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Kashmir. Temple of Avanteswara near Avantipore. View of gateway of enclosure from north-west. Probable date A.D. 854 to 888

Kashmir. Temple of Avanteswara near Avantipore. View of gateway of enclosure from north-west. Probable date A.D. 854 to 888

Photographer: Burke, John

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1868

Shelfmark: Photo 981/1(30)

Item number: 30

Length: 20.2

Width: 26.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the Avantishwara Temple near Avantipur in Jammu and Kashmir, taken by John Burke in 1868. This general view from a neighbouring hillside of the gateway, with measuring scales, is reproduced in Henry Hardy Cole's Archaeological Survey of India report, 'Illustrations of Ancient Buildings in Kashmir' (1868), in which he wrote, 'The present village of Avantipore is about 18 miles from Srinagar, and on the right bank of the Jhelum...The Temple of Avanteswara is completely ruined and with the exception of a small portion of the colonnade and the gateway, scarcely anything remains to mark the form of the buildings.' Kashmir is dotted with the remnants of temples from its pre-Islamic history prior to the 14th century, many of which were deserted or sacked by the early 15th century. 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 were all popular in Kashmir. Avantipur was established by Avantivarman (ruled 855-83), the founder of Kashmir's Utpala dynasty. Two temples here are attributed to him, the Avantiswami Temple dedicated to Vishnu and the Avantishwara Temple dedicated to Shiva. The latter, which is in a more ruined state, was much larger than the former but much less lavishly decorated with carvings.

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