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(Shri T.N. Khazanchi, retired Superintending Archaeologist, Government of India, has been associated with archaeology in Kashmir throughout his working life with the State Government to start with and later with the Central Government. He was mainly responsible for the excavations at Burzahom near Srinagar, and has agreed to write a series of articles for 'Koshur Samachar' -.Editor)
Kashmir has been likened to a jewel in the womb of the Himalayas in the north-western part of the country. Nature has been bountiful here in the form of shimmering lakes, glistening snowcapped mountains, lush-green meadows, enchanting flowers and forests. The pageantry of colour,dawns and sunsets, gurgling springs and rivulets, salubrious climate etc. have considerably influenced the lives of its people, not least in the field of art. Due to the receptive nature of the people, their artistic instincts were stimulated by the exquisite natural splendour in which their lives were steeped. Kashmir lay on the route to High Asia. Inspite of the ebb and flow of great external movements on its broders, tribal instrusions from its north and north-east in the distant or not-so-distant past, or the forays of some of the local rulers into distant territories, Kashmir continued to maintain and foster a certain indigenous and independent type of culture. 'This is reflected in the field of its arts and crafts indicating the inherent aesthetic sense and rare adaptability of its inhabitants. The monuments in the Valley clearly indicate the heights achieved by Kashmir, inspite of the damages inflicted on them by iconoclastic tendencies, lack of care, climatic rigours and natural decay.
Fortunately, owing to recent research and field work conducted by various institutes like the Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, and the Archaeological Survey of India, we are in a position to reconstruct the evolutionary stages of Kashmir from a pretty distant past in relation to its art, architecture, cross-contacts and movements, and other historical forces which shaped and affected the lives of the people of Kashmir. On the basis of extensive field work undertaken by the Archaeological Survey of India, a series of Neolithic sites have been explored and a few have been excavated in detail. Excavations from the neolithic site of Burzahom situated 24 kilometres north-east of Srinagar, conduced by this writer during eleven field seasons from 1960 to 1971 and followed by the discovery of sites yielding similar cultural vestiges have revealed a neolithic culture not noticed hitherto in any other part of India. It has accordingly been termed as the North-Western Neolithic Culture of India. These observations have been confirmed further by excavations at Gofkral, a few kilometres south-east of Tral, a Tehsil town 24 kilometres south-east of Srinagar.
First Settled Stage
A large body of inter-disciplinary data on the important stages of socio-economic development in Kashmir Valley after the lake had been drained out, and the land formations formed, is now available on the basis of extensive work on the Neolithic sites at Burzahom and Gofkral. This stage marks a big technological breakthrough in the form of
The most important was that which passed through Baramulla and Muzaffarabad by which many travellers and missionaries entered the Valley. As for the main routes linking Kashmir with the western areas and Central Asia. Besides. A characteristic horned bull is painted on the pot. A branch of the Indo-Aryans migrated to . Commercial Contracts A similar pot has been found from the pre-Harrapan levels in Kot-Dije in Pakistan. radio-carbon dates are now available from the charcoal samples and we are on firm ground in relations to dates.C. until modern times. another painted pot with 950 beads in camelian regate. Actually there are two bulls painted just opposite to each other. The Aryans were perhaps the earliest.P. and lastly the important road that connected the Valley with Sinkiang and Tibet was the one that passed through Karakaram. Chinese pilgrim.D. apart from being different from the already known Neolithic remains from south-eastern India are important for their singular nature and for their extra-Indian affinities. Hasor and Chilas. II is intrusive in character and indicates commercial contacts in the 2nd millinium B. Gilgit. it is not of local origin and seems to have found its way by contact. This is confirmed by the discovery of a painted pot. copper-arrowheads and tools. painted pot. Europe with Asia on the other. II. therefore. Neolithic pottery of local origin from Burzahom is hand-made. indicating contacts via the northern borders. Swat valley in Pakistan. The horned bull is panelled above the centre as also the lower multiple wavyline pattern and the neck band. a wheel turned globular. 996-1031). Neolithic sites explored in Kashmir lie dispersed in all parts of the Valley and their protection is. West Asia and some areas in Russia. The most important artifacts in this category are the harvesters in bone and stone. It is an orange stepped ware painted in black. Hsuan Tsang who visited Kashmir in A. the beads may have been brought in by commercial contacts. where these have been found in earlier Neolithic levels. The life-style of the earliest settlers in the Valley is now available to us in its manifold forms. Dwelling pits of the type found at Burzahom have been found in some of the Neolithic sites in central and north-east China. The route these traversed cannot be ascertained as further field-work is not possible in the Valley. we have evidence of three main routes. wheel-turned.C. By the ancient and mediaeval period we find a large network of main and connecting roads throughout the civilized world which connected Central Asia with India on the one hand. as also in some Neolithic sites in Russia where these are associated with human occupation. The copper arrow-heads appear to be West-Asian in origin and may have have arrived through contacts with present Pakistan via the western route.D. Regarding animal and dog burials from Burzahom.D. These indicate without any doubt that Kashmir maintained contacts with China. These travelled to Japan and Korea as also to Kashmir. and the pot itself is not of local origin. Besides. He referred to this route as also to Baltistan. This was the first settled stage of the early man as indicated by various researchers. who has left us an account of Kashmir. These are well-like structures with floor levels below the ground level for residential purposes. from the earliest level of N. is Ou K'ang. Land Routes The gradual growth of land routes since prehistoric times as also tribal incursions under diverse historical forces played an important role in dissemination of culture from one country to another. Leh and Kun Lun ranges.P. Its primary importance lies in the fact that it contained 950 beads in agate and carnelian. Harvesters in bone and stone which are primarily agricultural tools are basically Chinese in origin. animal burials especially dog-burials within the house compound and multiple animal burials in the same pit. This was the most traversed route during the later periods. Another red-ware pot from the closing levels of N. He also came through the Baramulla route in 759 A. obligatory since these have a bearing on the earliest settlers in the Valley and their probable extra-Indian affinities. The next Chinese traveller. The other road that passed from the Valley to Central Asia was via Gilgit and Chitral. it has to be emphasised that these are typical ritualised practices and similar practices have been reported from tribal belts in Russia. It is not the purpose of this paper to detail out the data of the excavated sites at Burzahom and Gofkral. who flourished in the court of Mahmud of Ghazni (A. except in as much as these throw some light on the contacts of the outside world in the third millenium B. In relation to its make and surface decoration. The last caravan entered Kashmir from Sinkiang in 1956. came via Baramulla. we find dwelling pits. Waves of Migration From ancient times down to later mediaeval period waves after waves of Central Asian tribal people migrated to India and settled down here. cut into natural soil at Burzahom. The most important reference to this route is from Al Beruni. and onwards with Kashmir. Since the material is not locally available. 631 and spent two years here in studying Sutras and Shastras.domestication of plants and animals from the middle of the third millenium onwards. It has also to be emphasized that the cultural relics.
