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Shankracharya Temple

Shankarachariya

The Shankaracharya Temple, also known as the Jyesteshwara temple is located in Srinagar, India.The Shankaracharya temple is situated in the Srinagar district on the hill known as Takht-e-Suleiman. It is housed at a height of 1100 ft. above surface level of the main city on the hill. It is believed that Raja Gopadatya got the temple constructed in 371 BC, giving it the name of Gopadri. The great philosopher Shankaracharya is supposed to have stayed here when he visited Kashmir to revive Sanatan Dharma. This incident, which took place ten centuries ago, led to the renaming of the temple as the Shankracharya temple. The Shankracharya Mandir of Kashmir, India is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is thought to be the oldest shrine in the Kashmir valley.

The temple, as it stands today, has undergone many repairs throughout its life. The first repair is supposed to have been done under the rule of Lalitaditya. The second repairs were undertaken by Zain-ul-Abideen after the temple got damaged in an earthquake. These repairs were carried out during the Governorship of Sheikh Mohi-ud-Din. Maharaja Gulab Singh, a Dogra ruler, is credited for the stone steps that form a part of the passage to the shrine. The electrification of the Shankracharya temple was done in 1925.

The temple is of great importance, not only from the point of view of religion, but also from architectural viewpoint. A high octagonal platform supports the temple, approached by a flight of approximately hundred steps. The sidewalls of the steps once bore some valuable inscriptions. There is also a Persian inscription inside the temple, 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, after being repaired, is now covered with a modern ceiling.

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