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What makes this place so special? Where is it situated and why must you visit the Awantiswami Temple in Kashmir?

6 reasons why you must visit the Avantiswami Temple Kashmir

What are the best things to do near Avantiswami Temple?

What to expect when visiting the Raghunath Bazaar?

Why is the Peer Kho Cave famous?

By Air:

What is the best time to visit Avantiswami Temple?

Many tourists wonder if there are any good accommodation facilities or where to stay near Avantiswami Temple.

Are there any travel tips to keep in mind when visiting Avantiswami Temple?

Tips for the Journey:

5 Reasons Why You Should Visit The Ancient Avantiswami Temple

Have you taken a trip to Kashmir yet? If not then now is the perfect time to plan for it. Of late, Kashmir has gained immense popularity amongst travelers and tourists alike. 

Especially after stringent laws and regulations in favor of the safety and security of people, tourism in Kashmir has gained major momentum since 2010. Although COVID-19 was a major setback for Kashmir tourism, it has recovered greatly post-covid.

You all must be aware of famous touristy places to visit in Kashmir, but today, we will take you to an unexplored and untouched area of Kashmir; Avantiswami Temple.

What makes this place so special? Where is it situated and why must you visit the Awantiswami Temple in Kashmir?

You might be hearing of this name for the first time, all the more reason to understand the relevance and importance of this place in Kashmir tourism. 

Situated in the Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir, Avantiswami Temple, Awantipora, is dedicated to lord Vishnu, and its construction dates back to the 9th Century CE. This temple is quite underrated; therefore, this blog will act as a detailed Avantiswami Temple Travel Guide for all curious travelers

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6 reasons why you must visit the Avantiswami Temple Kashmir

  • An Ancient Marvel: Built by King Avantivarman, who ruled Kashmir from 855 to 883 CE, and was the first ruler of the Utpala dynasty. 

The Avantiswami Temple has stood the test of time, and although, it is in a dilapidated state now, it still takes us back in time. It may not be among the topmost places to visit in Kashmir but it is a major tourist attraction. 

  • Awe Inspiring Architecture: The structure is popular for its unique features in architecture and design. It’s the perfect fusion of local Kashmiri architecture with influences from corners of India. The elaborate carvings and grand layout are remarkable. 
  • The Holy Abode of Vishnu: This place is a holy abode to Lord Vishnu, one of the most revered Hindu deities. During its prime days, this temple was extremely popular amongst sages, rishis, religious leaders, and the general public. 
  • A Major Source of Archaeological Insights: Despite being in ruins, the Avantiswami Temple holds major significance for archaeologists and historians. 

The stone and other raw materials used for building this temple have been studied by scientists and this site is preserved and protected under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

  • Glimpses of A Historic Past: The temple provides deep insights into the socio-political and religious panorama of Kashmir during that era. It stands as a testament to the relevance and eminence of Hinduism in the 9th Century in Kashmir before the spread of Islam in later years. 
  • A Cultural and Tourism Hub: Although in ruins, the Avantiswami Temple Awantipora is a popular tourist destination. Lovers and appreciators of cultural heritage and historic buildings, flock in at this location from afar. 

It is an example of the rich history of Kashmir and the golden past this temple had. This monument is said to be among the top religious places in Kashmir.

What are the best things to do near Avantiswami Temple?

Picture visiting an ancient site, full of cold gray ruins of a once magnificent structure, sitting quietly with a breathtaking natural background. Yes, that is Avantiswami Temple for you. But, that’s not everything you can see or do around this temple. 

When you visit this site, you will witness some of the most captivating Kashmiri views, picturesque landscapes, marvelous architecture, intricate sculptures, and iconic craftsmanship. After deeply absorbing the beauty and cultural heritage of the temple, you must visit these places nearby

1. Saffron Fields: Kashmir’s Kesar/ Saffron is popular all over the world. The city of Awantipora in particular is famous for its saffron cultivation. 

After exploring the ancient ruins of Avantiswami Temple, visitors can savor the flavourful breeze and the orangish golden sight of saffron fields, particularly during late autumn.