C. played a notable part in this process. Parthian and Saka Kings of northwestern India. known as Puranadhisthana (old capital) at a later stage. though Guptan influences.C. it spread in Central Asia. though unsubstantiated. the twelfth tribe. especially dring the reign of the Tormana and Mihirakulla. the Tajiks. This settlement seems to have had accommodation forresident monks. followed by diaper-pebble. Though Buddhism was introduced in West Asia a thousand years before the rise of Islam and seemed to have influenced Christian religious practices also subsequently. Kumarajiva. and because of his scholarly labours he was referred to as one of the four sons of Buddhism in China and is credited with the introduction of a new alphabet. which evloved further into diaper-rubble style. enriched cultural contacts. sciences and philosophy. This deep impact brought about a fundamental change in the socio-religious life of the people.. Buddhism. This impact lasted a thousand years (BC 300 to AD 800). These structures. There is ample evidence regarding the fact that Kashmir formed a part of Kaniskha's empire in the 2nd century A. which penetrated into the Valley. and the first century A. A grave in the heart of Srinagar is ascribed to him. Ashoka the Great It has. Harwan The earliest and the most important Buddhist site is at Harwan (ancient Sadarbadhvana. to be emphasised that Emperor Ashoka was responsible for introducing Buddhism in Kashmir just as he had sent emissaries to Syria and Egypt to propagate the new philosophy of Dharma. it appears to have occupied a pre-eminent position in as much as Kanishka. Though the city of Srinagar (land of beauty) was laid out under the patronage of Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century B. Museum at Srinagar. China and Tibet through the efforts of scholars of Kashmir in the early centuries of the Christian era. The influence spread as far north as Mongolia where it is present even today. Some north-south oriented graves are reported to have been noticed and ascribed to them.Kashmir Valley but in time other ethnic groups from the north and other parts of Central Asia continued to enter the Valley. The great Buddhist patriarch. which can with certainty be said to belong to the pre-Christian era. It can be inferred that the structural remains have been destroyed during the devastation of Northern India by the Huns. have yet been discovered in Kashmir. This is on the basis of abundance of coins of Indo-Greek. are of utmost importance since these represent pretty early masonry styles in the Valley when our ancestors were still grappling with their environment for survival. The ancient site at Harwan commands a panoramic view of the Valley and on a series of terfaches we find a thriving Buddhist settlement incorporating a stupa within its courtyard. Buddhism These tribal incursions and cross-border movements. These masonry styles are unique and distinctive as they are the only styles of their kind in India and other parts of the world. the Epthalites. the Uzbeks. extending from Mathura in India to Yarkand in Central Asia. however. These are now housed in the S. These included the Kushans. The styles consisted of pebble. then as now. no structural monuments. who hailed from Kashmir. Nagaijuna.S. Similarly some theories are put forward by historians. China and Tibet through the efforts of scholars of Kashmir. During the ancient period. the greatest of Kushan emperors is said to have convened his great Council of Buddhist Divines here.D. Indeed. travelled to the east and died here at the age of 70 years or so. is said to have resided here and supervised the third Buddhist Council held in Kashmir. considerable commerical intercourse between the Valley and Kabul was on in the last two centuries B. several Chaityas and a Chaitya-Hall or temple.D. The architectural activities in relation to Buddhist and Hindu monuments were thus considerably influenced because of this long association inspite of the difference in the materials used and modes of decoration. wandered into the Valley and settled here. are evidenced by the discovery of a few sculputres in Ashoka's Srinagar.. the greatest cultural impact that Kashmir had on Central Asia was the spread of Buddhism. Buddhism spread in Central Asia. However. and continued to remain attached to the kingdom of Gandhara for a few generations even after Kanishka's death. Kashmir had intimate connections with Central Asia during the supremacy of Kushans in the early centuries of the Christian era when Kashmir formed a part of the Kushan Empire. with its enlightened philosophy and liberal approach to life was able to encourage arts. to and fro.P. the groove of six monks) situated about 24 Kilometres north-east of Srinagar. As already stated. that Jesus himself. There is a strong tradition in Kashmir that the lost tribe of Moses. The giant statues of Buddha in Afghanistan and other archaeological evidences are a witness to the extension of this impact. . Even the first six centuries are very meagerly represented.under the partonage of the imperial Guptas. The character of their building art can thus be ascertained in its early stages alongwith the various influences thereon. though extant in ruins or foundations only. after the crucification. which have been found in Kashmir. etc.
