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Raghunath Temple

The most famous of the shrines of Jammu, Raghunath Temple is situated in the heart of the town. Dedicated to Lord Rama, this major landmark of the city consists of a cluster of temples housing gigantic statutes of deities and numerous lingams. Raghunath Temple, with seven shrines each with its own `Shikhara`, (shikhara, a Sanskrit word translating literally to `mountain peak`, refers to the rising tower in the Hindu temple architecture in north India) is one of the largest temple complexes of north India, located in Jammu city. Maharaja Gulab Singh and his son Maharaj Ranbir Singh built the temple, during the period of 1853-1860. The temple has many gods enshrined, but the presiding deity is Lord Ram, an `avatar` (incarnation) of Lord Vishnu. The gigantic Raghunath temple has seven lofty `shikharas`, where every shrine has its own shikhar. On the very entrance to the temple, a portrait of Maharana Ranbir Singh and an image of Lord Hanuman exaggerate the site. It is notable to mention here that gold sheets envelop the interior walls on three sides of the temple. It also has a gallery, where various `lingams` (phallic form of Lord Shiva) and `saligrams` are placed. Raghunath temple comprises almost all the images of the Hindu Pantheon, an unusual embodiment in temple architecture. Sermons and rituals of the temple include both morning and evening aarti. Glimpses of Mughal masonry can be visualised in the architectural splendor of Raghunath Temple. The carvings and arches being extraordinarily resplendent, grabs everyone`s attention. There is a library in the temple complex, housing rare Sanskrit books and manuscripts. People visit this temple in large numbers to pay their homage to the deity and seek blessings from the Lord.