2. Martand Sun Temple: Dedicated to the Sun God, Martand Sun Temple is another gem, which must be explored on your Kashmir vacation. It is among the most iconic archaeological sites in Kashmir. 

You can witness immaculate architecture, historic grandeur, and panoramic scenic views from here.

3. Shankaracharya Temple: Your religious voyage in Kashmir would be incomplete without paying homage to the great spiritual and religious leader Guru Shankaracharya. 

This temple is dedicated to the said sage and is situated on Shankaracharya Hill in Srinagar. For stunning views of the city and Dal Lake, visiting this place is a must. The temple boasts its historical significance and is one of the most ancient temples in Kashmir.

4. Dal Lake: Of “ye chand sa roshan Chehra’’ and many other timeless Bollywood songs fame, Dal Lake, is a spot you can’t afford to miss. Visiting Srinagar and skipping the Dal Lake would be as bad as having chai without sugar. 

What is the best outdoor activity at Dal Lake?

The most unique outdoor experience at Dal Lake is that of staying in the best houseboats in Kashmir. Explore the floating garden and get views of the city from a different perspective.

5. Mughal Gardens: A cluster of immaculately pruned and maintained gardens; Mughal Gardens in Srinagar, include Shalimar Bagh, Chashme Shahi, and Nishat Bagh. 

These magnificent gardens emulate the opulence of the Mughal era. You’ll find many Instagram-able spots and this place is among the most photographed places in the world.

6. Pari Mahal: Pari Mahal or Peer Mahal, meaning a palace of fairies, was built during the reign of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. A fascinating feature of this Mughal Garden is that it is seven-terraced.  

Originally it was a Buddhist Monastery, which was later converted into a Mughal Garden. For the best ariel views of Srinagar and Dal Lake, visit Pari Mahal, without fail.

7. Betaab Valley: What’s so unique about the Betaab Valley? Originally known as Hagan Valley or Hagoon, located near Pahalgam, Betaab Valley got its present name after a major Bollywood blockbuster movie ‘Betaab’ was shot here. Tourists visiting Pahalgam, near Avantiswami Temple, keep Betaab Valley on top of their must-visit locations list. 

It is a famous picnic spot and various other outdoor activities are prevalent here like trekking, camping, and sightseeing. 

Betaab Valley is one of the top valleys in Kashmir, due to a plethora of forests, lush green pastures, and enchanting waterways.  

8. Gulmarg: Another feather in Kashmir’s cap, is the Gulmarg Valley.

You must be wondering why is Gulmarg so famous among tourists.

A little further away from Awantipora, but worth every mile, Gulmarg is the queen of natural beauty, breathtaking landscapes, and some of the best snow adventure sports in India.

The Gulmarg Gondola is one of the highest cable cars in the world. During winter, this place turns into a wonderland and is among the extremely popular places to visit in Kashmir for honeymoon.

9. Chandanwari: Situated at a distance of 16 kilometers from Pahalgam town, Chandanwari holds great significance as it is the starting point of the famous Amarnath Yatra Trek. it is visited by thousands of pilgrims every year. 

Chandanwari is made up of mesmerizing views and landscapes, it is an amalgamation of snow-peaked mountains, verdant meadows, and gushing pristine waterways. 

This place is the perfect blend of recreation and religion, visitors can enjoy camping, trekking, and sightseeing, along with immersing in the divinity of the Amarnath trek. So, do visit Chandanwari whenever you are near Awantiswami Temple Awantipora.

10. Raghunath Bazar: Nestled in the heart of Jammu, Raghunath Bazar derives its name from the famous Raghunath temple, dedicated to lord Rama and many other deities. This bazaar is one of the oldest and busiest markets in the region. This bazaar also witnessed one of the major terrorist attacks in Jammu in 2002. 

What to expect when visiting the Raghunath Bazaar?

Being one of the most bustling markets in Jammu, this market will keep you on your toes. Make sure you visit this place with a local guide or a local resident, as otherwise you will get lost in the hustle and bustle of the place. 

