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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Have you seen this temple ?

Raghunathji temple is one of the important temples of Lord Rama in India. It is located in Jammu city in Jammu and Kashmir state of India. It is one of the biggest temple complexes in North India. This temple has hundreds and hundreds of idols of Hindu deities. If you know the name of any Hindu God, Goddess, saint or mythological king, you would definitely find the corresponding idol in this temple. I am not sure if there is any other Hindu temple in India or outside India having such a large number of idols of various deities.

The construction of this huge temple of Raghunathji was started by the former of Jammu and Kashmir kingdom, Maharaja Gulab Singh in 1835 AD. It was completed by his son Maharaja Ranbir Singh in 1860 AD. Raghunathji temple is the most important temple of Jammu city - the city of temples. It is located at the central location in the city.

The main shrine of the temple has big idols of Lord Rama, his brother Lakshman and his wife Sita. The idol of Lord Rama is in black color. Lord Rama is named as Raghunathji in this temple. There is a small roundabout (prakara) surrounding the main shrine of Raghunathji. The wall of this small corridor has the bas relief images of Ragu, Ketu, Saneeswar, Agni and the representation of four directions.

The outer corridor of the main temple has multiple sub temples. Facing the main shrine of Lord Rama there are shrines of Hanuman and the authors of Ramayan - Valmiki and Tulsidas. Behind the shrine of Rama, the shrine of Vaishno Devi is located.

Apart from the main shrine of Raghunathji and the other shrines described above, there are eight sub temples located within this huge temple complex.

The eight temples are:
1) Krishna Parivar - This temple has the idols of Lord Krishna in various forms as well as the family and relatives of Lord Krishna
2) Brahma
3) Vishnu
4) Satyanarayan
5) Siva - This temple has idols related to Siva and his family
6) Dharmaraja
7) Surya

8) Badrinarayan

All the sub temples has a lot of idols of Gods, Goddesses, saints, kings and small deities. Mythological characters such as Drona, Krupa, Ashwattama, Manu, various kings and saints, different forms of Siva and Vishnu, Kartikeya, Dattareya, Gayatri, Indra, Yama, vanaras such as Vali, Sugreev, Yama, incarnations (avatars) of Vishnu, Ramayan characters such as Dasrath, Lakshman, Bharat, Vibeeshan, the representations of months, stars, etc. etc. It is very difficult to list down the list of deities present in this temple.
The temple has full of pindis - a kind of symbol representing the 33 crore devtas (small deities) of Hinduism across the entire structure.

The temple has the third corridor. This outermost prakara has few more sub temples.
1) Ganesha temple - this temple has big idol of Ganesha; four small Ganesh idols are also present in this temple
2) Matsya - the incarnation of Vishnu as fish
3) Kachchab - the incarnation of Vishnu as tortoise
4) Varaha - the incarnation of Vishnu as boar
5) Narasimha - the incarnation of Vishnu as lion
6) Vamana - the incarnation of Vishnu as dwarf
7) Bharat - the brother of Lord Rama
8) Shatrugna - the youngest brother of Lord Rama
9) Radha and Krishna
10) Lakshmi and Narayan
11) Mahalakshmi - this temple also has the idols of Parvati, Chamundi, Saraswati, Kali and Vaishno Devi
12) Sesha Naryan and Vishnu temple '
13) Shiv Linga and Surya - This temple also has the idols of  Amarnath, Badrinath, Ganesha and Parvati
14) Virat - the idol with multiple arms and faces
15) Hanuman temple facing the main shrine of Rama
16) Gayatri
17) Very big Shiv Linga
18) Dattareya
19) a small Shiv Linga
20) another small Shiv Linga
21) Karaneswar Spastik Linga - The temple has the idols of Parvati and Ganesh and Sivakami-Natraj. Nandi idol is located facing the shrine; the highlight of the main Shiv Linga idol is that it was presented from German. This idol is a reflecting stone with the light glowing inside.

Raghnuathji temple of Jammu is a temple which is worth visiting not only in the city but in the entire country. If you happen to go to J&K, ensure that your travel itinerary has this temple.

Fast Facts:
Site Name: Raghunathji Temple
Site Type: Hindu temple, pilgrimage, holy shrine
Location:  Jammu city, Jammu and Kashmir state, India
Highlights: The huge temple having the idols of almost all the Hindu deities
Nearest Railway Station: Jammu - well connected from the cities/towns all over India
Nearest Airport: Jammu
How to reach: Train, road or air
Hotel: A lot of hotels are available in Jammu; 
Restaurants: Good restaurants are available in Jammu

Sent by Mr. Balayogi

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