Sunday, July 3, 2011
Temple of Jyeshteswara [Shankaracharya] on the Takht-i-Sulaiman Hill
Name : Temple of Jyeshteswara [Shankaracharya]
Shankaracharya Temple is located on the summit of Takht-i-Suleiman (Throne of Solomon), near Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir.
'The Takt-i-Sulaiman Hill overlooks Srinagar, the capital of Kashmir; standing 1000 feet above the plain, it commands a noble view of the Valley and its surrounding ridges of snow-topped peaks. On its crest, 6950feet above the sea, stands the most ancient in building in Kashmir, the temple of Jyeshteswar, which according to tradition, existed since B.C.220 and to have been built by Ashoka's son Jhaloka. What exists now is possibly a 7th century structure which replaced the earlier Buddhist monument of the third century BC traditionally ascribed to Ashoka's son Jhaloka. Now it is popularly called Shankaracharya after the 9th century Hindu philosopher-sage who visited Kashmir and is associated with it.
The Temple of Jyeshteswara rests on the solid rock, and consists of an octagonal stone basement twenty feet high, on which is supported a square building: on each of the four sides are two projections which terminate in a pediment and a gable, the latter intersecting the main roof half-way up its slope. The terrace surrounding the Temple is reached by a stone staircase encased between two walls, and a doorway , exactly opposite, leads to the interior, which is a small and dark chamber, circular in plan. The ceiling is supported by four octagonal columns, which surround a Basin containing a Lingam encircled by a snake.'
Commanding a panoramic view of the city of Srinagar and Dal Lake, this temple with its square plan, recessed sides and circular inner sanctum is one of the earliest Hindu shrines extant in Kashmir, dedicated to Shiva.