Raghunath Temple is one of the largest temple complexes of north India. Raghunath Temple consists of a complex of seven Hindu shrines, each with its own Sikhara. The temple was built during the period 1822–1860 by Maharaja Gulab Singh and his son Maharaja Ranbir Singh of the Jamwal Rajput clan.
Raghunath Temple was also in the news during 2002 when suicide bombers Fidayeen of the Lashkar-e-Toiba attacked it twice with grenades and indulged in indiscriminate firing which resulted in death of many devotees and also in injuries to many people.
Features of Raghunath Temple :
- The Hindu temple complex, one of the largest in North India, which has seven shrines, is built over a raised platform of 5 feet height in an octagonal shape.
- The front fascia is 40 feet in width and has three entry doors while the main shrine is set 50 feet away from the entrance.
- Within the enclosed space of the yard there are residential buildings and open cattle yards on its eastern and northern directions.
- The main shrine which is 20 feet x 20 feet in size, is surrounded by a circumambulatory passage (pradakshina path) of 10 feet width.
- The entrance door, set on one side of this octagonal chamber of the shrine, faces east.
- The interior of the inner chamber is gold plated.
- The main walls of the outer chamber have 15 panels, each of 9 feet height.
- These interior panels have a surfeit of paintings of the Jammu School of painting consisting of images from the Hindu epics Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Bhagavad Gita, represented by gods such as Ganesha, Krishna, Sheshashayi Vishnu (reclining Vishnu) and also a large painting depicting the Sita Swayamvara scene (Sita choosing her husband from an elite gathering of princesses).
- Apart from the mythology related themes, some paintings relate to secular aspects, like Kabir, a saint, engaged in weaving and army personnel of Dogra and Sikh communities.
- The paintings also reveal the type of attire and the weaponry prevalent during the period of temple building.
- In the main shrine, the idol of Lord Rama, which is the family deity of the then king and the Dogra people, is deified in the garbhagriha (sanctum sanctorum).
- The shrine has a dome instead of the normal shikara in a pyramidal shape, which is in the Sikh architectural style.
- All the seven shrines have gold plated spires.
- Gods and Goddesses enshrined in the seven shrines are all related to the epic Ramayana.
- In one of the shrines there is a Shiva linga, which is carved out of black stone and measures 7.5 feet.
- The shrines are also enshrined with a very large number of Saligramas (fossil ammonite stones specially obtained from the Gandaki river, in Nepal – a Vaishnava.
- The architectural features of the shrines are stated to be largely influenced by Mughal architecture.
- A distinct feature noted in the entire temple complex is the stucco style embellishments built with brick masonry and finished with plaster.
- The motifs crafted are of floral (lotuses) and geometric designs, on the walls, in the niches and on arches.
- Apart from paintings on the walls, the niches in the interior parts of the shrines have 300 well crafted images of deities.
- The profusion of paintings and images on the internal and external faces of the temple was considered an auspicious feature, instead of leaving the wall surfaces blank.
- AddressJammu, Jammu and Kashmir
- CategoryReligious Places, Temple, Tourist Places
- By JKinside
- Email: email@example.com