Early Times Report
srinagar, May 18: The highly revered Shankaracharya Temple, also known as Jyesteshwara temple, which is visited by thousands of pilgrims especially during the holy Amarnath Yatra here, has been ignored by the authorities concerned.
The government has placed, keeping in view the sensitivity of the area, a lot of security at the temple, but has not thought about its renovation.The temple, which dates back to 200 BC, demands immediate attention of the authorities for its overall renovation.
According to some officials in the tourism department, the temple is thronged by around 500 pilgrims everyday. "The temple requires immediate repairs and renovation," said an official of tourism department on the condition of anonymity.
A visit to the temple shows that gaps have developed between the carved stones. Even the basement of the northern part of the temple has developed major gaps.
"The temple is presently under J&K Dharmarth Trust which is also responsible for the maintenance of other major temples in the state, but it is yet to carry out the requisite repairs on Shankrac
arya Temple," sources said.
The temple is presently under J&K Dharmarth Trust which is also responsible for the maintenance of other major temples in the state, but it is yet to carry out the requisite repairs on Shankracharya Temple.
When contacted, trust's additional secretary RL Bhan blamed Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for creating hurdles in the repair of the temple. "We have the intention to do the repair and renovation of the temple, but ASI is not allowing us," he alleged, saying the ASI had stopped the trust from carrying out repairs on the temple in the recent past.
ASI's head of the city sub-circle, Fayaz Ahmad said, "It is true we are not allowing Dharmarth Trust to take up repairs but there is a definite reason for it which cannot be explained on telephone."
The Shankaracharya Temple is on top of the Shankaracharya Hill and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is at a height of 1,000 ft (300 m) and overlooks the city of Srinagar.
According to historians, the temple was originally built by Hindu king Sandiman who ruled Kashmir from 2629 to 2564 BC.
There are 243 steps leading up to the temple area and another 8-10 steps from there to the temple hall. Entrance to the hill is guarded by army personnel and cars are not permitted after 5 pm, although the temple remains open until 8 pm.