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Kashmir. General view of Temple and Enclosure of Marttand or the Sun, near Bhawan. Probable date of temple A.D. 490-555. Probable date of colonnade A.D. 693-729

Kashmir. General view of Temple and Enclosure of Marttand or the Sun, near Bhawan. Probable date of temple A.D. 490-555. Probable date of colonnade A.D. 693-729

Photographer: Burke, John

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1868

Shelfmark: Photo 981/1(11)

Item number: 11

Length: 16.6

Width: 22.6

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the Surya Temple at Martand in Jammu & Kashmir taken by John Burke in 1868. This general view from the hillside looking down onto the ruins of the temple was reproduced in Henry Hardy Cole's Archaeological Survey of India Report 'Illustrations of Ancient Buildings in Kashmir.' (1869). Cole stated, 'The most impressive and grandest ruins in Kashmir, are at Marttand, which is about three miles east of Islamabad.' The Surya temple is situated on a high plateau and commands superb views over the Kashmir valley. Dedicated to the sun god, it is considered a masterpiece of early temple architecture in Kashmir. It was built by Lalitaditya Muktapida (ruled c.724-c.760) of the Karkota dynasty, one of the greatest of Kashmir's rulers, under whom both Buddhism and Hinduism flourished. The temple consists of a principal sanctuary standing on a high plinth in a rectangular colonnaded court, surrounded by 84 small shrines. Its roof has disappeared but the immense doorway before the sanctum still stands, consisting of a trefoil arch set within a tall triangular pediment standing on engaged pilasters.

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