Shri Ranbireshwar Temple

 

Built by Maharaja Ranbir Singh in 1883, this is a temple to Lord Shiva. The main Shivling is seven-and-a-half-feet tall, surrounded by several small crystal Shivlings.
Facts At A Glance
Built In Built by Maharaja Ranbir Singh in 1883.

Shri Ranbireshwar temple in Jammu is one of the biggest Shiva temples in the whole of north India. Popularly known as Ranbireshwar temple. It was built by Maharaja Ranbir Singh, son of Maharaja Gulab Singh, the founder of Jammu and Kashmir State, in 1882.

Situated on an elevated platform approached by three flights of steps, the temple is magnificent and has a commanding location. This temple is one of the prestigious temples manned by the Jammu and Kashmir Trust Council.

The Ranbireshwar temple stands in the midst of the extensive brick-covered platform and has a panoramic view from even many miles in the front. The temple opens on the west and overlooks the sprawling Parade Ground to its east. The spire of the temple rises high over a big hall, which contains two pairs of eleven Shiva lingas (Ekadasha Rudra). One of these Rudra is made of crystal stone and the other of beautiful black stone. The biggest of the lingas placed in the Jalhari, 7 feet high and most impressive.

Planted in the black wall are beautiful marble images of lord Shiva and Jagdamba Mata Parvati.

There are two side halls in which embedded in cemented platforms are one and a quarter lakh bana lingas brought from the holy Narmada river.

There are huge images of lord Ganesha and Kartikeya and Nandigan in the verandah in front of the main entrance of the temple. There is also a Bhairava image in the compound. One idol of Mahakali was added in 1983 and Hanuman idol was installed in 1984. These idols were got prepared from the famous sculptors of Rajasthan.

The Maharaja Ranbir Singh laid the foundation stone of the temple in 1882. The murtis were procured from Rajasthan and sacred lingas from river Narmada and were brought in trains. Maharaja Ranbir Singh at Ranbirsingh Pura personally received these. Later, these were carried to Jammu from Ranbirsingh Pura in a chariot with full devotion. The Maharaja himself pulled strings of the chariot assisted by his troops and thousands of other people singing bhajans in the praise of lord Shiva.

The construction of the temple took two years. In the meantime, the Maharaja Ranbir Singh had fallen ill. He, therefore, asked his younger brother, Raja Ram Singh to perform the inauguration ceremony of the temple. But, it appeared that it was too not acceptable to destiny.

In spite of the best efforts of Raja Ram Singh and others the big Shiva linga could not be placed in the vedi (Jalhari). Consequently, the Maharaja Ranbir Singh though ailing, came personally to the temple, prayed to the Lord Shiva and then with his own hands, helped by several other Shiva devotees mounted the lingam in the Holy vedi amidst chanting of 'Har Har Mahadev'.

A number of big panels about Lord Shiva and Mata Parvati have been got painted on the inner walls of the temple. The paintings depict Lord Vishnu worshipping Lord Shiva and offering his eye in place of the 101st lotus and the latter awarding his Sudarshana-chakra to him, Lord Shiva having darshan of Shri Krishna soon after his birth, Lord Shiva destroying Kamadeva, Shri Rama worshipping Lord Shiva before launching the attack on Lanka and Gangavtaram.

The largely participated annual fairs are held on the holy occasions of Maha- Shivratri and Raksha Bandhan when thousands of people throng the sanctum-sanctorum to pay their obeisance and seek the blessings of Lord Shiva. Several lakh pilgrims of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi and Shri Amarnath pay visit to this famous annually during their stay at Jammu.

A number of rooms have been constructed in the basement of the temple and Yagyashalla a recent addition to this spectacular temple with the life-size stature of Maharaja Ranbir Singh on a platform in the worshipping posture.

Three magnificent Chinar trees with Peepal tree in the compound add to the grandeur. There also exists the Smadhi of famous seer Nadh Giri Ji Maharaj with whose inspiration Maharaja Ranbir Singh had got constructed this temple in Jammu.

The Jammu and Kashmir Dharmarth Trust Council under the aegis of its Chairman, the world renowned Vedantic Scholar, Maharaja Dr. Karan Singh Ji and supervision of the Trust President, Th. Divakar Singh has affected a number of the improvements in the complex environment, particularly during his presidency period.

Sailient features completed for the convenients of the devotees include wooden roofing replaced with RCC slabs, Parikrama improved with crazy flooring. Replaustering done on all the walls and Ultima paint done on all the temple walls to make these more beautiful and attractive.

A shop for making available religious books and Puja material to devotees on reasonable rates has also been set up in the complex.