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Kashmir. Temple of Marttand or the Sun. Niche in the interior. - Figure representing the Sun 15

Kashmir. Temple of Marttand or the Sun. Niche in the interior. - Figure representing the Sun 15

Photographer: Burke, John

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1868

Shelfmark: Photo 981/1(15)

Item number: 15

Length: 22.7

Width: 17.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of a relief-sculpture in a niche at the Surya Temple at Martand in Jammu and Kashmir, taken by John Burke in 1868. The temple is dedicated to the sun god, and this sculpture represents Surya himself. 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...' Although in ruins, the temple is considered to be a masterpiece of Kashmir temple architecture and was built by Lalitaditya Muktapida of the Karkota dynasty, in the 8th century. 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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