I am a single of the fortunate ones to have produced many trips to Kashmir in the final handful of years. With all the news of strife, terror and hostility needless to say I have knowledgeable the very best of Kashmiri hospitality through my trips. We spent the buffer day through Amarnath Yatra to discover in and about Pahalgam. In between the trips to manicured Mughal Gardens and Apple Orchards we visited the lost Temples of Kashmir which stand testimony to the wealthy cultural and architectural heritage of the land which as per some accounts owes its name to Rishi Kashyapa.
Martand Sun Temple in Mattan
Our driver was really excited to take us to Mattan and I heard it as Mutton 🙂 top to confusion. I was relieved as soon as I reached the temple premises. The temple was majestic even in its ruined state, standing tall in the sprawling lawn taken care of by the Archaeological Survey of India. At initially glance, the imposing structure struck a robust resemblance to Grecian Architecture. It was constructed by King Lalitaditya Muktapida of Karakota Dynasty in 8th Century CE and demolished sometime in the 15th century by Sikandar of Shah Miri dynasty. Infact most of the temples of Kashmir had been entirely or partially destroyed through this time period.The strategy of the temple compound appeared to be symmetrical with a colonnaded courtyard. The principal shrine committed to Surya Dev (Sun God) was positioned on a raised platform surrounded by many smaller sized shrines. The as soon as elaborately carved entrance portrayed reminiscences of a culturally wealthy society and carvings of the deities placed inside.
The walls of the temple have practically destroyed carvings of Vishnu, Ganga, Yamuna and Surya (Martand Dev). Walking about, I attempted to make the most of the defaced wall carvings. It was quite apparent that the Kashmiri Architecture of these occasions evolved from a fusion of different genres proper from the Guptas in India to Greek, Roman and Persian Architecture of the West.
The new temple positioned nearby committed to Sun is a peaceful abode, really calming but has tiny to offer you architecturally. We spent some time by the temple tank feeding the fish and going to the temple exactly where Surya is riding his 7 horses signfying 7 days of the week or the 7 chakras (power centres) of our physique.
Awantipora Temples lie on the National Highway connecting Anantnag and Srinagar. The town is named just after King Avantivarman who ruled the location in 9th century. There are two temples Avantishwar (committed to Shiva) and Avantiswami (committed to Vishnu) positioned close to every other. Each temples are related in structure and look. As per our driver Avantiswami is in a greater situation so we decided to quit at Avantiswami Temple and wave by Avantishwar.
At initially look this temple as well had colonnaded peristyle as observed in Mattan temple which appears to be the prevalent Kashmir Architecture of these occasions. There appears to have been four shrines at the four corners of the quadrangle and what remains now is just a flight of wobbly measures in a single of the corners.
The sculptured relief function and ornamentation on the temple walls are nearly non existent. But for the avid history and culture buff like my co-traveler aunt she identified anything of interest on just about every wall.
I went in search of the Vaikuntha Vishnu sculpture which was identified in this temple. I attempted to make the most of what was there, believed I spotted the a single not certain of the accuracy although.
Mamal Temple in Pehelgam
This temple is on the other side of Lidder in Pehelgam. Our helicopter to Amarnath was delayed by a couple of hours. We grabbed a handful of chairs and waited in anticipation it was a accurate test of patience and resolve considering that clouds had been playing truant. The locals at the registration counter recommended that we take a quick hike upwards and pay a visit to Mamal temple. This compact temple committed to Shiva was constructed in the 12th century and is a compact representation of Kashmiri architecture – with pyramidal leading resting on columns. The compact tank in front of the temple was filled with water which apparently rises from a pure water spring beneath the temple. The blooming flowers and the fluttering butterflies produced it all the extra memorable. Nature thrives exactly where there is optimistic power and this spot was no exception. As per some accounts this temple could be Mameswara referred to in Kalhana’s Rajtarangini the chronicle about the Kings who ruled Kashmir.
How to pay a visit to these Temples:
Check out Awantipora whilst traveling to Pahalgam from Srinagar. Mattan and Mamal can be completed as a element of Pahalgam Sightseeing Tour. Speak to your agent/chauffeur and consist of these in your itinerary.
Note on Kashmir Shaivism
A handful of years ago, I came across the book 112 Meditations (Vigyan Bhairava Tantra) by Ranjit Chaudhri which was my initially tryst with Kashmir Shaivism. The meditative approaches with tantric leanings had been narrated by Shiva to Shakti (Devi Parvati) for self realization possibly in Amarnath Cave. These approaches intersect with the teachings of Vajrayana Buddhism predominantly identified in Tibet. Quite a few centuries ago Buddhism thrived in the Kashmir Valley and so did Shaivism which is evident from the pay a visit to of Shankaracharya. Kashmir has normally been a blessed evolved land proper from Buddhism, Shaivism to Sufism. My pilgrimage to Amarnath and subsequent visits to these temples broadened my viewpoint.