Sun Temple, Shankaracharya Hosts Prayers on Adi Shankaracharya Jayanti

SRINAGAR: Special prayers were reported to have taken place to commemorate the visit of Adi Shankaracharya to Kashmir. While one function was reported from the Shankaracharya Temple in Srinagar, another has taken place in ASI-protected Martand temple ruins.

Sadhu’s and some political workers praying in the ASI-protected Sun Temple ruins at Martand in South Kashmir in May 2022. Photograph: Special arrangement

News gatherer ANI said the prayers were part of a five-day event organized by the One India Strong India with the support of civil administration and different religious and social groups of Kashmiri Hindus. “Nearly 200 saints from south India are camping in Srinagar,” the news agency said. Vidhu Sharma, the organizer said that Shankaracharya’s visit “contributed greatly to the philosophical and spiritual revival of Hinduism” and in Kashmir, he “engaged in debates with scholars”.

Another event that took place on Friday, reported exclusively by The Indian Express, involved the visit of more than 100 pilgrims to the Martand Temple near Mattan in Anantnag where he recited Hanuman Chalisa and verses from Gita.

The eighth-century Sun Temple ruins are protected by the ASI and no prayers are normally permitted. A number of video clips were in circulation showing the visiting pilgrims carrying a saffron flag and chanting Har Har Mahadev.

“The leader of the contingent, Maharaj Rudranath Anhad Mahakal, who said he heads a religious body in Karauli in Rajasthan called Rashtriya Anhad Mahayog Peeth, said he had emailed the District Commissioner’s office about his plan to hold prayers at the Martand temple, but got no response,” the newspaper reported. He told the reporter: “We decided to go ahead with our plan. Instead of just talking about these things, we should act. From the site, when I called the District Commissioner, he said he had no prior intimation of our karyakram. He said it is not a safe area and sent a force for our protection.”

The group remained busy in the temple from 8 am to noon. The temple is a tourist spot which is visited by visitors from all faiths. Some film scenes were shot on the premises as well.

Reports, not immediately confirmed by the officials, said the Lt Governor Manoj Joshi will also visit the area today. It was not immediately known if he would be paying a visit to the Sun Temple as well. A puja function, however, was organised in the monument today as well.

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