the great historian of Kashmir who wrote his magnum opus. Like most mediaeval temples of Kashmir. The temple at Martand. No relics or images have been found but this is amply compensated by an artistically laid-out courtyard furnished with large moulded brick tiles in various shapes and forming different patterns.. Huvishkapura The next important Buddhist settlement is at 'Kshkar' near Baramulla which is a corruption of the ancient Huvishkapura. eleven terracota heads in baroque style and fragmentary limbs of images have been found. and the garbhagriha. Srinagar.D. Historically speaking it is. Such sudden manifestation of excellence in building art has been likened to the heights achieved in the stupas. about 64 kms to the south-east of Srinagar. at Parihaspora. dedicated respectively to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. These were constructed during the reign of King Avantiverman in the 9th century A.D.D.). This clearly indicates to and fro influences in this part of India at a pretty early age.S. temples. The style clearly shows that it must have been built in the 8th century A. The same excellence is in evidence in the Buddhist and Brahamanical masterpieces at Parihaspora where Lalitaditya transferred his capital temporarily from Srinagar. Each circle is composed of a series of arc-shaped tiles. Unfortunately. According to Kalhana Pandit. at such an early age. The surface treatment in the form of tiles of 18" x 12". apart from indicating the impact of diverse historical cultures. Museum. many sources are evident with figures of dancers. construction and decoration as the master-builders did in Kashmir in the 8th century A. The dimension of the tiled pavement around the apsidal temple is 160' x 124'-6".D. are unique in Indian art. however..D. these structures might have been destroyed during the Huna depredations in the Valley.P. some fragmentary sculputres found in Ashoka's Srinagar (Puranadhisthana) can be assinged to the 7th century A. In the main shrine. built a vihara with a stupa here.Apart from this unique and distinctive masonry style. cavaliers. mostly with a design in bas-relief. in Java and Cambodia in the 9th and 12th centuries A. Consequent to the decline of the Buddhist phase in Kashmir. The rectangular ante-chamber is spacious. These also provide a life-like representation of the Kushans with their Central Asian tunics. rectangular in front and circular at the back. Martand consists of a courtyard with the principal shrine in the middle and a collonaded peristyle. These display the unmistakable influence of the Gandhara School of the 3rd and 4th centuries A. and later at Avantipora. literature and architectural activity. apparent that this profound change in building art in Kashmir was effected during the powerful reign of and under the imperial patronage of King Lalitaditya (8th century A. The latter is 220' long and 142' wide. the great Kushan King in the 2nd century A.D. each stamped with a special motif. . Lalitaditya who ruled Kashmir in the 8th century A. It has 84 fluted columns facing the courtyard. there is evidence of development of grand classical architecture. etc. and the brilliant manifestation of Gothic architecture in Europe in the later part of the 12th century. The favourite pattern seems to have been a large disc consisting of several concentric circles with a single centrepiece. There is evidence to show that his conquests carried his influence far and wide and his power was absolute over an extensive region of High Asia for a long period. It was a flourishing town in mediaeval times since it lay on the principal trade route between Kashmir and north-western India and thence on to West Asia and Central Asia. there is a large apsidal temple. The width at the entrance end is only 27'. The peristyle is the largest example of its kind in Kashmir. till the style declined due to historical changes. musicians. are very interesting in as much as these show that the influence of the art of the Imperial Guptas had penetrated into Kashmir and left a permanent mark upon local craftsmanship. is the most perfect construction with high technical accomplishments. King Avantiverman is credited with having ushered in a very peaceful period of rule in Kashmir which helped foster arts. the great Gupta period is not structurally represented. and onwards. He was undoubtedly one of the greatest rulers of Kashmir.D. In this context. built in a very picturesque diaper-pebble style of architecture. are suggestive of more than half a dozen alien civilisations. it has to be emphasised that very few countries have presented. the face of the Valley was transformed by monumental architectural activity at Martand. dedicated to the Sun. Here we find a movement fully matured without any evidence of a systematic evolutionary growth in style. Huvishkapura was founded by Huvishka. The stupa rests on an earlier structure of the Kushan period. The model was provided also by the temples at Avantipora: Avantisura and Avantiswami. Apart from other artistic attainments. 'Rajatarangani' (the River of Kings) in the 12th century A. the perfection in style. The ruins of. Sun Temple at Martand During this period. and racial types. Outside the northeastern corner of the eastern wall. the Sun Temple at Martand consists of massive lintels and blocks of megalithic proportions which became the model for all later Brahmanical temples in Kashmir. the famous Chinese pilgrim who visited Kashmir in 631 A. However. about 30 kms south-east of Srinagar. Their main importance lies in the fact that the motifs. the antaral. there are three distinctive chambers: the mandapa. spent the first night at one of the monasteries here. Hsuan Tsang. The sculptures now housed in the S. On the basis of costumes and accessories.D.D. Evidence regarding the sudden appearance of a classical movement in this field is lacking in India also. The temple proper at Martand is 63' in length by 36' in width at the eastern end. about 25 kms east of Srinagar. ascetics.D.D. the stupa and its surrounding wall are still extant.
