Shankaracharya Temple in Srinagar, also known as Jyeshteshwara Temple, is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is situated on top of Shankaracharya Hill at a height of 1,000 feet (300 m) overlooking the city of Srinagar.
It is believed that the temple was built around 371 BCE which makes it the oldest temple in Kashmir. Both the temple and the hill were named after Adi Shankara who is said to have visited here in the 8th century.
Other than its religious significance, the temple is also quite popular among tourists because of its location and the view that you get from the top of the hill. It is one of the best spots in Srinagar to view the sunset.
I was recently on a winter trip to Kashmir and visited the Shankaracharya temple on the 4th day of the trip which I will talk about in the post below. To read the previous part of the travelogue, you can follow the links below.
Journey So far:
- Delhi to Srinagar – Day 1
- Srinagar Old City Tour – Day 2
- Srinagar to Gulmarg – Day 3
- Gulmarg to Drung Waterfall – Day 3
For a complete travel guide on visiting Kashmir, you can take a look at How to Plan a Trip to Kashmir Valley. For getting the best hotel rates, and taxi charges, and to organize your trip to Kashmir, you can speak with Kunal @ 9910 402 252.
Below is a video of our visit to the Shankaracharya Temple. You can continue reading the travelogue below or you can also take a look at the video to get the details.
Day 4: Shankaracharya Temple in Srinagar
We had planned this entire trip as per the snowfall prediction. Unfortunately, though, the prediction proved to be wrong and it did not snow on the days that we expected it to.
We arrived in Srinagar on Saturday and visited the old Srinagar town on Sunday. On Monday, we visited Gulmarg and Drung Waterfall. The next destinations on our itinerary were Pahalgam, Sonamarg, and Aharbal Waterfall.
But I did not want to go to these places unless there was snow. None of these places were new to me. The only reason I was in Kashmir again was to see how these destinations look in the winter season.
Now the next prediction of snowfall was for Thursday. So we had two complete days in hand, Tuesday and Wednesday, that we were going to spend in Srinagar city. On Tuesday, we decided to go to the Shankaracharya Temple.
How to reach Shankaracharya Temple in Srinagar
The temple is located quite close to the Dal Gate. It is marked in Google Maps so you can just follow the directions. You can also just ask any of the locals to point you in the right direction.
From Dal Lake, you drive uphill for about 5 kilometers to reach the temple. There is no public transport on this route. So you will either have to bring your own vehicle or rent a private taxi.
You can also rent a motorcycle for local sightseeing in Srinagar. I have even seen some people walking to the temple but I will leave that decision to you. If you are up for a 10-kilometer-long walk, it can definitely save you some money.
Dal Lake to Shankaracharya Temple
Since we only had one destination planned for the day, we started from our hotel at about 2 pm. It was a lazy day and we did not do much in the first half, just watched some TV and played cards.
The weather in Srinagar was very cold even though there was no sign of snow. So we did not even feel like getting out of our beds and finally did so after 1 pm.
The drive from the hotel to the temple took us about 20 minutes. After Dal Lake, it is a steep climb of 5 kilometers to the top of the hill where the temple is located.
We reached the temple and parked our car by the side of the road. The last time I visited the temple, cell phones and cameras were not allowed inside. I assumed that the same will be the case this time as well. So we left all of our gadgets in the car only.
But when we reached the check post, I found out that the cameras can now be carried inside the temple premises. You cannot carry it inside the garbhagriha (sanctum sanctorum) of the temple though, which I anyway was not going to do.
So we walked back to our car, got our cameras and cellphones, and started climbing the stairs to the main temple.
The Temple Complex
I think it was about 300 stairs that we had to climb. But the overall atmosphere and the tranquility of the place won’t let you get tired and you will make your way up without any hassle.
We reached the temple complex and rested for a while. After that, Lavish went inside the temple first because one of us had to stay out with the camera gear. After he came out, I handed over the camera to him and went inside for Darshan.
We spent about an hour at the temple and went for a drive in the city after that. We drove around aimlessly, had dinner at one of the vegetarian restaurants near Dal Gate, and returned to the hotel at around 7 pm.
Not much happened after that. We went to bed early with no plan in mind for the next day. We knew we were going to be in the city only but did not know what to do with the day.
Day 5: Shopping in Srinagar
We did absolutely nothing on this day so there is not much to write about. We just stayed in our beds, watched movies, and relaxed. I kept checking the weather forecast to ensure that it was still going to snow in Pahalgam tonight so that we could go there tomorrow.
The only time we stepped out of our hotel was in the evening to buy a hard disk. I forgot to pack my hard disks and left them back home in Delhi. So now, we were clicking pictures and shooting videos but I did not have the hard disk to transfer the data to.
The memory in my cameras was getting full. So we had no choice but to buy a new hard disk in Srinagar. We drove to the Lal Chowk market, asked around for a while till we found a computer shop, and bought a 4TB hard disk.
- Journey Ahead: Srinagar to Pahalgam in Winter – Day 6
That was it. That is all that we did in these two days in Srinagar. On Day 6 though, we drove to Pahalgam and saw it covered in snow. Please click on the link above to continue reading the next part of the travelogue.
Shankaracharya Temple in Srinagar – Conclusion
I hope the above travelogue, pictures, and information on the traveling from Srinagar to Drung Waterfall were of help. If you have any questions, you can contact me on Instagram and I will be happy to answer. You can also consider subscribing to my YouTube channel and asking a question there.