19th August 2012
This was the photo that inspired us to visit this great
Temple. Taken by John Burke in 1868 from a hill, it looked grand. (Picture is taken from Wikipedia)
But the Temple shown by our car driver was in complete
contrast. Our interest was on the Sun Temple that was destroyed by Sikandar
Butishikan and now in ruins. But what we saw was a huge Temple complex crowded with
pilgrims performing various rites and rituals. And certainly it had no reminisce
of the Temple in our mind. While it was great to see Hindus freely performing
religious rites in Kashmir, we were simply not impressed. Did we come to a wrong
Coming back to car, we asked the driver whether things were
goofed up. “The stone Temple is still further. But I thought that you would be
interested in seeing this Temple” was his reply. First things first and we
headed to the ruins!!
Unlike Naranag Temple, the sun Temple of Marthand is well
protected by ASI. It is surrounded by beautiful garden which is typical of an ASI
monument. Sardarji guides were available to provide the information about the
Temple. That was a great thing. Unlike fellow Hindus, they decided to stay back
in the valley.
The Temple was built by Laitaditya Muktapida during 8th
century. The main Temple stands on a high plinth surrounded by 84 small
The main shrine consists of oblong, sanctum, vestibule and
mantapa. The roof is completed destroyed. A specialty of this Temple is two
double chambered sideways flanking the Mantapa.
Images of Ganga, Yamuna, Vishnu and other gods are carved on
the vestibule and Mantapa.
It is said that the shrines surrounding the main shrine were
A large tank in front of the main shrine.
Photo from the side of the main shrine.
This great Temple was destroyed in 15th century by
Sikandar Butshikan , one of the cruel rulers of the world.
Marthand Sun Temple is about 60km from Srinagar via
Ananthnag (also called as Islamabad by locals!!). It is on the way to Pahalgam. The Shiva Temple mentioned in the beginning of the post is in the village of Mattan, 5 km before Marthand Sun Temple.
Labels: Kashmir, Temples, travel