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Kashmir. Temple of Marttand or the Sun. View looking north. Probable date A.D. 490 to 555

Kashmir. Temple of Marttand or the Sun. View looking north. Probable date A.D. 490 to 555

Photographer: Burke, John

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1868

Shelfmark: Photo 981/1(13)

Item number: 13

Length: 17.2

Width: 22.6

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the south fa├žade of the Surya Temple at Martand in 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 most impressive and the grandest ruins in Kashmir, are at Marttand, which is about three miles east of Islamabad...' Sheltered on one side of the Pir Panjal range, and near the crossroads of Asia, Kashmir received influences from Buddhist, Gandharan and Bactrian culture and developed its own distinct style of architecture which coalesced in its medieval period of temple building. Buddhism, Vaishnavism, Shaivism, all were popular in Kashmir. The Surya temple, dedicated to the sun god, is considered a masterpiece of 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 building consists of a principal sanctuary, richly decorated with niches and panels, with a broad flight of steps leading to the main entrance on its western side, together with two minor shrines. Standing at one end of a large rectangular colonnaded court entered by a central gate in its western side, the temple is situated on a high plateau and commands superb views over the Kashmir valley.

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