Sunday, December 9, 2012

SUGANDESH AND SHANKARA GAURISA TEMPLES OF PATTAN KASHMIR












                                             
Photographs Autar Mota 
( From top to bottom :- First five photographs were taken at Sugandesh Temple ruins and last three were taken at Shankara Gaurisa temple ruins )
“Thereupon the Chamberlain Rattanvardhana laboured and made Sankarvarman the son of Avantivarman , the king.”

( Taranga 5 Canto 128 Rajtaringini )


“By him the daughter of the illustrious Swamiraja , the lord of the northern region, named Sughandha was the beloved as is the night of full moon by the moon”

( Taranga 5 Canto 157 Rajtaringini )


“In association with her , in that fine town , the king who was comparable to the king of gods , constructed SANKARA GAURISA and SUGHANDESHA”


(Taranga 5 Canto 158 Rajtarangini )

“ A Brahmin named Nayaka , learned in four Vedas who was the noble  of the shrine of the goddess of speech , was placed in charge of the two temples of SIVA ”

( Taranga 5 Canto 159 Rajtaringini )

“Thus the petty minded king , in order to make his own city celebrated , carried away everything belonging to Parihaspora :”
( Taranga 5 canto 160 Rajtaringini )

“Cloth weaving , sale and purchase of live sock and similar things which were the basis of fame of Pattana were once in that city . “

(Taranga 5 canto 162 Rajtaringini )

This is the story of  two temple complexes on Srinagar Baramulla road  known  as  PAANDAV LAARIE (PANDVA’s ABODE ) by people  over here . Thanks to kalhana , the story of the temples known as SUGANDESH and SANKARA GAURISA  is well documented  in  Taranga 5 of his monumental work  Rajtaringini.. The temples are located at  village PATTAN  on  right side of main highway  once you go from srinagar to Baramulla .
Inspite of  neglect , they still  catch your eye even if you move past them in a bus or car or any other mode of transport . The temples were laid by king  Sankarvarman who  succeeded  his father king Avantivarman and reigned from AD 883 to 901AD  . In fact he tried to do what his father had done by laying similar temples at Awantipora . Both the temples had outer stone wall and a central Shiva  temple with sanctum Sanctorum. The temples are in big stones and resemble MARTAND  style of temple architecture of kashmir  .The area used to be called PATTANA  as per Kalhana and later came to be known as Sankarapura .Both the temples were  dedicated to Mahadeva or shiva by the king .Sankarvarman built his kingdom's capital in Sankarpura ( Pattan ) . The temples were laid in conjunction with his queen Saugandha . This queen  was executed during the reign of king PARTHA ( 906-921 AD)  who had come under the influence of TANTRINS .The temples are about  300 metres apart and beautiful gardens have been laid  presently beside  these monuments  by Archeological survey of India . Both are protected monuments . While SUGANDESH  Temple structure  is in a  larger  area , SANKARA GAURISA temple is close to the town and has a Tonga stand near it. I visited both the monuments  thrice in 2009. All the six photographs  at the top of this post relate to SUGANDESH  while below uploaded four photographs were taken by me in and around SANKARA GAURISA  . Some parts of the  Sankara Gaurisa  temple, including the colonnade, the temple plinth and a small shrine in the northeast corner, have sunk into the ground  due reason of its long neglect. The entrance to the Sankara-Gaurishwara temple is through the square space in the middle of the eastern path.  There are various images in the lower and larger panels of this Temple structure. Most of the European travelers to kashmir saw these temples in bad shape almost as ruins in total  neglect  . According to Lawrence:-

 "There are many ominous cracks on the walls , and if the forest trees which have taken root in these crevices are allowed to remain  and spread , the destruction of both the buildings is imminent .  "

( see page 125 of the valley of kashmir )"


kalhana records that sankarvarman practically took everything from Parihaaspora ( a city built by our illustrious king  Lalitaditya nearby  these temple structures )  to build his new capital at PATTAN.It took me some time to take inner views of SHANKARA GAURISA temple .  .

 “Sahib ji . Baa vanay naa kenh yimun.  yum  Besharam Londaa  Jamaat Chhe Assi bhudan samjhaan buss vatti Hunz Kaen. Zunn Chhunaa Assi Kenh Sonch Naa samajh. Beqal haa Saa ”

“Sir I shall tell them nothing . These young men think that we elders are a stone in their path . As if we can neither think nor understand. Just Fools . ” 
That is what Abdul Salam the tonga owner  from Tonga stand outside the Shankara Gaurisa   told me . Infact I wanted to take some pictures of the monument  but I found  two boys and a  girl sitting inside the monument in a posture that made me feel ashamed  . They noticed me but ignored my physical presence . Having failed to seek help of Abdul Salam , I went again and requested them that I wanted to take a photograph and would  be pleased if they could move to one side for just two minutes . One of the boys turned to me and said smilingly ,

“ Tul Assi Ti Tul Saa  Photo . Assi Chhanaa Shaqal photovuss laayakh. ” Meaning “Take our snap also . Don’t you find our faces worth Photographing . ” I felt shame is My problem not theirs . Abdul Salam was right .

On My return from these monuments i told  my driver as to how rapidly values have changed in Kashmir . He agreed and blamed the younger generation.   I do not blame youngsters alone . I hold a firm belief that Kashmir can produce many many  Fayaz shawls , Mohd Sultan Khuroos and Agha Shahid Alis .   I have found the new generation of kashmiri children sharp , intelligent and sincere. They need a direction and environment .

(Text And Photo By Autar Mota )

Sunday 00.15 AM  Good Night                                                                                              

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CHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
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