Temples of Kashmir: Naranag Temple

18th August 2012

While climbing down from Gangabal, the ruins of a Temple were seen at the base of the valley. Though we were aware of an old that Temple existed in Naranag, it was never expected to be just next to the ending point of the trek.

It is not a single Temple but a complex that houses several shrines. The Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is believed to be constructed during 8th century by King Lalithaditya Muktapida.  Kashmiri Pandits used to consecrate the ashes of their relatives in Gangabal Lake and then come to this Temple to offer worship. That was quarter century ago before the advent of militancy. Now efforts are on to renew those rituals.

As we enter the Temple complex, first group of shrines are seen. The roof is the main Temple is damaged and is replaced by galvanized sheets. There is nothing much left in the smaller shrines.

The second group of Temples can be seen at a lower altitude at about 100 meters away from the entrance.

A huge platform stands before the Temple which people from nearby houses use for drying clothes.

A Shiva linga badly damaged due to time. This is not surprising with snow covering few months every year.

There are big stone made tanks to store water in front of the main Temple. This is made up of single stone!!

The main Temple is much damaged with only walls remaining intact. The roof is completed damaged.

A Temple with Shiva linga inside.

A small Kalyani inside a Temple.

At the end of the Temple complex is a water tank that holds water from the nearby spring. It is now used for washing clothes.

There is no sign of maintenance for these Temples. Years of neglect due to militancy and Government apathy have made it vulnerable. 

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