We have heard some interesting versions of Jesus's life after the crucifixion. Several fictional and historical works have explored this topic in greater detail. One such theory traces his journey from the West to East. According to that, Jesus came to India in search of a group of Jewish refugees. Some even say that Jesus died in Kashmir. So, the story of Shankaracharya Hill in Srinagar is also related to the presence of Jesus and his time here.
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What is there in Shankaracharya Hill?
Shankaracharya Hill is one of the tourist attractions in Srinagar. The hill is known for Shankaracharya's Temple or Jyoteshwara Temple. The Shankaracharya Temple is a Shiva Temple which gained popularity after the visit of Sri Adi Shankaracharya in the 9th century. Since then it became famous as Shankaracharya Hill.
The Tale of Takt-i-Sulaiman
Takt-i-Sulaiman is nothing but another name of Shankaracharya Hill. It has had different names over the course of history. Most crucial information regarding itshistory is given by an ancient historian named Kalhana. According to him, the hill was called as Jeetlark when a person named Suliaman (also called as Solomon and Sandiman) invaded it. He came along with his throne and a set of followers. Since then it got the name as Takt-i-Sulaiman or Takt-i-Solomon.
Interestingly, this name remained for a longer duration which surpassed the administration of Mughals, Sikh, Afghan and Dogra periods. In fact, there was no Shiva Linga inside the temple before the reign of Sikhs.
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Jesus and His Connection With Shankaracharya Hill
It was the time of the King Gopaditya when a prophet named Yuz Asaf is said to have come to Gopadri (Shankaracharya Hill). Some theories say that, this temple was renovated by Yuz Asaf and his follower. According to these records, this Yuz Asaf is none other than Jesus himself.
As curious as it sounds, the Persian inscriptions on the stairs of the temple inform about the visit of Yuz Asaf. These inscriptions also say that the temple is the architecture of Sulaiman and that Yuz Asaf proclaimed his prophet-hood here. It also mentions that Yuz Asaf is a prophet of the people of Israel.
Shankaracharya Gufa (He performed meditation here)
PC: Divya Gupta
Shaivism and Shankaracharya
In Hindu mythology, the Mount Kailash (in the Himalayas) is said to be the abode of Lord Shiva. In fact, it is said to be the source of Shaivism in India. However, the Jyoteshwara Temple in Shankaracharya Hill became famous only during Sikh rule. It was after the visit of Adi Shankaracharya that it gained popularity as a Hindu place of worship. Some historical records say that there was a mosque next to this shrine. It seems to have vanished after the advent of Hinduism in Kashmir.
Shankaracharya Hill is also called as Bagh-i-Sulaiman (Garden of King Solomon) and Koh-i-Sulaiman (hill of Solomon). Even though its history and legends indicate a different version, today it is a Hindu temple. The temple is said to have renovated several times in the past.
Overall, the tales of Shankaracharya Hill is spine-chilling. Though the stories relating to Jesus seem controversial, the temple surely has a history which goes much beyond several centuries. The historical records of Kalhana and other writers definitely indicate to a person named Yuz Asaf.
PC: Divya Gupta
In fact, some years ago there was a speculation regarding Rozabal Shrine in Srinagar. A report which said that it is the original tomb of Jesus created quite a mayhem among the tourists. Rozabal Shrine is the tomb of Yuz Asaf who is believed to be a Muslim saint according to local Muslim community.
Whatever it is, so many stories and historical entries about these places does make us curious. Especially when the structure of the temple and the inscriptions substantiate these theories, it is not difficult to believe in them. Still, we can't really come to a conclusion that these things happened but only enjoy knowing about such places. However, the fact that this place has an influence of Persian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Sikh religions is incredible for sure.
Therefore, a visit to the Shankarcharya Hill in Kashmir is a must. It is also one of the remaining ancient Hindu temples in Kashmir.
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