It was not meant to be a hall of congregational prayers but for the reception of the image or its symbol. The chaitya was in the centre. simplicity of stvle and expert technical accomplishment. Externally the plinth is 10 feet high. The IndoAryan mode in its structure is not in evidence. there are the remains of a building of a special type. Three groups of buildings have been found there within a short distance of one another situated on the edge of a deep enchanting pine-clad gorge. is that this building possesses some of the most massive blocks of stone ever used in ancient temples of Kashmir. It must be emphasised that the Kashmir temple to all intents and purposes is a manifestation of an independent ideal. and considerably higher than the ground-level all around. Other rectangular panels contain sitting groups. The monastery enclosure is a square with 175 foot side. is another important feature which needs special mention. The royal monastery which lies to the south of the stupa seems to have been intended to be a large and sumptuous establishment. It is from the nature of the masonry itself that largeness of the structures is in evidence. The complex is a quadrangle of 26 cells with an average 16' side. a square chamber of 40' diameter. like the traditional Chaitya hall. This must have involved stupendous labour and patient skill. enclosing a square courtyard paved originally with stone-flags. 18-feet long with its other dimensions in proportion to its length. an extensive plateau about 23 kms to the west of Srinagar. The artisans have given enough proof of profound experience and patient skill as evidenced by construction of stones. Along with the sides of this structure are over thirty monolithic bases or piers at regular intervals of about 12 feet.. and the fineness of their joints. standing between two attendants. neither in the columned hall for congregational worship nor in the sikhara feature of the design. The floor of the sanctum is a single block of 14' x 12'6" x 5'2" dimension. Avantipor and later at other sites. There are fragments of tre-foiled arches containing images of Buddha and Bodhisattvas. It is apparent that the construction activity at this site extended over a considerable period. . On the other hand. The design is related more to the central shrine for the accommodation of the deity than to a place for congregational worship. wrought with astonishing precision. Large fragments of the trefoil arch of its entrance are still lying at the site. Wangath Other important buildings of this period lie at Wangath. their surfaces finely dressed and bonded by exact and scientific means. about 48 kilometres north-west of Srinagar. The pier bases. There is thus ample evidence to show the greatness of these structures and the loss of these imposing structures is regrettable for Indian architecture. Another imposing structure here is the chaitya or the Buddhist temple which stands on a double base. though to a limited extent in Kashmir in the 8th century A. Within this building was the cell. The use of lime-mortar in building construction was introduced in India by Muslims in the 13th century. assumes importance.D. The features characteristic of this type of temples in other parts of India. the monument can have had few equals because of its massive tre-foil arches. massive strength.Another distinctive feature is the imposing gateway. Buddhist as well as Brahmanical. a pillared central shrine. In relation to dowels. or aisles with an apisdal end are not in evidence. pairs of geese. after the blocks of stone were put in position. It is apparent that the ceremonials differed from those in most other parts of India. Some of these are still in position. It has to be kept in view that the chaitya has been raised on a plateau. Scattered about are ponderous fragments of architectural features. however. What is important. hammered out of a huge boulder. is there in the two large niches in the side-walls of the inner chamber of the gateway. these consisted primarily of the main central sanctuary and in these the devotees paid obeisance. with offsets and a flight of steps on each side. impressive is an immense cistern. The tall figure of the three-headed Vishnu. The common feature of these structures is the enormous size of blocks of limestone used in their construction. This is particularly noticeable in the immense bulk forming the plinth of the stupa. each over three feet in width. Both the stupa and the chaitya seem to have been massive structures. etc. floral scrolls. So far as the temple as a whole is concerned. a monastery and a chaitya (temple). the chief motif of decoration being rows of double pedimented niches. lintels of megalithic proportions. mouldings. Most of these niches contain single standing figures of Gods. The roof seems to have been of the pyramidal type common to the temples of Kashmir. measuring 120' by 70' with a height of ten feet. miles away from the quarry. The walls of the gateway are profoundly decorated internally and externally. The use of lime-mortar and metal dowels.. capitals and cornices. Parihaspora Apart from the temple at Martand. all of the same massive proportion. Apart from the massiveness indicated earlier. the independent nature of the architectural style is also evident in the construction of the Chaitya as also in other buildings at Martand. The architectural treatment is co-eval with their size. it is an indigenous religious architecture that evolved in the Valley. the use of this adherent. What is. Besides. The central structure was also square in plan and stood on a double platform 95 feet across. These have been likened to the massive blocks used in ancient Egyptian buildings. The Buddhist structures consisted of a stupa. weighing approximately 64 tons. The base of the stupa is 128'-6" square in plan. The extant remains indicate that it must have been not less than 100 feet high. Temples in the Valley did not include any assembly halls. the smoothness of their dressing. It is evident that this was a pillared pavilion. the massiveness is apparent on the basis of architectural fragments lying all around and the hugeness of scorched boulders. The structure was contained within a large quadrangle of 235-foot side. were raised at Parihaspora. some of the sockets were as much as 18" in length. as imposing as the main shrine. however. it was again during the reign of Lalityaditya that imposing and magnificent structures. Though the superstructure has disappeared. As such.
