Saturday, April 11, 2009

View of Shankaracharya Hill

Time: Minutes before 10 in the morning.


At around 1100 feet, Shankaracharya hill looms over the Srinagar city. Ancient name of the hill is Gopadri. More than 2000 year old shiv temple atop the hill is dedicated to a form of Shiva known as Jyesthesvar. Kashmiri Muslims call it "Takht-i-Sulaiman or the "Throne of Solomon". The tower is dedicated to television and is known a 'TV-Tower' and not Sulaiman or Solomon. The green minaret top belongs to a local mosque. Looking at the hill, the word 'valley' finds true meaning.

8 comments:

  1. "Takht-e-Suleman" is a relative new name. During orthodox Muslim Rule the hill was called "Koh-e-maran"..The hill of the Devil...

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think Hari Parbat is known as "Koh-e-Maran" Persian for "Mountain of Serpents" and perhaps it had more to do with the cult of snake worship prevalent in Kashmir during the ancient times and also the relation of that hill with the story of watery origin of Kashmir.
    Interestingly, there's a Koh-i-Maran in Baluchistan also and again it probably because of the tribe of snake worshipers.

    Anyway, linguistically it all funny Hari Parbat is Mountain of Haer (Kashmiri: sparrow) and also Mountain of Mar (Persian: snake).

    -0-

    ReplyDelete
  3. Francois de Bernier in his 'Travels in the Mogul Empire', A.D. 1656-1668, (Paris, 1670), wrote:

    At one end of the town appears an isolated hill, with handsome houses on its declivity, each having a garden. Toward the summit are a Mosque and Hermitage, both good buildings; and the hill is crowned with a large quantity of fine trees. It forms altogether an agreeable
    object, and from its trees and gardens it is called, in the language of the country, Haryperbet or the Verdant Mountain.

    Opposite to this hill is seen another, on which is also erected a small Mosque with a garden and an extremely ancient building, which bears evident marks of having been a temple for idols, although named Tact-Souliman*, the Throne of Solomon. The Mahometans pretend it was raised by that celebrated King when he visited Kachemire; but I doubt whether they could prove that this country was ever honoured with his presence.

    * The Takht-i Suliman hill, on the top of which is a Buddhist temple, built by Jaloka, the son of Asoka, who reigned about 220 B.C. Part of it was turned into a mosque at the time of the first invasion of Kashmir by the Muhammadans, about 1015 A.D.

    ReplyDelete
  4. gopkar situated below shankracharya was existing from the time of
    > Gopaditya1 i.e around 3500 b.c.zeethyar (jyotheshwara) temple started
    > getting veneration from the time of king Juska son of king ashoka i.e
    > around 3oo b.c.
    >

    ReplyDelete
  5. About Gopaditya, the 70th king in the list of Kashmiri Kings, the dates are a bit confusing (made all the more confusing by many recent 'history' books)... however I quoted that date of his reign based on the information from the book "The Valley of Kashmir" (1895) by Walter Roper Lawrence. Some other old sources quote the date as 6th century AD and some as 417-357 BC and 426-365 BC. GT Vigne marked it at 82 BC.

    Anyway, here's an interesting extract from the book by Lawrence:

    "But the oldest of all is Shankaracharaj, the temple on the Takht-i-Suliman , where worship is still performed. Thither every Monday the pious toil up the steep hill, and on the day of Sheordtri the Hindus swarm like ants up the picturesque hill,which looks over the city and the Dal lake on the one side and over the twisting course of the Jhelum on the other. The hill is a noble site for the guardian deities of Srinagar, and has at various times been sacred to the Buddhists and Hindus. Its old name was Sandhimana Parvata, and the common people say that though Sikandar the Iconoclast spared the temple he changed the name of the hill from Sandhiman to Suliman. Many of the villagers gravely assert that king Solomon once lived in the valley and that the hill was named after him. Across the city there rises another hill known as Hari Parbat, which is also very sacred to the Hindus. It was under this hill that the goddess Devi entombed the water-demon Jaldbo. Its old name was 'Pradimanpith,' but the Kashmiri Musalmans call it the wicked hill, ' Kohi-Maran.' "

    He also adds that the Ladakhi Buddhists call that mountain Pus-Pahari. Interesting thing is that bottas (Ladakhi people), right until modern times used to live at a place near Hari Parbat.

    ReplyDelete
  6. is it really possible that king Solomon once came here & lived here ?
    Its really interesting a mountain named after a hibru king from such a distance from his kingdom.there must be a interesting history behind that name.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Any how whatever the name of the mountain it was most frequently visited by king solomon around 900 years before christ era. The place is not just in kashmir but entire istan region wherever he stayed that places are known as takt-e-sulaiman reason because winds were subservient to him by the grace of God and his throne were carried by jinns and it has nothing to do with muslims invasions or so because this entire regions were habitated by jews people those times.

    ReplyDelete
  8. The contribution of Solomon seems to be equivalent to that of Pandavas for a common man...Just every ancient Temple in North India is believed to be built by Pandavas..Solomon's Contribution was the magnificient "Solomon Temple" in Jerusalem...

    ReplyDelete

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