KHEER BHAWANI TEMPLE and SHANKARACHARYA HILL

Kheer Bhawani Temple


Kheer Bhawani Temple is a famous Hindu Temple, situated in the Tulla Mulla village at a distance of 14 miles from Srinagar, it is dedicated to the Goddess Kheer Bhawani (Bhawani Orginally) and is constructed over a sacred spring, which is said to change its colours .The worship of Kheer Bhawani is universal among the Hindus of Kashmir. The term kheer refers to rice pudding that is offered in the spring to propitiate the Goddess, which became part of the name of the temple. As is the custom with Hindu deities, she has many names: Maharagya Devi, Ragnya Devi, Rajni, Ragnya Bhagwati, and so on. Goddess Ragnya Devi – an incarnation of Goddess Durga – is the presiding deity of this temple.

Maharaja Pratap Singh built this temple in 1912, which was later renovated by Maharaja Hari Singh. The shrine has a hexagonal spring and a small marble shrine where the goddess idol is installed. According to legends, Lord Rama worshipped the goddess during his exile. He expressed his desire of shifting the holy seat to Shadipora, which was fulfilled by Lord Hanuman. The temple was shifted to its present site after the goddess appeared in the dream of a local pundit named Rugnath Gadroo.

On the eighth day of the full moon in May, devotees gather at the Kheer Bhawani Temple and observe fasts. It is believed that Goddess Ragnya changes the spring's colour on this auspicious day. If the colour changes to black, it is considered a bad omen that would result in a disaster in the valley. The temple organises fairs and yagnas during its annual festival and navratras, which attract a large number of devotees. Hawans on Shukla Paksh Ashtami are also common in this temple.



Shankaracharya Hill


The Shankaracharya Hill is a part of the Zabarwan Mountain. It is one of the most revered Hindu pilgrimage destinations in Srinagar, the Shankaracharya Temple (Jyesteshwara Temple )is located atop this hill, it is also known as 'Takht-e-Suleiman' (Throne of Solomon). The ancient temple stands at a height of about 1100 feet above the surface level of the main Srinagar city. A visit to this sacred temple involves a trek to the top of the hills.

Devoted to the worship of Lord Shiva, Shankaracharya Temple is believed to have been built by Raja Gopadatya in 371 BC. During those times, the temple was known as Gopadri. The great saint Shankaracharya is supposed to have stayed here when he visited Kashmir in the early part of the ninth century with the primary aim of spreading the philosophy of Vedanta. This perhaps led to the renaming of the temple as Shankaracharya Temple. Shankaracharya was also instrumental in popularizing the worship of Lord Shiva in Jammu and Kashmir. Shankaracharya Temple is also a monument of great significance, not only because of its religious importance, but also for its architectural beauty. An inscription in Persian inside the Shankaracharya Temple dates back to the reign of Mughal Emperor Shahjahan.

  
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