Tourists visit this bazaar especially to pick exquisite  Kashmiri Pashmina shawls, handcrafted woolen carpets, fresh and flavorsome spices, and dry fruits. 

The market is always full of life, with sellers and vendors calling out to customers, and alleys full of colorful products on display. 

You can also find various authentic food stalls here, one of the most iconic Kashmiri dishes Kaladi Kulcha, is a specialty of this market. 

Keep some shopping bags handy, as you will not go empty-handed from this market. 

You can pick souvenirs like shawls, embroiders bags, and pouches, wooden handcrafted goods, dry fruits, religious photographs and keychains, Kashmiri shawls, Kashmiri suits, traditional Kashmiri caps, and the famous aam papad, it is all available here, making Raghunath Bazar one of the most iconic places for shopping in Kashmir.

11. Bahu Fort: Built on the banks of the Tawi River, Bahu Fort is said to be standing high for 3000 years. It was built by Raja BahuLochan and was later renovated and reconstructed by Dogra Kings. This structure holds evidence of the grandness of the Dogra Kings and the royal family. 

The Bahu temple is situated within the fort, also known as Bave Vali Mata Mandir, this temple is dedicated to the goddess Mahakali. Bahu Fort is one of the most revered spots in Jammu and pilgrims and local devotees visit this temple regularly.  The surrounding areas make for a calm and serene atmosphere with lush greenery and a tranquil environment. 

12. Amar Mahal Museum and Library: Once home to the royal Dogra King, Maharaja Amar Singh. The Amar Mahal or Palace is a great way to delve into the aristocratic history of Jammu and Kashmir.

What are the best things to do at Amar Mahal Museum and Library?

Once you visit this historic building, the very first thing that will catch your eye is its beautiful architecture. Designed by a French architect, the Amar Mahal is a state-of-the-art building, from an architectural point of view. 

Visitors can see salient features of European-style architecture in its construction in the form of red sandstone walls, a sloping roof, and turrets. 

This museum is a haven of rich antiques that stand testament to the glorious past of the Dogra kings and also the state of Jammu and Kashmir. From the royal throne made out of gold to Pahari miniature paintings, you can witness the charm of the blue-blooded lineage in full glory. 

Another captivating feature of this place is the Amar Mahal Library. Voracious readers, historians, and researchers can find an archive of some of the rarest of manuscripts and books, bearing evidence of the rich heritage and culture of Jammu and Kashmir.

13. Bagh-e-Bahu: Located within the premises of the Bahu Fort Complex, the Bagh-e-Bahu or The Garden of Bahu is another masterpiece of the Mughal Architecture. Carefully and immaculately designed using the Mughal style of architecture, this garden is modeled to perfection.

Manicured grasslands and hedges, terraced lawns, and a multitude of flowerbeds can be spotted here. For refreshing and captivating views of the Tawi River and the nearby areas, don’t forget to spend some time in the gardens of Bahu.

Is there anything unique about Bagh-e-Bahu?

Well, Bagh-e-Bahu, just like any other Mughal Garden, is beautiful and well-maintained. But there is one striking feature about this place, setting it apart from the others, it is the gigantic aquarium stationed within the garden. 

A multitude of freshwater species and marine animal species can be spotted here, making it a popular destination near Avantiswami Temple for children as well.

14. Mubarak Mandi Palace: This royal palace, once acted as the residence of the king of Jammu and Kashmir. A striking feature of this palace is that it exhibits both Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. 

From royal artifacts, and miniature paintings from various hill schools of Kangra and neighboring places, to Emperor Shah Jahan’s regal bow and arrow painted in gold, Mubarak Mandi Palace will give you a glimpse into every bit of the past. 

15. Peer Kho Cave Temple: Peer Kho Cave is an ancient Hindu temple with great religious significance. Situated at a short distance of 5 Km from Jammu station, this temple has a lot of prominence among Hindu pilgrims. 

Why is the Peer Kho Cave famous?

Did you know? Apart from its ancient existence, the Peer Kho Cave Temple is also known as Jamwant Cave, after the famous bear god Lord Jamwant from the Ramayana era. 