The individual stones are large. There are four smaller shrines at its four corners since it is a temple of the Panchayatana class. Neither of these differ in shape from the other temples of Kashmir. The temples at Martand and at Avantipor are the touchstone of the architectural style in the mediaeval period. The central stone in the main shrine measures 12'-6" x 10' which indicates its massiveness. It is apparent that during the course of about 100 years that elapsed between Martand and Avantiswami. at Avantiswami it is distinctive elegance. These temples do not differ materially from other temples of Kashmir except for minor modifications. The larger female figures on the right and left hands of the outer chamber of the gateway represent Godesses Ganga and Yamuna. The most important of its extant remains is the temple dedicated to Vishnu. The peristyle is still underground. Each base has a socket for insertion of a large monolithic shaft. Avantipor and at Patan are not fully represented in the monuments in Kashmir till the advent of Islam. near the Mahura Power House. It does not have any series of columns and the construction material of the cells is Kanjur. and his queen Sugandhesha. The entrance gateway is as imposing as the central shrine and the wall surfaces are ornamented profusely with sculptured reliefs. Both the temples are dedicated to Shiva.) and his immediate successors. It has a single opening. In fact it lies on the route leading to the Valley. straight and sloped. at a commanding site overlooking Jhelum. 27 kilometres southeast of Srinagar. technical accomplishments and the heights achieved at Martand. and the courses of masonry are exceptionally well-filled. Patau The next in importance are the temples at Patan which were erected in the closing phase of the 9th century A. The temple at Loduv is a plain and a square walled structure. and embellished it with monumental buildings some of which still lie buried. He built a capital city at Avantipor (ancient A vantipora). each shaft having sixteen sides. The few stones of the roof which still exist prove that it was steep. refinement of form.D.D. The main constituents are the rectangular courtyard of 174' X 148' with central shrine. trefoil arches. sensitive grace and exuberant carvings richly delineated. This temple stands on a double base similar to other structures of its kind in Kashmir. Avantipor and at Patan. called Avantiswami. double-pedimented niches. colonnaded peristyle are in evidence here. use of-massive stones in masonry continue to be the distinctive features. The beginnings of the style are in evidence at Loduv. Buniar To the north of Baramulla. The construction style is simple. The arch is semi-circular and built of horizontal building courses. the entrance of which is arched at the top. but while what impresses at Martand is massiveness. boldness in construction and solidity. Monolithic and masive blocks have been used in the masonry. oddly enough coated with lime plaster.are boldly moulded in a distinctive style. It appears to have been a complete conception and ornamented with special features. colonnaded peristyle. particularly in the length of the blocks forming the lines. The quadrangle measures 145' x 119'-6" and consists of 53 cells and the gateway. 33' square. who succeeded Avantiverman. The colonnaded peristyle consists of 69 cells fronted by 70 pillars. both internally and externally. there were no marked innovations norany great technical advances. lies by far the best preserved of all the larger temples in' Kashmir. at Buniar. Parihaspor. approached by a double flight of steps on its front which is on the western side. Situated 27 kilometres northwest of Srinagar. Some of the larger beams are fixed in position by means of neatly shaped joggle-joints. but massive proportions. circular in plan internally and square externally. Another temple named as Dhethamandir (ruined temple) lies further below Buniar. elemental proportions. cellular guardrangles. bold or otherwise. by King Sankaraverman. elegance in construction and refinement in form have lost the initial inspiration behind the architectural activities. one of which is 18 feet long. Loduv The evolutionary stages which resulted in the excellence. and the important temple of Shankaracharya lying on the summit of a hillock in Srinagar. in the form of tre-foil arches. What attracts attention here is the central shrine built in green limestone. Second Golden Age The second golden age of mediaeval architecture in Kashmir was possible due to the patronage of King Avantiverman (855-883 A. The stones of which . In spite of the fact that the essential elements of the Kashmiri temples at Martand. the architectural activity indicates a late and final flowering of the style of Martand and Avantipor. It is devoid of any decorations. In the case of the larger temple built by the King a great deal of grandeur has been lost due to the concealment of its plinth which is still to be uncovered. There are sculptured reliefs on either side of the steps leading to the central shrine which have been aesthetically done.
The manner of construction and simplicity of design clearly indicate its early date. It may also be emphasized that due to political changes and religious fundamentalism. Temple building and other architectural activity received only a marginal encouragement later owing largely to political changes after that period.rulers during the Islamic period. the growth of the style had come to an end. etc. lies in this category.D. Parihaspor. but were absorbed in the territory of Kashmir in about the 7th century A. The growth of the style in relation to its intermediary stages is not represented in any part of the Valley. recessed bays capped by tre-foil arches. pyramidal in form. Avantipor. These triangles have been used for figure decoration. Internally it is circular and the shrine is without any decoration internally and externally. Pandrethan The small temple at Pandrethan (Puranadhisthana) situated about five kilometres from Srinagar.D. much smaller than the one at Pandrethan. leaving very negligible remains for posterity. and to a great extent like the type of roofs of great temples at Martand and Avantiswami prior to their destruction. Shiva. in northern Punjab. The superstructure is built of ten stones only. Influences outside Kashmir The style of temple architecture in the Kashmir Valley seems to have partially influenced temple building activities outside the present borders of Kashmir. The sanctum is open on all sides and is reached by a single flight of steps on the east side. when the temples at Patan were put up. while the others are at Bilot and Kafir Kot on the river Indus in the Frontier province. In the early centuries of the Christian era. Patan. reducing the extent of the space to be covered. to make them mostly monolithic. Payar The declining trends in the style are further represented by several other shrines. The ceiling of the Pandrethan temple is a copy of this on a larger scale. partially destroyed. As such no notable architectural enterprises were taken up during this stage but small shrines continued to be produced under impulses generated earlier. and in the Frontier province of Kashmir at an early age. It is open on all sides.D. probable 6th or 7th century A. Besides. Katas. The temple occupies a unique position and commands an enchanting view of the city of Srinagar and its environs. especially in the 14th century A. The doorways are rectangular under atre-foil arch capped by a pediment. These vestiges are evident at Ferozpor (Drang). twelve triangles have been formed in three overlapping squares. It is 8 feet square internally and 21 feet high including the base. Shankaracharya Temple The next stage of the prototype of the elaborate style which culminated at Martand and Avantipor is provided by the Shankaracharya temple on the summit of a hillock in Srinagar. near the present Badamibagh Cantonment. These areas lie in the upper reaches of the Jhelum and Indus rivers. The central shrine here is externally square in plan with two off-sets on each side. Enclosed by a parapet wall. it is one of the few temples which still retain the major portion of the roof. pyramidal roofs. The best preserved temple in this category is the one at Payar. Several interesting features are in evidence here. The parapet wall is adorned with rows of small niches indicating the beginning of the cellular peristyle which is an important feature of the classical example at Martand and Avantipor. Grandeur Suffers The grandeur of the remains and architectural styles at Martand.D. has been considerably reduced because these suffered ravages effected due to iconoclastic compulsions under some. Kothar and Bamzan to the east and south of the Valley. Mamal. The three overlapping squares have been crowned with a square slab with an exquisitely carved fullblown lotus within a beaded circle. Regarding the ceiling. a number of smaller shrines have either been raised to the ground. Malot and Nanda in the Jhelum district of Punjab. The style seems to be approaching its final form though still in an embryonic state. . On stylistic considerations it can be ascribed to the 12th century A.D. The affinities relate to enclosed courtyards. These are the structures at Payar. Shiva. and a three-headed Shiva seated cross-legged on a wicker-work pedestal are represented within the tre-foil on the four sides. these appear to have been independent areas. Bhairava. the temple stands in a narrow octagonal court. By the beginning of the tenth century A. The roof is pyramidal.it was built are comparatively small in size. the animated figure of six-armed dancing Shiva. These temples are in Amb. or fallen into disuse under political compulsions. The ceiling is one of the best examples of carving on stone extant in Kashmir. This clearly shows that the Kashmirian style affected building activities in the neighbouring regions also..
