Shankaracharya Temple is one of the oldest temple situated on the Shankaracharya Hills in Srinagar. This temple is dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva. Shankaracharya temple is also known by the name ‘Jyesteshwara Temple’. It is believed that a great philosopher Shankaracharya had visited this temple ten centuries ago and used to worship Shiv Lingam, so the temple was named after his name “Shankaracharya Temple”. The Shiv Lingam he used to worship that time is still there in present time.
The Shankaracharya temple is situated on a solid rock. This temple is constructed on great height with an octagonal platform and devotees can reach there by taking approximately 244 steps in total. At the top of the temple gives a whole view of Srinagar city. It is also believe that Adi Shankaracharya had attained spiritual enlightenment at the same place where the temple is situated today. This temple is visited mostly by tourists and pilgrims of Amarnath Yatra
History of Shankaracharya Temple
The Shankaracharya Temple had its existence since 200 BC but the present structure of this temple was built in 9th century AD. The steps of this temple was constructed by the Dogra King Gulab. In 1925, Maharaja of Mysore came to Kashmir and did the electrical installations at the temple. In 1961, Shankaracharya of Dwarkapeetham placed the murti of Adi Shankaracharya in this temple and in 1974, Government of Jammu and Kashmir constructed the road to reach near the top of the hill. The Shankaracharya Temple is also regarded sacred by Buddhists, it is believed that Buddhists use to worship in this temple during Buddhist era and was later changed into site for Hindu worship by Adi Shankaracharya.
How to Reach Shankaracharya Temple
The easiest way to reach this temple is by bus which is available in all routes of the city of Srinagar. Though, to have a comfortable journey one can opt for a taxi, taxi services is also available throughout the city. To reach the entrance of this temple, you need to walk few miles on foot.
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This temple is also known as the Garden of King Solomon. Inside the Shankaracharya temple there could also be found Persian inscription. The Shiv Lingam was placed in this temple during the Sikh period. There’s a belief of some historians that this temple was originally built by the King Sandiman, who was Hindu and reigned over Kashmir from 2629 BC to 2564 BC. This temple is one of the historical places of Jammu and Kashmir which is visited by numerous tourists.