This cave is said to be the abode of lord Jamwant in those times, hence the name. Another interesting fact about this cave is that it not just connects one cave to another, but has openings outside the country as well. The Peer Kho Cave Temple also holds major religious significance same as the Avantiswami Vishnu Temple.

After knowing such amazing facts about the place, you must wonder how to reach Avantiswami Temple. Here’s a comprehensive travel guide that will help you decide, how to plan your trip.  

Jammu and Kashmir being a hot tourist destination, has great connectivity with other parts of India. To reach Avantiswami Temple, this is what you must do

By Air:

  • The nearest Airport to the Temple: Sheikh ul-Alam International Airport (Srinagar Airport)
  • Distance from the temple: Approximately 25 kilometers from the temple.
  • Average fare: 5000/- to 10,000/- 

After landing at the airport, you can easily hire a private cab and reach your hotel in Srinagar, rest for some time, and then start your journey to Awantipora, which is approximately a 45-minute drive. 

By Rail:

  • Nearest Railway Station: Jammu Tawi Railway Station in Jammu 
  • Distance from the temple: About 250 kilometers away from Awantipora.
  • Average fare: 350/- to 4,000/-

To reach Srinagar from Jammu, you can either hire a taxi or take a bus. It takes around 7-8 hours to reach Srinagar. After reaching Srinagar, you can take another taxi or public transport to reach Awantipora. 

By Road:

  • From Srinagar, the Avantiswami Temple is about 25-30 kilometers. You can drive or take a taxi to reach the temple. The journey takes about 45 minutes.
  • From Pahalgam, the distance of the temple is around 60 Kilometers. Approxing to a 2-hour drive.

What is the best time to visit Avantiswami Temple?

The best months to visit Srinagar and nearby places like Avantiswami Temple in Kashmir, are from April to October. This time of the year, keeps Kashmir mildly cool and moderate, making perfect weather conditions for sightseeing and other outdoor activities.

Many tourists wonder if there are any good accommodation facilities or where to stay near Avantiswami Temple.

As the temple is located in the small town of Avantipora, there aren’t many great accommodation options nearby. Therefore, tourists prefer to stay in nearby places like Srinagar and Pahalgam, which have a range of amazing hotels, resorts, and homestay options. 

Accommodation options in Srinagar:

Luxury Hotels: If you want a luxurious stay then go for Vivanta by Taj, Srinagar, The Lalit Grand Palace, Srinagar, and much more.

Budget-Friendly Options: Find the nearest Zostel in the Srinagar area, there are many homestay options like Water Vibe homestay Srinagar, Sethi homestay, etc. 

Offbeat Stay Option: For a unique stay experience, renting a houseboat on the Dal Lake is all you need. 

Are there any travel tips to keep in mind when visiting Avantiswami Temple?

Although there are no major restrictions when visiting the temple, but certain things must be considered
  1. Dress appropriately and decently: It may be a tourist site but has great religious significance, therefore one must wear covered and appropriate clothes when visiting the temple.
  2. There is an entry fee to visit the temple, which is subject to change, but the charges are nominal. The opening timings of the temple are from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM everyday.
  3. The weather plays a major role in any expedition, therefore keep track of the changes in the climatic conditions, to enjoy your trip to the fullest.
  4. Make use of navigation apps such as Google Maps, to get the best routes and reach your destination. 

Tips for the Journey:

  • Plan Your Visit: It’s best to visit the temple during the daytime for a more pleasant experience. Check the weather conditions and road status, as they can be affected by seasonal changes.
  • Navigation Apps: Using navigation apps like Google Maps can be helpful for finding the route to the temple and estimating travel time.
  • Dress Appropriately: Given that the temple is a historical site with religious significance, it’s recommended to dress modestly and comfortably.

With these routes and tips, you should be able to plan your trip to the Avantiswami Temple in Kashmir smoothly and enjoy the journey along the way

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

Q:What is the history of Avantiswami Temple?

Q:Is there an entry fee to visit Avantiswami Temple?

Q:Are there any festivals celebrated at Avantiswami Temple?

Q:How can visitors reach Avantiswami Temple using public transportation?

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