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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Four temples of the first group and several of the second group could easily and without much expense be preserved from further decay by having wooden roofs placed over them. It will be further necessary to issue stringent instruction to the local authorities to prevent in further Gujjars and others establishing themselves in the temple ruins. I do not disguise to myself the fact that complete protection could not be secured unless the character of sacred buildings is not given back to the ruins. This I believe could very fitly be done by reconstruction of yet fairly intact main temple of the first group.”

Five years later Aurel Stein visited some of these sites again in connection with his work related to the Rajatarangini but was sad and disappointed to see much vandalization and in some cases total destruction caused to these historically important and sacred places. He brought the matter of grave concern to the knowledge of the authorities by sending an urgent note yet again to Raja Amar Singh on June 4 1896 accompanying a personal letter. “With reference to the conversation with which you honoured me yesterday, I beg to call on your kind attention to the following facts showing the serious danger to which ancient monuments are exposed at present in Kashmir.

“On my journey to Srinagar, I took occasion to revisit few of old sites which possess for me special interest in connection with my work on the ancient history of Kashmir. The first of these were the villages of Kitsahom and Shirson Naravav some miles below Baramulla.

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        Hari Parvat, Srinagar

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Jehlum river, Downtown, Baramulla

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Jehlum at Baramulla

Here already I heard when examining the scanty remains left of some ancient temples that a large number of sculptured stones which undoubtedly belong to the same structures had been carried away and broken up some 8 years ago to be used as building material in bridges for the metalling of the Tonga road.

I had previously heard of similar acts of vandalism which had been committed during the construction of the road in Jehlum Valley, but I had also been told that care had been taken by the Public Work authorities to prevent their recurrence in the continuation of the road in the valley itself.

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        River - bed, Vitasta
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Hari Parvat with well preserved
fort wall

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Sopore township and bridge

“I was therefore not a little surprised when on visiting the village of Andarkot near Sambal the site of King Jayapida’s old capital (8th century AD, I was told by the Lambardar and other villagers that large sculptured slabs had been removed during the last two years from the ruined mounds which marked the place of old Hindu temples. The signs of recent excavation told only too plainly that the villagers statements were true.

The stones had been dug by work men in the employ of road contractors engaged on the road facility of carrying stones across the lake towards Pattan explained why these operations had been extended so far away from the road.

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