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Raghunath Temple, Jammu Kashmir

Raghunath Mandir Jammu KashmirSituated in the heart of the city and surrounded by a group of other temples, this temple dedicated to Lord Rama is outstanding and unique in Northern India. Work on the temple was started by Maharaja Gulab Singh, founder of the Kingdom of Jammu and Kashmir in 1835 AD and was completed by his son Maharaja Ranbir Singh in 1860 AD. The inner walls of the main temple are covered with gold sheet on three sides. There are many galleries with lakhs of 'Saligrams'. The surrounding Temples are dedicated to various Gods and Goddesses connected with the epic Ramayana.

History
Amongst the temples in Jammu, the Raghunath Mandir dedicated to Lord Rama, takes pride of the place, being situated right in the heart of Jammu. The temple has seven shrines, with god-plated interiors. The most important houses the Dogra's patron deity, Rama, Vishnu's eighth incarnation. The cluster of temples makes it the largest temple complex in Northern India. The inner sanctums of the temples contain gigantic statues of Gods and Goddesses and numerous 'lingams'. It contains representatives of almost the entire Hindu Pantheon, which makes it a rare sight to see. The inner walls of the main temple are covered with gold sheet on three sides. There are many galleries with lakhs of 'Saligrams'. The surrounding Temples are dedicated to various Gods and Goddesses connected with the epic Ramayana.The arches and architectural details show Mughal influence. Morning and evening aartis are ritually attended and there is also a stone lingam here and in the other shrines, for this is a center for Shakti worship. A portrait of Ranbir Singh, the temple patron and a sculpture of Hanuman are at the entrance. The other shrines have images of Vishnu in various incarnations, Siva and Surya. The Sanskrit Library here contains numerous rare manuscripts.Work on the temple was started by Maharaja Gulab Singh, founder of the Kingdom of Jammu and Kashmir in 1835 AD and was completed by his son Maharaja Ranbir Singh 1860 AD.

Hanuman Mandir Jammu KashmirTragedy
Jammu Nov. 24. Militants attacked the Raghunath temple here today for the second time in nine months, killing nine persons and injuring forty-two. In the encounter that followed with the security forces, one militant was gunned down ending the siege. A jawan of the Central Reserve Police Force was also killed. Another terrorist attack was simultaneously launched at the Shivalya Mandir (also known as Panchbakhar mandir), a few hundred metres away from the Raghunath temple. The militants were firing from inside the shrine when reports last came in. Sources said that a curfew would be imposed in the town tomorrow and all educational institutions would remain closed. The militants targeted devotees at the Raghunath temple as they made their way into the complex by passing the security ring at the gates. They sneaked in much deeper than they had done in March and opened fired indiscriminately. The Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, and most of his Cabinet colleagues reside around 500 metres away from the temple. Initial reports said there were two militants but they could not be confirmed.

The militants hurled grenades in the nearby Hari market to divert the attention of the security forces and gain entry into the temple. A fierce encounter ensued around 7 p.m., with the CRPF, assisted by the State Police, leading the operations. They blocked the three escape routes from the temple. The flush-out operation lasted two hours. Most of the devotees were locals as the rush of the Vaishno Devi pilgrims has declined in the recent months due to similar terrorist attacks in the vicinity. The telephone lines in some parts of the city snapped after the attack resulting in breakdown of communication. The militants chose to attack on a Sunday evening when the bazaar is closed. Emotions ran high in the market and huge crowds thronged the near-by streets. Police found it difficult to control the enraged people. Before the people could gain in strength, another group of militants attacked the Shivalya Mandir. It is possible that they simultaneously entered the temple but opened fire a little later than the attackers did in the Raghunath temple. The Minister of State for External Affairs, Omar Abdullah, expressed his anguish over the incident. "The new Government should make sure that its polices do not in demoralise the security forces and give an upper hand to the terrorists.'' The Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party, Shabir Shah, also condemned the attack.

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