Shankaracharya Temple

A beautiful Shiva temple situated on a picturesque location on the Gopadari Hill on the South East of Srinagar.

Shankaracharya Temple

A beautiful Shiva temple situated on a picturesque location on the Gopadari Hill on the South East of Srinagar. This temple is situated at a height of 1100 feet above the Srinagar city 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.

Significance Of The Temple

The Shankaracharya temple has gained great importance, not only from the point of view of religion, but even from architectural viewpoint. It has a high octagonal platform supporting, approached by a flight of approximately hundred steps.The sidewalls of these steps once bore some valuable inscriptions. Even there exists also a Persian inscription inside the temple, dating back to Emperor Shahjahan's rule.

The main surviving shrine of the temple is consisting of a circular cell, which provides a magnificent view of the valley below. The inner chamber of the Shankaracharya temple is today covered with a modern ceiling. The great philosopher Shankaracharya has stayed here when he visited Kashmir to revive Sanatan Dharma.

The temple of Shankaracharya is located on the top of a detached ridge of an igneous rock and along with conical hill rising behind the Boulevard beside the Dal Lake. This hill is known as Shankaracharya Hill and a temple is said to have been first built here by the son of the Mauryan King Asoka, the great in 2nd century BC. The temple serves as a landmark of Srinagar city on the summit of the Gopadari. According to renowned Archaeologist, R. C. Kak, who has been researching the hill “Neither the hill nor the Temple preserves its ancient name”.The temple could be reached by two hundred and forty three steps with twenty-three landing and the approximate height is 550ft or 167.68 meters from the end of the road to hill, before one reaches the temple platform.

The Sunrise and the Sunset, birth and death, etc. on the earth are controlled by a Universal power regulating the earth and living species. The temple is known in such terms as devalaya, sivalaya and devayatana. The life is therefore installed in the form of the deity in the sanctum which is known as grabhagriha or the house of the womb. Thirteen steps with a railing leads to the dwarf wall at the plinth level, enclosing the parapet wall.

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