Shankaracharya Temple Srinagar History, Location, Timings

by Surojit Palmal
Shankaracharya Temple Srinagar

Located in Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar is a beautiful city with a lot of things to offer. For a visitor it would be one of the interesting locations to visit and explore. From lakes to temples or rivers the natural beauty and the historical location all form an interesting backdrop to explore here. For people who have visited there or who stay there would know how beautiful this location is. And people who have never visited Srinagar need to visit here once to witness the beauty of the spot. However there are some important temples located here as well. And devotees from all over the country visit here to pray at these temples. The temple holds a lot of significance and one such important temple here is the Shankaracharya Temple Srinagar. The Shankaracharya Temple is furthermore a popular sightseeing location in the city as well.

If you are visiting this location then a visit to the Shankaracharya Temple is a must. This is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and for the devotees the temple holds a lot of importance. The strategic location to the architecture as well as the history of the temple together holds a lot of importance. This is an ancient temple and therefore you would find interesting facts about this temple to get an insight about the days long gone. The architecture of the temple is breathtaking and you can check out the Shankaracharya Temple photos to see how beautiful the temple is. Keep on reading this article as here I will mention everything that you need to know about the Shankaracharya Temple. This will be a helpful article for you if you are planning a trip to the Shankaracharya Temple Srinagar any time soon.

Shankaracharya Temple Srinagar

Location: Durgjan, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir

Timings: The Shankaracharya Temple Srinagar timings are from 7 am to 8 pm. Parking area is available only till 5 pm and after that cars are not allowed here

Entry fee: There is no entry fee

How to reach

By air

If you are travelling by air then the Sheikh Ul Alam Airport in Srinagar is the nearest airport to reach the temple. From the airport the distance of the Shankaracharya Temple is about 17.2 km. It would take around 44 minutes to reach the location of the temple from the Srinagar airport. You will have to take a car or else take a cab to reach the location of the temple from the airport.

By road

You can also travel by road as well and the roads to reach the Shankaracharya Temple are easily accessible. You will get regular buses from Srinagar to reach the location and it can be a comfortable journey. However for more convenience it would be better to opt for taxis or else take a cab to reach the temple. However after reaching the temple you will have to walk a short distance before actually reaching the entrance of the temple.

Best time to visit

The ideal times for a visit to the Shankaracharya Temple are the months from May to September. These are the times when the location enjoys the most comfortable weather. And if you are visiting here around this time then you will also find a respite from the scorching summer heat everywhere else. For a visit to the temple as well as for other sightseeing activities, this period would be very comfortable. The calming weather and the lush greenery of the region would be enjoyable at this time. Especially during the day time the weather and temperature will be perfect for excursions.

Avoid visiting here during the winter months as it snows in Srinagar along with chilly cold. It can get a little uncomfortable to explore the area when it snows. A lot of times the roads here also remain closed so even if you are visiting here it might be uncomfortable to explore outdoors. So plan your trip to the Shankaracharya Temple Srinagar to enjoy the best of the location to the fullest.


Overview of Shankaracharya Temple

Overview of Shankaracharya Temple
Image Source : Wikimedia Commons

The Shankaracharya Temple in Srinagar is one of the most popular temples and a shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. Also known as the Jyesteshwara Temple this is furthermore one of the oldest temples in Kashmir as well. The temple got its name from the great philosopher Shankaracharya. According to beliefs once he visited Kashmir around 10 centuries ago. Moreover, according to legends, Adi Shankaracharya attained Enlightenment at this location. He also worshipped an idol of Lord Shiva here which is currently present inside the temple. After attaining enlightenment he went forward to establish the Hindu schools of Advaita or philosophy of non dualism.

This temple is located on top of a solid rock and is constructed on top of a high octagonal structure. To reach the top one needs to climb a flight of around 243 steps. And as you reach the top of the temple you will get to witness the gorgeous views of the valley. Mostly the pilgrims visit this temple during their journey to Amarnath as this temple falls on that route.

Other than that a lot of devotees also visit here all year long. One of the major festivals of this temple is the Maha Shivratri Festival. This festival attracts a huge number of devotees to the temple from different parts of the country. The whole ambiance of the Shankaracharya Temple changes during the celebration of festivities. Kashmiri Hindus and locals also take part in this festival here. The devotees offer milk, flowers and fruits to the deity here. Along with that they also sing songs praising the Lord and his blessings on them.

Shankaracharya Temple History

Shankaracharya Temple History
Image Source : Wikimedia Commons

The history of the Shankaracharya Temple Srinagar dates back to 200 BC. However the current structure of the temple dates back to the 9th century AD. A lot of historians and scholars had opined that earlier this was a Buddhist site of pilgrimage. The temple is also popular as the Garden of King Solomon and you will find Persian inscriptions here inside the main temple as well. Centuries ago when Shankaracharya visited the temple the temple got associated with him. According to beliefs he was the one responsible for changing this temple into a Hindu site from the Buddhist site of pilgrimage.

There is a Shiva linga inside the temple that has been there since the 19th century. While there are other historians who suggest that Hindu king Sandiman who ruled Kashmir from 2629 BC to 2564 BC built this temple. However during the course of time there had been multiple renovations and re-building of this temple to reach the current structure of the temple.


Architecture of Shankaracharya Temple

The Shankaracharya Temple is located on top of a raised platform and you can only access it via a flight of stairs. There are around 243 steps here to reach the temple and then again there are about 8 to 10 steps more to reach the temple. You will find certain inscriptions on the fencing walls of these steps. There are some other inscriptions here as well and they date back to the time of Shah Jahan. Everything about this temple reflects the old world charm. The structure has gone through renovations multiple times but the main essence is still intact.

The main shrine here is in circular shape and is a dark chamber. There are four octagonal pillars here that support the ceilings. They surround a Shivalinga here that is encircled by a snake. The location furthermore is located at a height of 1000 feet and it provides a beautiful view of the entire valley as well. And one of the major attractions here is the beautiful view of the Dal Lake that you can witness from here.

The main steps of the temple that lead to the main shrine are made of stone. Maharaja Gulab Singh built these steps here. There are 2 other small structures here as well which are two small buildings. These small buildings are built here for the sadhus or saints who live here.

Wrapping Up!

So that was all about the Shankaracharya Temple Srinagar and you need to plan a trip to this temple as soon as you can. This is one of the oldest temples and a temple in Srinagar that holds a lot of importance. For the devotees also the temple dedicated to Lord Shiva holds a lot of importance. From the location to the surrounding everything is worth exploring. And a visitor would find it extremely interesting to enjoy a visit to this beautiful temple. So if you are in Srinagar then this is one temple that you need to pay a visit to. It offers a splendid experience that will be worth remembering for the visitors here. Also the weather and the temperature here is also extremely pleasant for a visit. You must plan a trip to this location once and enjoy the beauty of this location here.

So when are you planning a trip to this temple in Srinagar? Also let me know if this article is helpful for you in planning a trip to the Shankaracharya Temple in Srinagar. 

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