SHRI SHANKARACHARYA TEMPLE ,SRINAGAR
One of the most sacred temple shrines maintained by the Jammu and Kashmir Dharmarth Trust in the Kashmir valley is the historical Shri Shankaracharya Temple. This ancient temple is located atop the hillock known as the Shankracharya Parbat at a height of 1100 feet above the sea level, which commands the panoramic view of the picturesque Dal Lake, pious Hazratbal, Hari Parbat and interior parts of the Srinagar old city.
The Temple is unique from the architectural point of view in whole of the country. The Holy structure of the Temple has been raised on octagonal platform about 10 feet in length. The roof is supported by four octagonal limestone pillars. The main building of the temple is about 30 feet high. The interior part of the temple houses the sacred Lingam of Lord Shiva. Quite near the temple is the white marbal bust of Adi Shankracharya which was installed by the J & K Dharmarth Trust on April 20, 1961. Just behind the temple is a small marbal tank built with slab stones. Two hundred sixty-five cotta-stone steps have been raised for the convenience of pilgrim devotees visiting shrine every day.
According to Kalhan's Rajtrangni, temple was originally built in 371 BC by king Gopaditya, founder of Gopkar dynasty.
Nevertheless this historical and ancient temple was renovated twice earlier, first by the Kashmir Raja Lalitaditya in 8th century, second time by the then king Zain-ul-Abdin of Kashmir and the third time this most revered Shrine was renovated by the Dogra ruler, founder Maharaja of the J & K State, Gulab Singh Ji in 18th century.
Following the footsteps of his great grand-father Maharaja Gulab Singh, present Maharaja of the State, Dr. Karan Singh who is also the Chairman of the Trust is evincing keen interest in the development and up-keep of this Historical temple Shrine at Srinagar.