Vijeshwar Temple BijbeharaBijbehara is a small town located on the banks of a river Vitasta, a part of Jhelum. The Jammu Srinagar highway pass through it and the town is located some 8-9 Kilometres from the Anantnag in Srinagar. Bijbehara was considered to be a holy place from the ancient times. The river Vitasta passes through the holy places of Bijbehara and Chakdhar. There were temples at both these places which were destroyed by the Sikandar Butshikan in the past.
Vijeshwar Temple is one of the most prominent shrines located in the town of Bijbehara. It is said that in the year 1986, the temple was raided and night soil was tossed over the ten Shiva Lingas in the temple. Moreover, the compound wall of the temple was also shattered during this attack.
History of Vijeshwar Temple
The main temple Vijeshwar was founded by Emperor Vijaya who had his kingdom around the shrine of Vijeshwara. However the shrine of Vijeshwara was there even before the times of Vijaya. It was there from the ancient times of King Ashoka. The present temple was again renewed by the king Gulab Singh and was completely made by the stones nearby the shrine of Vijeshwara. The shrine was considered to be dedicated to Gods of victory and power.
Temple DescriptionThe temple of Vijeshwara is situated in the centre of Bijbhera, very near to the National Highway. Lots of residential houses surround the temple. It can be seen even from the outer of the town due to its height and shining appearance. This temple is considered to be master piece in the Kashmir valley. A conventional Kashmir temple architecture can be seen in to it. The Construction of the temple is done on a platform of considerable height. The Sanctum Sanctorum is situated at the center of this platform and is made of huge rectangular blocks. Sanctum Sanctorum is a famous place here having a great religious and historical importance. It is in Gangobheda.
There was a place under the foot of the Bheda Mountain known as Gangobheda. The Sanctum Sanctorum is a huge structure of such a size that pyramidal floors up to eleven storey heights are constructed over it all containing statues of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. The temple is surrounded by a lot of residential houses and some other shrines. The temple is such a huge structure that the people were in a habit of taking shelter inside it during the civil wars. At the site of Vijeshwara a Kankah was built which is today known as Vijeshwara Kankah.
The temple of Vijeshwara is not in a good condition due to the lack of proper maintenance and migration of Hindus. During the communal riots of 1986, the temple of Vijeshwar was ransacked but after some time the governor of Jammu and Kashmir restored the condition and again established the idols of the Gods and Goddesses there. It is still a great piece of art and is still a masterpiece of architectural excellence.
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