MAHARANI TEMPLE (Syllabus: GS Paper 1 – Art & Culture)

News-CRUX-10     7th June 2024        
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Context: In a tragic event, the iconic Maharani Temple in Gulmarg, located atop a hillock was gutted in a blaze.

Maharani Temple

  • Location: Situated on a small hillock in the heart of Gulmarg town in the Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Also known as: Rani Temple or Mohineshwar Shivalaya, the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and his consort, Parvati.
  • Constructed in: 1915 by Mohini Bai Sisodia, wife of the former ruler of Kashmir, Maharaja Hari Singh.
  • Connection: Once a royal temple of the Dogra dynasty of the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Architecture: Intricate carvings and designs reflect a beautiful blend of Indian and Persian styles.

o Examples of religions intertwined with a Muslim priest performing rituals in the temple.

  • Restoration Efforts: In 2021, the Indian Army collaborated with local communities to restore the 106-year-old temple, including renovating the structure and redesigning pathways leading to it.

Dogra Dynasty

  • About: This dynasty, hailing from the Shivalik hills, emerged during the period when the East India Company was consolidating its control over dynastic kingdoms in India.
  • Establishment: Dogra Rajputs formed the region of Jammu and Kashmir, carving out a distinct entity.
  • Recognition by: The Sikh Empire acknowledged Jammu as a vassal state in 1820, solidifying the Dogras' position within the political framework of the time.
  • Expansion: Through strategic alliances and negotiations, particularly exemplified by the Treaty of Amritsar in 1846, the Dogra rulers expanded their domain to include Kashmir.