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Martand Sun Temple, Kashmir




Martand, located atop a plateau, close to the township of Anantnag, has a temple dedicated to Surya, the “Sun God”. Built by king Laitaditya Muktapida (7th to 8th century AD), it is a medieval temple with a colonnaded courtyard and the shrine in its centre. The kind appeared to be a worshiper of Sun, treating the Sun as an all pervading phenomenon. Martand temple consists of a courtyard with main temple in the middle and colonnaded peristyle, which is 220 feet long and 142 feet broad. The temple complex has 84 columns and offers a commanding view of the valley of Kashmir. The style of the construction of the temple and the skill of the makers are rare in the history of the world. Apart from the exquisite architecture, another attraction of the Martand temple is its picturesque surroundings. It was constructed on the highest part of a plateau.
It is an example of not only some great Kashmiri architectural skill from the years past, but it also has pride of having been set up at a fine spot which is prettier than quite a few of the the spots where other historical buildings in India and outside have been built. The ruins of the huge temple stand in a square field with snow capped mountains of the smiling valley as the background. This temple has been built with strong and square limestones. The pillars of the temple are of Greek pattern.
Mattan is derived from the name Macch(Fish)-Bhawan. This place is also called Martand, because an antient Temple named Martand is situated just 2 Kms from it. In Mattan there is a famous temple of Sun God, which is worshipped as of Konark. There are two springs named Vimal & Kamal Kunds.
Martand Temple is located at about 5 miles from the town of Anantnag, Anantnag District. By road, Martand Temple can be approached easily from Anantnag, Mattan and Achabal. The nearest airport is at Srinagar. Anantnag is situated at 33.44 latitude and 75.12 longitude, at an elevation of 5400 feet above sea level, at a distance of 33 miles from the main state-headquarters Srinagar.

A good description of Martand midway through the page on this link.
Some photos of Martand (link)
Many many photos of Martand from the Indira Gandhi National Center of Arts (link)
Older photograph of the ruins of the Surya Temple in Martand (link)
More photos of the ruins of the Sun Temple at Martand (link)




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