Raghunath Temple, Jammu

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Timings : 6:00 AM - 8:00 PM

Time Required : 2-3 hrs

Entry Fee : No entry fee

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Raghunath Temple, Jammu Overview

The Raghunath Temple is a prominent temple and tourist spot that is located in Jammu, in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The temple is also one of the biggest complexes in entire northern India and is brimming with devotees all year round. The construction of the Raghunath Temple was started by Maharaja Gulab Singh around 130 years ago, during the period from 1822 to 1860; and was later on completed by his son Maharaja Ranbir Singh. The regal temple has many gods and goddesses, but the presiding deity is Lord Rama, the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu.

The temple which is located in the old part of the Jammu city and to the north of Tawi river provides the onlooker with an idea of the influence of the Mughal style of architecture on the temple. However, the tower that can be found over the main shrine is said to be built in the Sikh architectural style. The Raghunath Temple comprises a complex of seven Hindu shrines. The magnificent temple also has seven Shikharas or spires, where each shrine has its separate shikhara. The inner walls of the main temple are plated with gold sheets on its three sides. The temple also has a gallery where different 'Lingams', which is considered to be the phallic form of Lord Shiva, and 'Saligrams' are placed. 

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History of Raghunath Temple

The Raghunath Temple has a rich history attached to it, which goes back to 130 years. The construction of the temple was started in 1835 A.D. by Maharaja Gulab Singh, who was the founder of the Kingdom of Jammu and Kashmir. Later on, the construction was completed by his son Maharaja Ranbir Singh in the year 1860 A.D. The majestic temple is dedicated to the Hindu God Lord Rama, who is believed to be the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

It is believed that Maharaja Gulab Singh got the idea to build this temple from Shri Ram Dass Bairagi. The latter had predicted that Maharaja Gulab Singh would become the king. Shri Ram Dass Bairagi was a firm devotee of Lord Rama and had come to Jammu from Ayodhya to propagate the teachings of the Lord. He resided in a small hut in Sui Simbli, where he got the first Rama Temple constructed.

During the reign of Ranbir Singh, the temple also began to be used as the centre of Sanskrit teachings to educate a large number of Brahmin students. The Raghunath temple was attacked by terrorists in 2002. Following this deadly attack, it was shut down for some time. Finally, in the year 2013, the gates of the temple were once again opened for the devotees, after eleven long years of waiting.

Architecture of Raghunath Temple

The Raghunath Temple prides in being one of the largest temple complexes that can be found in northern India. The main building of the temple has been constructed on a raised platform, which is 5 feet in height and is an octagon in shape. The front of the temple has three entry doors. A portrait of Ranbir Singh and a sculpture of Lord Hanuman are placed at the entrance to the temple. This temple has seven shikharas or spires, and every shrine has its own individual Shikhara.

The interior panels have a surfeit of paintings which consist of images from Hindu epics like Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Bhagavad Gita. The epics are represented by gods such as Ganesha, Krishna and Vishnu; and a large painting depicts the famous scene of the Swayamvara of Sita. The interior walls of the temple are covered in gold. Thus, three sides of the temple are ornamented with gold sheets. It also has a gallery, where the various 'Lingams' and 'Saligrams' are placed. 

The most crucial shrine at the glorious temple has been dedicated to Lord Rama, who is the chief deity at the Raghunath Temple. The other shrines in the temple include various incarnations of Lord Vishnu. There is also a shrine of Lord Surya, that is the Sun God, in the temple. This shrine is also another remarkable one that can be found in the complex. There are other shrines as well which house large statues of the Hindu Gods and Goddesses. The Raghunath Temple comprises of almost all the images of the Hindu Pantheon, which is quite exceptional.

Apart from this, one of the rooms of the temple has been developed in such a way that all four dhams can be seen together. Rameshwaram, Dwarkadheesh, Badrinath and Kedarnath, which are the four dhams, are arranged in such a way that they can be seen each from one direction. Satyanarayana can also be seen in the same room. This marvellous room is complete with a beautiful impression of the sun in the centre. A calendar can be seen on all the four walls; wherein all the months are depicted along with the deities.

Tips For Visiting Raghunath Temple

1. Cameras and mobile phones are not allowed inside the temple premises. You can use the locker facility available at the temple to keep these belongings safely.
2. Be careful of the priests at the temple who wish to extort large amounts of money from the visiting devotees. Be firm in your denial to donate.

How To Reach Raghunath Temple, Jammu

The Raghunath Temple is located on Fatthu Chaugan in Pakki Dhaki in Majhin. It is just 3 kilometres away from Jammu Tawi, which is the railway station of Jammu and can easily be reached by taking local buses, auto rickshaws, or hiring cabs from Jammu to the final destination.

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