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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Pandrethan पन्द्रेथान Temple still speaks of its grandeur and majestic look

Pandrethan पन्द्रेथान Temple still speaks of its grandeur and majestic look

Some twenty large Brahamanical pictures found during the process of digging of foundation of the army barracks at Pandrethan during year 1923 and 1933 are also placed in the State Museum at Srinagar. The only monument now standing at Pandrethan is a temple which enshrines a shiva Lingam that was recently installed. The temple is situated close to the main road by the side on the banks of river Jhelum. Now the temple is not acceseble for common people since it falls in the army area.The area of temple is 5.48 sq mt, with a projecting portico on each side and displays the repetition of pediment contained by pediment and trefoil with in trefoil, a true Kashmir style of architecture originated with a mixture of Greek and Roman architecture. Temple has three opening now provided with the wooden doors. The temple was made during the rule of King Partha ,who ruled Kashmir from AD 921 to 931 by his Prime Minister Meru. The temple was dedicated to Mahadev under the site of Meru Varadhamsawami.It was built in the old capital city of Pandrathan or Puranadhishtana. 

The seat of the Government had been transferred to the present site (Srinagar) by the King Parvarasena II nearly 500 years ago. The old capital city was entirely deserted until its destruction in the fire in the reign of Abhimanyu in about A.D 960. The magnitude of fire was so devastating that temple was protected by the water and no other building could survive The modest temple is of great interest in view of the fact that it is one of the few temples of valley which has survived with original structure & portion of the roof which furnishes a fairly good idea about what the roof of the great temples of Martand and Avantipura might have looked like before the destruction.

The existing temple now stands in the midst of water tank which is fed by natural spring। The walls of its platform remains submerged almost throughout of the year. The temple structure is fairly good state of preservation, symmetry and restraint in ornamentation. Made of ashlar stone masonery (dressed Devri stone) and the temple stands on a fairly high platform. The platform in tri-ratha on plan, the front side (north-north-west) having further divided with central projection accommodating the flight of steps with a moulded parapet.

The walls of the temple rest on a projecting member relieved with the forepart of a series of squatting elephant in the attitude of the supporting the load of the structure। The feature is unique Indian temple architecture found here, otherwise the Gandharva or celestial figures have been depicted bearing the load of the temple in other part of the country. The temple has main entrance form the east through a causeway.The level of water in the tank fluctuate with season.The ceiling of the sanctum exquisitely carved in comparison to the plain walls. It is made of lime stone slabs arranged in three oversailing courses. The four slabs of the middle course are relieved each with a flying Vidyadhara carrying a ring like object in his right hand and a lotus stalk in the left hand. A part of the scarf is seen floating in the air a Greek feature in the valley. A full blown lotus with twelve full petals is reproduced on the topmost square slab. This particular stone has been found invariably in all the Hindu temples as it signifies the ceiling stone slab over the main idol of the temple in the garbha-griha or sanctum sanctorum.

Payar temple, about 10 kilo meter from Avantipura (N H 1 A ) in Pulwama Distt. Was probably built during the same period is a miniature replica of the Pandrethan. The Payar has been constructed on a high platform with superstructure with 10 pieces of stones. These two temples complete in all respect considered Genes of Kashmiri as the temple architecture.

The monuments has been protected by the ASI under the ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites And Remains Act, 1958 and the structural consevation has been carried by ASI. The day to day maintains and up to keep has been carried out by the Indian army.


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