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Temples and important Sites in Jammu and Kashmir

TEMPLES AND IMPORTANT SITES

The main features of Kashmir style of architecture are:

• Trefoil arches (Gandhara influence) •

Cellular layout and enclosed courtyard

• Straight-edged pyramidal roof

• Column walls (Greek influence)

• Triangular pediments (Greek influence)

• Relatively more number of steps

MARTAND SUN TEMPLE

It is located in Anant nag, Kashmir and was built in 8th century CE under the aegis of Karkota Dynasty ruler Lalitaditya MuktapidaIt is considered to be a synthesis of various schools of architecture. The influences of Gandhara, Chinese and Gupta can be observed on the monuments. The complex is in a shape of courtyard, surrounded by columns. The main temple has a pyramidal top and carvings of gods like Vishnu, river goddess Ganga and Yamuna and the Sun God.

TEMPLES AT AWANTIPORA

There are two temples namely Avantiswami for Lord Vishnu and Avantisvara dedicated to Lord Shiva. It was built by the king Avantivarman, the first king of Utpala dynasty, in 9thcentury CE. The temple is inside a paved courtyard and has four shrines in its four corners. The gateway has two chambers and is carved out eloquently. Roman and Gandharan influence is clearly found.

MAMLESHWAR SHIVA TEMPLE

It is located in Pahalgam and was built in around 400 CE. It finds mention in the classic Sanskrit text Rajatarangini.

MONUMENTS IN PARASPORE

It is located in modern-day Paraspore. It was built by Lalitaditya Muktapida of KakotaDynasty who made Parihaspora his capital. It has temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Lord Parihaskesana. It also had few Buddhist structures

WANGATH (NARANAG) TEMPLE

Naranag village is a base camp for trekking to the Mount Haramukh (5,142 metres),Gangabal Lake, Satsar(Seven Lakes). The village lies at the left bank of the Wangath river, which is a tributary of the Sind River.The temple is dedicated to Shiva and was built by Lalitaditya Muktapida, of the Kayastha Naga Karkota Dynasty in the 8th century AD. It is believed that the king Awantivarman paida visit and donated a pedestal for bathing at Bhuteshwar (“Bhutsher”).It is also believed to be dedicated to the ancient Nagas. Hence, the name “Naranag”. It was built by the Naga Karkotas, who are said to be Hindu Kashmiri Kayasthas of the Naga sect,known for their reverence of serpents. They used to stay here and do their sadhanas.Kalhana notes in Rajatarangini that Ashoka built the city of Srinagar in the 3rd centuryBC.His son Jaluka, 220 BC, built the Shaivite temples Bhuteshvara, Jyestarudra, and Muthas inthe Wangath valley around the holy spring of Naranag. The Wangath temples were built in three groups, around the same time as the Shankaracharya Temple in Srinagari and the Bumazuv temple near Mattan. King Jaluka built a stone templeat the site of the spring Naranag around 137BC.

King Jayendra (61 BC) used to worship Shiva Bhutesha at the shrine. Lalitaditya Muktapida(713-735 AD) donated a good sum of money to the shrine after his victorious expedition. King Avantivarman (855-883 AD) built a stone pedestal with a silver conduit at this shrine for the bathing of sacred images. Kalhana’s father Canpaka and uncle Kanka also frequented the site.As per Kalhana, the treasury of this shrine was plundered by King Sangram raja of Kashmir(1003-28 AD), during King Uccala’s time (1101 – 1111 AD) and later by the rebel baron Hayavadana

HARAWAN BUDDHIST RUINS

This ancient monastery played a pivotal role in the history of Buddhism. It is here, that the4th Buddhist council of the Mahayana (Sarvastivada) school of Buddhism was held sometime in the 1st or 2nd century CE, on the orders of the Kushana emperor Kanishka I. It was also the home to one of the greatest Buddhist masters of his time, Nagarjuna (150-250 CE) , who propounded the theory of ‘Sunyata’ or ‘Emptiness’ which went on to revolutionize Buddhist thought

PANDRETHAN TEMPLE

It is also called Meruvardhana-swami and is dedicated to Vishnu, but Shiva images also exist. It was carved out of a single block of stone and has exquisite carvings on its walls. It was made in early 10th century CE and is located near Srinagar

SHARADA PEETH

• Wreathed Hornbill, White-tailed Fishing Eagle etc. Sharada Peeth is a ruined Hindu temple and ancient centre of learning located in present-day POK. Between the 6th and 12th centuries CE, it was among the most prominent temple universities in the Indian subcontinent. Famed for its library, stories recount eminent scholars travelling long distances to access its texts. It played a key role in the development and popularisation of the Sharada script in North India, causing the script to be named after it, and Kashmir to acquire the moniker”Sharada Desh”, meaning “country of Sharada”.As one of the Maha Shakti Peethas, Hindus believe that it represents the spiritual location ofthe goddess Sati’s fallen right hand.