fittings in the temple in the modern period. In 1961, the Shankaracharya of Dwarkapeeth installed the statue of Adi Shankaracharya.
The temple is also called Bagh-i-Sulaiman by the Jews and the Persian community. Evidence indicates that this temple belongs to ancient times as scholars have found various Persian scriptures here.
People say that this temple had connections to the Jhelum river on its right bank and the top of the hill via stairs made of stone, but it was later destroyed by the Mughal emperor Jahangir.
Architecture of Shankaracharya Temple
This ancient temple is built in the indigenous early Kashmiri style of architecture and embraces the techniques prevailing in those days.
The early Shihara style is prominently evident in the building design and is indicative of a horseshoe arch type of pattern.
It is a massive stone structure built on a high octagonal plinth about thirty feet high.
The current structure of the temple traces its origin to the 9th century AD during the reign of Sikhs. It was when the Shivalinga was placed in the temple. The Sikh rulers revived the fortunes of this temple with regular prayers and festival celebrations.
The plinth is surmounted by a low parapet wall. The shrine consists of a cell, circular inside, with a diameter of thirteen feet. The square building of the temple is supported by the basement.
How To Reach Shankaracharya Temple ?
The Srinagar airport is the closet to the temple that is located at about 19 km with direct flights between Srinagar and Delhi, Chandigarh, Mumbai and Shimla.
Private cabs are available for the last mile connectivity.
Srinagar railway station is the nearest to the temple and is located at about 21 km from the temple.
Shankaracharya Temple is easy to access by roadways. There are several private bus service providers who run deluxe bus packages from nearby cities to Srinagar is connected to Chandigarh and Jammu etc.
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