Shankaracharya Temple is an ancient temple located on Gopadari Hill dedicated to Lord Shiva. A climb to the hill, located in south-east Srinagar, will take about 40 minutes. Said to be the oldest shrine in the Kashmir valley, this temple stands on a solid rock and consists of an octagonal basement of 13 layers.
Be it the chanting of shlokas or the offering of prayers to the presiding deity, Shankaracharya represents the traditional beliefs and customs of Hinduism. The temple offers panoramic view of the Valley. Early April, when the snow lies thick on the mountains, or after rains on a summer day offer the best views from the hill.
In the ancient times this temple was known as the Gopadri. In fact, the road below the hill, with residences of high- ranking State Government officials, is still known as Gupkar road.
The main shrine has a circular cell inside. An inscription in Persian inside the shrine indicates that the origin of this sacred place dates back to the reign of emperor Shah Jahan.
It overlooks the Valley and can be approached by a motorable road. A modern ceiling covers the inner sanctum and an inscription in Persian traces its origin to the reign of Emperor Shah Jehan. The original ceiling was dome- shaped and the brick roof, it appears, is not more than a century old.