was not admitted into the Hindu fold and this ardent desire of his was foiled by Brahmins who stood against it. In fact. however.D. Shah Mr who had come to Kashmir in A. swooped upon the ravaged country. In the present context of militancy. Dulucha (Zulqadar Khan).D. but because of its impermanence all examples of this development have perished. Oddly enough. Mahapadmasaras (Wullar Lake) in parts of the Valley.D. in the form of headers and stretchers. leading to the Hari Parbat Fort. The change was clearly in evidence in relation to the choice of materials. The kingdom of Kashmir escaped annexation by the Muslim rulers of India because of the protection provided by lofty mountains. In A. Shah Mir. Fourteenth Century Cataclysmic changes took place in the history of Kashmir in the 14th century A. 1300 to 1319-20). usually cross-wise. in which artisans were proficient during the Hindu rule seems to have been completely lost by the time mosques started to come up under the Sultanate. it followed a different course resulting in different architectural styles. Moghuls and After The advent of Moghuls into Kashmir and what followed later is recent history leading to the modern age in Kashmir. succeeded in giving peace and plenty to the country which he ruled. The last important king of Kashmir from the local dynasties passed away in 1155 A. However. His reign from A. 1587.D. the son of a Tibetan chieftain. The art of stone masonry seems to have been lost till it was revived during Akbar's reign towards the close of the sixteenth century.D. It was transferred to Maharaja Gulab Singh in A. It was during this turmoil that Rinchana. Because of decay during political upheavels.D. the art of stone masonry. the Bhotta. It has to be conceded that at the initial stage the transfer of power was a purely domestic matter and more or less a secular affair. Under Nadir Shah Kashmir was annexed to the kingdom of Kabul in A. 1337. not a sea-change as in other parts of India. Andarkot. therefore to be safeguarded to preserve cultural vestiges of Kashmir for posterity. a remarkable figure in the history of Kashmir.Narasthan. 1819. providing walls and piers in this fashion. became a Muslim not by choice but because he was not admitted to the Hindu fold. Manasbal.D.D. And in A. The Muslims in Kashmir could not initiate an architectural style of their own in the early stages because of paucity of numbers. some monuments have already been lost. his was the most peaceful reign after Avantiverman's in the 9th century A. religious fundamentalism and other factors. The material was available in abundance. and ruled the country for three years (A. a local Hindu ruler. Under the circumstances they used the vestiges of dis-used Hindu temples for construction of their mosques.D. In Kashmir. 1313 gradually consolidated his position by political intrigue and ascended the throne as Sultan Shams-ud-Din in A. Accordingly. It was. and as such was not influenced by the great pan-Islamic conquests of the 12th century. Ranjit Singh secured its possession when Amir Dost Mohammad was defeated. Jayasimha. 1128-1155 was a stable contrast to the unstable regimes which followed for the next two centuries. Kashmir became a constituent of the Indian Union under the Instrument of Accession signed by Maharaja Hari Singh. Ramchandra. Thus was laid the foundation of the Sultanate of Kashmir. The historical irony lies in the fact that Rinchana. Rinchana's untimely death led to a vacuum. The wooden style gained importance in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Rinchana married his wife. who was an important minister in the court of Suhadeva. was murdered. He had no other option but to accept Islam which had by then trickled into the Valley under the influence of mercenaries jockeying for power in a decaying political and social order. who was the chief commander of the armies of the king of Qandhar.D. As times advanced. ravaged the country. The main development lay with the wooden architecture which became the hallmark of the Islamic style.D. in the reign of Suhadeva (A. Most of the bridges were constructed in this . who was a Bhotta. The technique of wood-work in Kashmir consisted in laying one log horizontally on another. the fate of the existing remains which record the glorious past of Kashmir. till the kingdom of Kashmir was conquered by Akbar in A. the manner of construction and the mode of decoration. resulting in the kingdom passing on to Shah Mir. Deodaru tree trunks were also utilized as piers. There is every indication of use of wooden materials in some of the forms of masonry styles prevalent earlier. Rinchana.D. 1846 by the British on the defeat of the Sikhs in the Anglo-Sikh war in Punjab. This is evident from an inscription in the Kathi-Darwaza. 1319-20 to 1322-23). This natural isolation had resulted in development of architectural styles different from those evolving in other parts of India. 1739 and continued to be subjected to the dominion of Afghans till the advent of Sikh rule.D. to the effect that two hundred builders in stone had to be imported from outside Kashmir to undertake the construction. who established the Sultanate as Shams-ud-Din could not rule without the support of nobles who were mostly Hindus. The architectural styles underwent a change with the transfer of power from Hindus to Muslims. wooden architecture flourished and assumed a singularly distinctive form. a patriotic minister who offered resistance. This led to stone masonry going by default under new impulses so much so that architectural styles in stone went out of vogue. 1947. Kota. have. political compulsions and ethnic cleansing. we find that the regular Saracenic mosques with cloisters and domes are missing.
