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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Leaving Srinagar on 3rd September, 1891, he reached Panthachuk by boat. From there he went to the springs of Kurukshetra and Takshka Naga in the village of Zewan. Here he did not find any ancient remains. At Pampore, Stein inspected the ruin of a temple that was dedicated to Vishnu. This temple preserved walls up to a height of 8 feet. The walls and basement showed exquisite mouldings. Towards the west of the temple ruins stood the “Ziarat of Mir Muhammad Halamadhani which according to the statement of Stein “is built with stone material evidently belonging to a Hindu temple.” From Pampore, Stein proceeded to the village of Laddev on September 6. Here he found ruins of Hindu temples. On the way at Balahama village he inspected several sculpted stone slabs amidst some trees which were sacred to Tantric Goddess Baladevi. The stones bore figures of some deities inside the miniature cellas. Aurel Stein found 16 of these in the immediate vicinity of Balahama village.

Leaving Khonmu, Stein passed through the village of Uyen. Here he found five springs. At Laddev he inspected the ruin of an old temple near the Ziarat of Baba Rukm-ud-din. From Laddev, Stein visited the villages of Shari and Khrev. At Khrev the chief springs Stein identified were Nika Nag, Kalasai Nag and Muktapeshkarni Nag. On 7 th September, Stein marched from Laddev to Tral. Here he was furnished with very valuable information about Nags and important antiquities by a Pandit Tehsildar. En route he visited the village of Bharasu. From there he proceeded to Karastan which lay at the head of Tral valley. It was identified with the existence of Pandav buildings. Besides, the secluded hamlet provided ruins of five temples in good state of preservation. They revealed thrown down porches but intact walls.“ The earth filling the interiors promised well for excavation.” Accordingly Stein began excavations here on September 9,1891.

Writes Stein, “The remains over-ground consist of 18 feet massive wall enclosing the courtyard with a gateway to the West that opens to a small temple.” The stairs leading to the temple were also visible. Digging here furnished Stein some valuable specimens. These included a head of a large Siva statue and fragmentary inscription in Sanskrit. On the 10 th work continued in front of the temple and in the area before it. Stein discovered richly ornamented conduits for water on each side with reliefs of head of an elephant with lotus flower at the top. A sculpture piece had a Sarada inscription while many other found in a buried tank had suffered corrosion. A total of 160 sculpture pieces were found here.

He also discovered here a much effaced inscription whose last word however was legible to read “devalasya” meaning “of the temple”. During the following three days between the 12 th and 14 th September Stein prepared the ground plan of a temple. He traced the roofing of a bathing place for women with conduit of water to tank and drain outside of temple yard in the wall.

During his last days of stay at Narastan, Stein had the benefit of the presence of his friend Fred Andrews of the Mayo School of Arts, Lahore to draw the plan of temple. However, he was unable to ascertain the name of temple and the spring.“ Brhamans of the vicinity do not possess any reliable tradition that shows the temple was deserted long ago and I do not hazard a guess about the name Narastan without a more trustworthy evidence.” However, with the discovery of two Lingas, along with their water spouts, Stein established them to be dedicated to Siva.

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Sugandhese Temple, Pattan. South face

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West Temple, Pattan view from south east

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Sugandhese Temple, Pattan. West face
Paucity of time did not permit Stein to study the ruins more closely but confirmed their close connection to the Greeco-Bctrian style of the Gandhara.
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