Introduction
  Kashmir
  Aurel Stein
  The Sanskritist
  Manuscript Treasures
  Kashmiri Scholarship
  Interface of Scholarship
  The Adopted Home
  Unfinished Tasks
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Supported by:
  Heritage Lottery Fund, Cambridge.
  Bodelian Library, Oxford.
  Nityanand Shastri Library Collection, Delhi.
  Kashmir Bhavan Centre, Luton.
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Archaeology of old Kashmir
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To protect the temple against land slips and damage of getting burried in earth wash down from hill side a huge stone embarkment was raised to the west of temples which at some places stood about 20 ft. high . Stein obtained the information from the local tradition that the stone wall was called ‘Rajadain’-‘the King’s seat’. The second group of temples lay about 20 yards further to North and these too were enclosed by a stone wall which formed a square of about 150 ft. Inside this square existed a large temple whose fallen dome had filled the interiors with its ruins. In front of it lay an 8 ft. stone basin cut out of a single slab and held the spring waters. On the East of this temple towards the river stood three similar temples in a better state of preservation. In the West lay other two temples being elegant architectural structure. Two more temples preserved two columns holding two porches. Site of three other temples was marked by a heap of massive stone slabs with which all the temples had been built. In the North of these ruins stood the Narayan Naga.

On the rising ground to south west of the Naga (spring) existed another well preserved temple that was buried up to its roof in the ground. This temple was identified by Stein to an interesting episode described by Kalhana in the Rajatarangini.

Writes Stein,“ On an occasion king Avantivermana visited Bhutesa. Dhanva the administrator of Lahara district, the present day Lar oppressed the people. The priests of Bhutesavara signified this to King by placing as mark of poverty leaves of Utpalasakila plant before the image of the God instead of the more valuable offerings. This plant which is now called Uppalhak in Kashmir grows plentiful all around the temple. On this the Minister Sura noticing the king’s anger sent for Dhanva who was his relative and waiting for him at the temple of Siva Bhairava had him there and then beheaded. The headless body of Dhanva was thrown into the one of the tanks adjoining the temple”.

Which one that was Stein was not able to ascertain.

The excavations carried by Stein on August 15,1891, were done with an intention to find an inscription or other indications that could have enabled him to determine the age of various temples. Evident from the differences in the style of columns and their relative positions to each other, Stein believed that temples could not be the work of one king or even of one age. With the knowledge then available on Kashmir architecture and without discovering any inscription around Stein was unable to determine the relative ages of these temples.


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Large Temple of Siva Bhutesa, Haramukh
(front view)

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Small shrine of Siva Bhutesa

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Temple ruins, Vangath
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