The scenic set-up is enchanting. Its basement is from the temple spoils and the upper portion is the wood-andbrick-mode characteristic of the Islamic style as a whole. Its entire wall surface was decorated with glazed tiles. of earth and birch-bark overgrown with flowers and capped by a spire. •*• iVHUIyUllCllI at Zadibal. The tre-foiled entrance and its still undisturbed massive jambs of the earlier temple have been utilized for raising the tomb. Museum. trimmed and laid in alternate courses of headers and stretchers. The design and execution of this tomb indicate that it was the production of men accustomed to working in brick masonry in a method implying Persian influence. On the apex of the roof was the spire. Patan. When Nichollas. and two similar columns have been used in the inner chamber of the tomb raised in memory of the saint. owing to a few small chambers cutting into it on its north and south sides. even though it is built on the plinth of a Hindu temple. The mosque in plan is a square of 78 feet side. A few fragments have been preserved in the S. Zain-ul-Abidin might have imported Persian workers during his rule. stolen and sold out of Srinagar. The main dome covers the central part and four smaller domes lie over the projections. The base is square and is built entirely of materials belonging to the plinth of a mediaeval temple. measuring 63' x 43'. The whole structure is two storeys in height covered by a low pyramidal roof. Around these two structures and on the way between them and the Sangeen Darwaza of the Hari Parbat Fort. the semi-circular brick projections. was responsible for forceful conversions and for ravaging the magnificent structures at Martand. What is noticeable is that the tile work in its style. the plinth with its filleted torus cornice is entirely Hindu indicating that an earlier monument had already been raised to the ground. visited the place in 1905. The prominent mosque of Madin Sahib raised in the fifteenth century is built on the site of an old temple while the brick walls are Islamic. This is another structure which implies Persian influence by the manner of its construction and mode of decoration. Avantipor. distant snowy mountains and the river Jhelum flowing serenely along with its back-side. over which rises the steeple rising 125 feet . etc. overgrown with flowers.fashion. Suhabhatta. Shah Hamadan The mosque of Mir Sayyed Ali Hamadani. who alongwith his overzealous convert prime minister. particularly in the spandrels. Srinagar. however. The wooden doorway is elaborately carved. as also on the drum of the main dome. In accordance with the style of the period. as is also evident from other arts and crafts which received filllip and encouragement during his benevolent rule. The structural peculiarity lies in the fact that the lower portion of the mosque is formed of logs. The low pyramidal roof is surmounted by the open pavilion for the muezzin. producing a diaper effect on the exterior sides. reduced in the lower rectangular hall. This tomb is square in plan with angles truncated and replaced by rectangular projections. Zainakadal The tomb of Zain-ul-Abidin's mother is a distinctive structure with five domes at Zainakadal in the heart of Srinagar city. Apart from other additions and alterations.S.P. to be emphasised that Zain-ul-Abidin provided a peaceful and benevolent rule for more than fifty years in contrast to his father. These glazed tiles were multicoloured and as such must have presented a brilliant spectacle. Glass and glazed work decorates the external surface of the chamber containing the mausoleum. Many of these have also been converted into mosques. The superstructure consists of four walls. Its principal features are the glazed and moulded tiles which are studded at intervals in the exterior walls. a Survevor of the Archaeological Survey of India. To the north of the mosque is the saint's tomb. Of mixed construction in the style of the mosque and tomb in Madin Sahib is the Jama Masjid in Pampore. he found a considerable portion of tile decorations in good preservation. Madin Sahib The earliest important mosques and tombs in the new style are the mosque and tomb of Madin Sahib M. design and execution has every appearance of Persian influence. adorned externally with tre-foiled brick niches. The chamber on the north-western corner contains the tomb of Shah Hamadan. Sultan Sikander. more popularly known as the mosque of Shah Hamadan is a typicle example of wooden architecture of Kashmir. a number of cloisters have been added. The chamber is covered by a pyramidal earth and birch-bark roof. Some carved temple columns are in the porch of the mosque. there are numerous remains of Hindu temples all of which have suffered grievously at the hands of iconoclasts.WJ. The structure is covered by a pyramidal roof. with its surroundings. Most of these have unfortunately been removed. It has. and the tomb of Zain-ul-Abidin's mother in the heart of Srinagar.
