Wednesday, January 23, 2019
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Raghunath Temple

 

Place

:

Jammu, Jammu & Kashmir

Significance

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One of the biggest temple complexes of northern India

Best time to Visit

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Throughout the year except during winters

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Raghunath Temple, with seven shrines each with its own Sikhara is one of the biggest temple complexes of northern India. Situated in the heart of Jammu city of Jammu district in Jammu and Kashmir state, it is dedicated to Lord Rama, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

Though 130 years old, the complex is remarkable for its sacred scriptures, one of the richest collection of ancient texts and manuscripts in its library. Built during the period 18351860 by Maharaja Gulab Singh and his son Maharaja Ranbir Singh, this temple consists of seven shrines, each with tower.

The Raghunath temple went under a disaster terror attack on 30th March 2002, while the devotees were performing pooja in the temple. Seven persons, including three security forces personnel, were killed and 20 were injured. Since then this temple is under protection for security reasons.

The foundation of the temple was laid by Maharaja Gulab Singh, the founder of royal Dogra dynasty and first Maharaja of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. But it was completed by his son Maharaja Ranbir Singh in 1860 AD.

A glimpse of Mughal artistry can be seen in the architecture of Raghunath Temple and its arches, surface and niches shows the Mughal influence clearly. The interior of the temple is plated with gold. Its principal sanctuary is dedicated to Vishnu's eighth incarnation and Dogras' patron deity the Rama. There is a Sanskrit Library here which contains rare Sanskrit manuscripts.

At the entrance of the temple, one can see a a portrait of Maharana Ranbir Singh and an image of Lord Hanuman. The central shrine is dedicated to Lord Raghunath. Apart from the main shrine of Lord Raghunath, the temple premises houses other shrines which has various incarnations of Lord Vishnu. The main dieties in these temples are different incarnations of Lord Vishnu, Lord Surya and Lord Shiva. The other noted shrine of this temple complex is the shrine of Lord Surya (Sun God).

The inner wall of the main temple is covered with gold sheets on three sides. There are many galleries with 'Lingams' (phallic form of Lord Shiva) and 'Saligrams'. The temple comprises almost the entire Hindu Pantheon, which makes it a rare sight to see. The temple ceremony include both morning and evening Aarti. One can see vendors selling coconut, sweets, flowers and sainted sticks within the temple complex. It is believed Lord Rama fulfills all the wishes of a true devotee.

The carvings and arches are the major attraction of this temple. There is a Sanskrit Library here which contains numerous rare manuscripts. People visit this temple in large numbers to pay their homage to the deity and get the blessings from the God.

Timings - Opening & Closing: Monday - Friday: 6.00 AM - 8.00 PM , Saturday: 6.00 AM - 8.00 PM , Sunday: 6.00 AM - 8.00 PM , Public Holidays: 6.00 AM - 8.00 PM







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