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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Before their dispatch to Srinagar, Stein prepared a list of the statues and fragments of other sculpted stones. These included 2 of Vishnu as Narasimha, 6 of Siva, 1 of Lakshmi, 1 of Gopi, 2 of Parvati and 1 each of Ganesha and Hanumana. Also in the collection were 2 statues of Siva and Parvati about 3 feet high in dark black marble like stone and were the finest in the collection.

On the 15th September Stein completed the excavation here and dispatched safely packed all the sculpted pieces to Srinagar which ultimately became the first nucleus of the future Sri Partap Museum, Srinagar.

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Temple ruins Avantipur

From here Stein crossed the intervening mountain range via Tarsar Pass and proceeded to Liddar Valley to arrive at Pahalgam on September18, 1891. The first place that attracted his interest here was the temple and spring of Mamal Siva. Stein saw its elegant capitals, fluted doric columns and stone lined tank filled with spring water beneath the temple as was the case found in Narastan.

According to Stein, “It raises doubts as to the correctness of the theory that in Kashmir all ancient temples were placed in the middle of tanks filled by Nags.”

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Tarsar Lake

Onwards Stein marched down at Hagripura to come to a spring that was sacred to Parvati. Near the village of Sali, Stein visited the sacred place of Papaharana Nag. Here he found a slightly injured statue of Parvati about 2 feet high. In view of its neglect Stein instructed the priest to take more care for its preservation than he was bestowing on the exquisite sculpture. He further ascertained that the sculpture was brought about 30 years earlier from the ruins of a temple discovered in the village of Hutamar.

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          Martand Temple glory

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Grand ruins of Martand Temple of Sun God

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Martand Temple
(another view)
Some two miles away from Martand, Stein discovered in the wall of an old mosque an ornamental water spout similar to one he had found at the tank of Narastan temple. He also found many other sculpted stones belonging to some old temple in the vicinity of the mosque. “ Regarding the place where these come from I found only vague tradition among the villagers, nor could they indicate the final spot of the statue now removed to Papaharana Nag”, writes Stein.
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