Zain-ul-Abidin. The face work is in local grey stone which is capable of receiving high polish. Akhun Mulla Shah's mosque was built by Dara Shikoh in A. Kathi Darwaza and Sangin Darwaza leading to the Hari Parbat Fort. Its northern and southern sides are 384' in length which indicates the magnitude of the structure. There are three hundred and seventy eight lofty pillars varying from 25 feet to nearly 50 feet in height. which is the only one of its kind surviving in Kashmir. but these are imposing. essential components of the wooden style of Kashmir. the Jama Masjid in downtown Srinagar. Their capitals which are sixteen-sided are decorated with acanthus leaf decoration. two medallions executed projectingly on the spandrels are distinctive. while the Akhun Malla Shah's mosque seems to have been raised in A. The Pathar Masjid built in A. which make a distinctive pattern. However. With the advent of Moghuls towards the close of the sixteenth century the art of stone masonry was revived in the Valley. No architectural building in the wooden style of Kashmir deserving any special notice was raised after the construction of Jama Masjid.D. It consists of a domed chamber in the centre with two side recesses. The final reconstruction took place during the reign of the Moghul emperor. The mosque'might have been raised immediately after his death and in his memory. These minars surmount spacious arched entrances.D. The Kathi Darwaza which was the principal entrance is a massive gate. For this purpose. wife of Jehangir.D. Though a considerable portion of this massive mosque is in brick. There are elegant orion windows on each side. each made out of a single deodar trunk. Particularly noticeable are the lofty collonades in timber extending around the entire building. 1400 by Sultan Sikander and enlarged by his son and successor. Names of God painted in gold have been carved on the large panels on the walls. though the position is not clear because of additions and alterations at various stages. This falls in the reign of Sultan Sikander Butshikan (inconoclast) who ruled Kashmir between 1390 and 1414 A.from the ground. Pari Mahal . It fell into disuse later and has been restored only recently. being a quadrangle and roughly square in plan.D. Moghul Architecture In this category lie the massive stone gates. The nave or the focal point is a fine open space contained within a double range of tall wooden pillars with an arched mihrab occupying the interior wall. The pulpit has a stone lotus finial over it.D. 1623 under the orders of Nur Jahan. It was founded in A. Apart from the orthodox mosque plan. 1649 for his tutor. The western minar has larger dimensions. two hundred master builders were imported from outside Kashmir during Akbar's reign as has been indicated in an inscription on the main gate leading to the Hari Parbat Fort. They were not affected in any manner by the indigenous wooden architecture of the Valley. simple in conception. beautiful panelled wood-work is in evidence on the walls in the interior of the mosque. and excellent material for mouldings and carvings which are indicated in the workmanship. 1623 is the largest surviving example of Moghul mosques in Kashmir. Akhun Mulla Shah. which crystallized during the Muslim rule. The mosque is in grey brickwork. Distinctive wood work is in evidence on four wooden columns supporting the ceiling in the centre.D. Aurangzeb (A. Though the arched entrances are plain. Lotus leaves have been carved on the bases of these columns. The facade consists of nine arches inclusive of the large arched portico in the centre. The two other stone buildings of Moghul workmanship are of a slightly later date. the huge structure contains all the architectural elements.D. The date of Shah Hamadan's death is AD 1384 according to an inscription on the doorway of the shrine. Jama Masjid The most impressive and architecturally representative building of the wooden style in Kashmir is. however. However. except on the west. The simplicity of its surface treatment and its architectural character are impressive. 1658-1707). it contains in its interior a large amount of timber work in the form of pillars. Pathar Masjid. Varied flower patterns have been carved on a number of panels forming the dudo. aisles and cloisters. The mosque was never used for worship. without any alteration in its original plan. The Pathar Masjid (stone mosque) is said to have been erected in A. Though it was badly damaged by fires at least on three occasions. no drastic changes in its structural composition or plan were effected during its repairs. The Sangin Darwaza is a similar structure but more ornate. which contains the pulpit. one in the middle of each side which are covered by a series of pyramidal roofs terminating in an open turret and crowned by a pinnacle. and Akhun Mulla Shah's mosque in Srinagar. 1649. The mosque is the biggest structure of its kind in Kashmir. The Kathi Darwaza and the Sangin Darwaza were put up during Akbar's reign. Other distinctive features are the four minars. The structures put up during Moghul rule reflect the architectural ideals of this dominating dynasty and in accordance with the style flourishing with vigour in their domains in other parts of the Empire.
however. Nishat.Apart from the above. (Concluded) . there is the arcade round the spring at Verinag. be made of the large baradari or the pavilion in the celebrated Shalimar Bagh. This was initially started during Jehangir's reign and completed by his son and successor. 82 kilometres to the south-east of Srinagar. It continued on its course unaffected by these influences. The locations were mostly ideally suited with lofty mountains in the background. The traditional conceptions relating to the wooden style were unaffected by these productions. The arcade at Verinag with an octagonal basin have been put up round the spring which is the reputed source of river Jhelum. Special mention may. expansive lakes or bubbling springs in the foreground and gliding slopes for terraces. It was primarily a summer resort and no architectural significance is in evidence here. some of these covered by tall pines. The garden consists of six terraces with a total length of 400 feet. Shah Jehan. The width of the terraces varies from 179 feet to 205 feet. the garden of bliss. The structure is partly in brick and partly in stone. Achhabal and Verinag. the Moghul occupation of the Valley is also characterised by other structural records mainly in brick masonry as at Pari Mahal (the Fairy Palace) on the hillside overlooking Dal Lake. Chashma Shahi. Besides. The influences whether Moghul or Persian. Moghul Gardens The Moghuls also bestowed their attention on laying out of terraced gardens at Shalimar. These are very important tourist spots in the Valley. Though Moghuls revived the art of stone masonry in Kashmir. the strructures put up proved to be architectural impositions which were introduced in the Valley to satisfy the requirements of the masters. The black-stone pillars which still retain the polish and the sculptured brackets are very distinctive. did not alter the architectural styles initiated under the Sultanate and perfected prior to the advent of the Moghuls.
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