Kashmir. First group of temples near the village of Wangut in the Scind Valley. View of principal temple looking north. Probable date A.D. 1 (?)
Photographer: Burke, John
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of a temple at Wangat, Jammu and Kashmir, taken by John Burke in 1868. This photograph is reproduced in Henry Hardy Cole's Archaeological Survey of India report, 'Illustrations of Ancient Buildings in Kashmir' (1869), in which he wrote, 'The locality of the temples nearer to Wangat is known by the name of Rajdainbal. This group consists of six buildings, all more or less ruined, and the remains of an enclosing wall...The largest Temple of the Group measures 24 feet square, and has a projection on each of its four sides...The principal Temple of this group is in a better state of preservation than any of those at Nagbal [the second set of temples 200 yards away]. The dome and roof are of masonry, and both maintain their original vaulted and pyramidal forms. A large quantity of stones, of huge dimensions, lie heaped in the enclosure...The two doorways and side recesses show signs of elaborate carving...A tall fir and other trees have grown on the pyramidal roof...and it was probably by their expansion that the outer stone facing became displaced.' The temple shown displays the characteristic features of medieval Kashmiri sacred architecture, with its near-obliterated pentroof, massive trilobed apertures framed within pyramidal pediments resting on large pilasters, and the whole made of large-cut stones mostly devoid of ornament. Wangat, some 50 kms north-west of Srinagar was once a halting place on the pilgrim's route to sacred Gangabal lake in the snowy peaks of the Himalayas. It has three groups of ruins,
within a short distance of each other. Two groups are of temples with smaller shrines, and the third is of a substantial construction of which only the plinth remains.