Raghunath Temple

Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir

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Raghunath Temple consists of a complex of seven Hindu shrines, each with its own Shikhara. It is one of the largest temple complexes of north India. It is located in Jammu in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The temple was built during the period 1822–1860.

The temple has many gods in its complex of shrines, but the presiding deity is Rama, an Avatar of Vishnu. The Mughal architectural influence is seen in all the spiral shaped towers which have gold plated spires, except the tower over the main shrine which is said to be in Sikh architectural style. The niches in the walls of the shrines are decorated with 300 well crafted images of deities. The paintings in the 15 panels of the main shrine are based on themes from Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Bhagavad Gita.

 

History

During the reign of the rulers of Jammu Shivaliks, after 1765, there was a spurt in temple building activity in Jammu area, which continued during the early period of the 19th century. The rulers built spiral shaped temples with brick and crowned each tower with bright Kalashas in the shape of shikhara (rising tower). One such temple complex was started in 1822 (1835 is also mentioned) by Gulab Singh, the ruler of Jammu and was dedicated to his guru Baba Prem Das. Its construction was completed in 1860 by his son Maharaja Ranbir Singh. However, according to an inscription in Brahmic script (Takri) at the entrance of the temple, Gulab Singh and his brother Dhyan Singh are credited with building the temple in 1827 in honour of Mahant Jagannath.

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