19th August 2012
Awantipur is a small town 28 km from Srinagar on Srinagar-Ananthnag road. Overlooking Jhelum River that flows next to the highway, the primary attractions in this small town are two Temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and Vishnu. Both Temples are situated next to the highway.
The name Awantipura comes from the first King of Utpala dynasty Awantivarman. He was responsible for the construction of these Temples. Vishnu Temple is a rarity as we only see Shiva Temples in Kashmir.
Like in Marthand, Sikandar Butshikan was the culprit for destroying these magnificent Temples. All we see now are the ruins which tell the stories of its golden age.
The first Temple we visited was Avantiswamin, the Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Sardarji guides were available but they have limited knowledge on the ruins.
Lot of sculptures decorates the main entrance.
There is nothing left of the main Shrine now.
Navagrahas see on the entrance wall.
A damaged erotic sculpture.
The ruins of a subsidiary shrine.
A Mosque as seen from the Temple complex.
Entrance seen from shrine.
The remaining side walls of the Temple.
The Avantishwara Temple situated a km away from the main Temple looks very similar to its Vishnu counterpart.
But nothing much is left to say the story here.
Few of the idols in the Temple are now kept in Sri Pratap Singh museum in Srinagar.