Ever since I saw the movie Haider, I have been very eager to visit the temple of Martand. It’s only later I realised that another favourite song of mine: from Aandhi- tere Bina zindagi se shikwa to Mahi is also shot here.
It’s one of the most majestic architectural relics of antiquity in any country .
Built on a higher plateau it would have given a sweeping view of the whole Kashmir Valley in the view of the direction of the sunsetting behind the Pir Panjal Pir Panjal
The temple of Martand was built on the highest level of the village by Raja Lalitaditya the ruler of Kashmir for nearly 36 years in the 8th century.
He built a new city splendid in every respect on the top of Martand.
He also built a grand Majestic temple to the sun God whose pillar stone pillars are said to have been ornamented with jewels pearls and gold. They height was such that they were beyond limits and a great poet said when the heavens look towards this bill Royal building its tiara falls upon the earth. The meaning of which is that it’s here that its head is so much bent backwards for the purpose of looking up what’s that the tiara cannot remain on it.
This temple was destroyed by Sultan Sikander and what remains of it today is the Central and rectangular building surrounded by a quadrangle and rectangular colonnades facing inwards. The length of the outer side of the wall which is a plank is about 90 yards that of the front is about 56 yards. It is the largest peristyle in Kashmir.
The remains of three gateways opening into the court can be seen. We enter through the cental gateway and other two are on the sides.
The interior is divided into two compartments that at the entrance is 9 yards in length and at the best and enter than in a chamber or crypto 5 yards in length surrounded by blank walls but open like the other to the face of the sun all semblance of room having long disappeared beneath the shocks of earthquakes and the destruction by Sultan Sikander. This inner chamber is where the rays of the sun would have come and the idol would have been kept. In the centre of either side of the large anterior chamber is a window reaching to the sky to the floor and about 8 feet in height the walls that divided quarterly are filled up with single figures in relief two of Suriya and two of Lakshmi one in each panel.
There is no upper story and now and if there was originally it could have been pyramidaical
the height also has been diminished bye earthquakes. There are two side wings which are now detached but since the sculptures of the figures are same as that inside, at some point of time they would have been joined the building and they were probably detached either due to earthquakes or some other calamity.
it was a mass of solid masonry and were probably ornamental and joined by a flying buttressed to the upper side of the Centre Centre building particularly at the remains of part of the entablature projecting from the top of the left-wing towards the centre building see would seem to countenance such an opinion.
There are depictions of the goddesses Ganga and Yamuna at the entrance, the Sun God, Lord Vishnu, as well as 365 deities carved on the plinth.
For more visuals see my vlog on it