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History of Sugandesha Temple in Pattan town of Kashmir

History of Sugandesha Temple in Pattan town of Kashmir

Sugandesha Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located in the city of Pattan in the Baramulla district in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Sugandesha temple is located in Pattan, 28 km northwest of Srinagar, in the district of Baramulla, in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, India. The temple was built during the reign of Shankarvarman (833-900 AD), the son of Awantivarman, founder of the Utpala dynasty.

Speaking of Shankarvarman, the ancient historian Kalhana says in his book Rajtarangini that the king founded a new city and named it Shankarapurapattana and built two temples dedicated to Shiva. He named one of the temples Sugandesha after his wife Sugandha. Queen Sugandha herself went on to rule Kashmir from 904 to 906 AD. and was later executed by King Partha, who ruled from 906 to 921 AD.

The temple was built during the reign of Shankarvarman (833-900 AD), the son of Awantivarman, founder of the Utpala dynasty.

Kalhana, the author of Rajatarangini (River of Kings), is an account of the history of Kashmir. He wrote the work in Sanskrit between 1148 and 1149. In his work, Kalhana wrote about King Avanti Varman (855-883 AD), the first king of the Utpala dynasty and his son Shankara Varman (883-902 AD).

Shankara Varman founded a new city named Shankarapattana and built two temples in Shankarapattana dedicated to Lord Shiva. King Shankara Varman named one of the temples after his wife Sugandha as Sugandhesha. After the passing of her husband and the untimely death of her two child kings, Sugandha had the opportunity to rule Kashmir from 904 to 906 AD.

Kalhana goes on to say that King Shankarvarman “in order to make his own city famous, he took away everything that belonged to Parihaspora” (Taranga 5 canto 160 Rajtaringini). The city of Parihaspora had been founded by King Lalitaditya (697-734 AD). The temple was identified by Sir Alexander Cunningham, founder of the Archaeological Survey of India, in 1847 as the one mentioned in Rajtaringini.

The temple covers an area of ​​12 feet 7 inches square and has been built of clayey limestone blocks and bonded with lime mortar. It resembles the sun temple at Martand in South Kashmir in architectural style. The interior and exterior of the temple have intricate carvings.

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A survey of damage to the Sugandesha temple suggests that a portion of the outer walls collapsed in the 10th or 11th century, and significant damage was also sustained in the 1885 earthquake. The temple is a protected monument and is being maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India.

The shrine is 12′ 7” square and has, as usual, a front porch. It is open on one side only and has trefoil niches on the outside on the other sides. These niches contained images. The temple stands on a double plinth, but it seems likely from the side walls of the lower stairway and the frieze on the lower plinth, in which the panels intended for sculptural decoration have simply been covered but not carved, that the temple was never completed.

The entrance to the court is in the middle of the eastern wall of the peristyle and consists, as usual, of two chambers with a partition and a door in the middle.

In 1847, Cunningham noted that the temple rooms, measuring about 6 feet by 4 feet, must have had linga: for he found bases for three of those mantras, which were converted into Islamic graves fifty steps from the temple.

All of this basically means that this Islamic shrine in the temple will now be over 150 years old. It was as old as Parihaspora when Sugandhesa temple and Patan town appeared.

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