The Adi Shankaracharya Temple is an ancient oldest Hindu temple situated in the Srinagar district on Shankaracharya hill on the Zabarwan mountain known as Takht-e-Suleiman dedicated to Lord Shiva in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is housed at a height of 1100 ft. above surface level is the main historical attraction and landmark of the city. The construction of this temple is dated around 200 B.C. but had undergone several renovations from that time and now it is dated as 9th century A.D. Being devoted to Lord Shiva it is also known as Jyothishwara temple and 'Pas Pahar' by Buddhists and 'Throne of Solomon'.
Shankaracharya Temple Srinagar Jammu and Kashmir
History of this Temple:
The Shankracharya Temple of Srinagar, is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is thought to be the oldest shrine in the Kashmir valley. It is believed that by then ruler Raja Gopadatya got this temple constructed in 371 BC, thus known as Gopadri HIll. Shankaracharya was a great philosopher of Inida, who have stayed here when he visited Kashmir to revive Sanatan Dharma. With His Holy presence ten centuries ago, this temple got renamed as the Shankracharya Temple. The Shiva Lingam of Lord Shiva is encircled by a snake inside the temple.
Adi Shankaracharya Temple Srinagar
'Soundarya Lahari' the famous spiritual work was composed atop the Gopadari Hill by Saint Adi Shankaracharya, after He realised the fact that the union of Sri Shiva and Devi Shakti, in Shaktism-in the form of Shakti-Shri Chakra. It is also well mentioned in 'Shankara Digvijay' - Life history of Shankaracharya, that Sri Yantra- is the symbol of Devi (Goddess) and when it combines with Lord Shiva creates the great power.
Architecture of this Temple:
This ancient temple situated atop of the hill, is accessible by climbing 100 staircases, built in 371 BC on octagonal platform. The first repair occured under the rule of Lalitaditya. The second repair was held by Zain-ul-Abideen after the temple got damaged in an earthquake. The later renovaton was done by a Sikh Governor Sheikh Gulam Mohi-ud-Din who repaired its dome. Maharaja Gulab Singh, a Dogra ruler, is credited for the stone steps which form the passage to the shrine. The electrification of the Shankracharya temple was done in 1925. Thus this temple today has remained as an architectural heritage of the bygone era. It is a great delight to all the travellers who are very much inclined towards history and its ruins.
Ruined Ancient Shankaracharya Temple Srinagar Jammu and Kashmir
Significance of this Temple:
The temple is of great importance, as it is not only a monument but from the religion point of view, it is great example of architectural wonder too. Constructed on a high octagonal platform supports the temple can be easily accessed through the staircase which has a total of 100 steps. It is noticed that once upon a time the sidewalls of the steps bore some valuable inscriptions and the inner sanctum has Persian inscriptions, dating back to Emperor Shahjahan's rule. The main surviving shrine, consisting of a circular cell, provides a magnificent view of the valley below. The inner chamber of the Shankaracharya temple has a Memorial constructed for Adi Shankaracharya inside the Temple, after being repaired, is now covered with a modern ceiling.
Pilgrims climbing the Staricase to Reach the Temple atop of the Hill
Memorial of Adi Shankaracharya inside the Temple
Best time to visit:
This temple is visited for regular worship and mostly visited by pilgrims during Amarnath Yatra. You can visit this temple during April-June and Sep-Oct. Entry to this temple is free.
The cell phones and cameras are not allowed in this temple, they need to be deposited outside the temple premises.
How to Reach:
By Road: It is easily accessible after reaching Jammu and Kashmir by local transport using buses and taxies at an affordable price.
By Train: One can reach this temple from Shridham Railway Station around 28 kms and Malarpura Railway Station around 17.7 kms distance from Shankaracharya temple.
By Air: This temple is accessible from Srinagar Air Force Base Airport located just12 kms away.
Image Courtesy: http://www.globalvisiontours.com, http://www.bharatonline.com, https://en.wikipedia.org