The Shiva temple was actually the royal temple of Dogra kings of
Jammu and Kashmir. Also known as “Rani Temple” or “Maharani Temple”, this is situated on a small hillock in the centre of Gulmarg. The unique thing about this royal temple is the fact that it can be seen from all the corners of Gulmarg. The Maharani temple also known as Mohineshwar Shivalalaya was built by Mohini Bai Sisodhia, the wife of the erstwhile ruler of Kashmir Maharaja Hari Singh (the last king ofKashmir) in 1915. Mohini Bai Sisodhia was the daughter of Maharaja Mohandev of Dharampur. When the last Dogra king was spending his time in Gulmarg in his royal palace, a couple of kilometers from the temple, his queen used to come here to worship Lord Shiva. Infact, she stayed here for months and worshiped Lord Shiva in this temple.
The temple remains open every day from 6am to 9pm. Aarti is performed twice a day for devotees.
The Dagger Division, headquartered at Baramulla renovated the temple in 1998. Now this is being managed by the Jammu and Kashmir Dharmarth Trust headed by Dr Karan Singh, son of Maharaja Hari Singh.
This temple attracts a lot of visitors to its tranquil location despite being in the middle of the city. This temple is situated on a slight hill top with greenery sliding down from all four sides of its steep slopes. The temple construction is a shikharor peak style with a pointed end at the top, which shows that even then, Jammu’s architecture had a south Indian influence.
This temple adjoins a long path that has been constructed using beams to allow devotees to walk on it. While standing at the gates of this temple you can see hill peaks, snow clad mountains and untouched clean environment of Gulmarg. The shrine can be accessed by taking a small trek up.
Gulmarg is settled in the scenic locations of snow clad mountains and tall pine trees. This temple is an extravagant experience in this attractive location where thousands of devotees come, some out of curiosity and some with religious beliefs.