Monuments of Kashmir Valley
Ancient Site and Remains, Burzahom
The site contains eleven megaliths five of which are erected and others have fallen. Excavation at the site has revealed a three fold cultural sequence, starting from the Neolithic period and succeeded by Megalithic and early historical cultures. Bone tools, stone tools and pottery have been unearthed, besides a number of dwelling and burial pits pertaining to the Neolithic period.
Ancient Site of Chakradhar, Semthan
Situated in the Vijayesvarkshetra, as mentioned in Kalhana's Rajatarangni, the excavation at the highest mound on a Karewa table and in village Semthan has yielded a cultural sequence consisting of the pre-Mauryan, Mauryan, Indo-Greek, Kushan-Hun and medieval periods. The results have partly bridged the gap between the Neolithic and Historical periods.
It is one of the best preserved temples of Shiva of the sarvatobhadra type, located in the middle f a tank. It is relieved by figure sculptures which are particularly remarkable on the ceiling. It has a two tiered pyramidal roof while its four entrances show the usual type of pedimented trefoil design. The edifice does not appear to be later that circa tenth century A. D.
Ancient Monastery, A Stupa, Harwan
Harwan identified with Terracotta Tiles, Harwan Shadarhadvana is said to be the centre of the fourth Buddhist Council held during the reign of Kanishka. Among the remains are three-tired base of a stupa, a set of rooms in diaper pebble style of masonry. The area around the stupa is paved with decorated terracotta tiles. The antiquities found include terracotta figures, and fragments of Buddha image and a few clay tablets bearing miniature stupa in relief.
Ancient Stupa (Excavated remains), Ushkura
Ushkura, originally Huvishkapura was the ancient city founded by Huvishka. The Kushan King in the second century A. D. The excavations have revealed remains of the stupa and the surrounding wall which Lalitaditya built over an older structure in the middle of eighth century A. D. Only the lowest course of the base are in position. The area has been fenced.
Ancient Stupa, Monastery and Chaitya, Devar Yakhmanpora / Parihaspora
On the northeastern corner of the Parihaspora plateau is the stupa of Cankuna, the Central Asian Minister of Lalitaditya. The base of the stupa is square with offsets and a flight of steps on each side. The board surface at the top of the plinth served as circumambulatory passage. The superstructure is lost and some architectural fragments like trefoil arches are lying at the site.
Built by Lalitaditya (A. D. 724 – 760), the large square structure is the rajavihara or the royal monastery. The four sides of the courtyard are enclosed by cells numbering twenty-six. The cells have a verandah in front with a high plinth. A couple of stone drains and a large stone trough can be seen among the remains. Silver coins in a earthen jar were found in one of the cells.
Built by Lalitaditya, the Chaitya stands on a two tiered base. It has a square sanctum surrounded by a circumambulatory passage. A flight of steps on the east side leads to the entrance. The area has been fenced.
Shankracharya temple, Srinagar
The temple consists of a circular sanctum built on a high octagonal plinth approached by a long flight of steps flanked by two side walls. The plinth is surmounted by a parapet wall, the inner face of which is adorned by a range of arcuate recesses enclosed in rectangular panels. The upper part of the sikhara has disappeared. The temple is datable to circa seventh century A. D. The open area has been provided with some floories and beautificied.
Group of Ancient Temple, Naranag
Naranag is the modern name of ancient Sodaratirtha which was an important place of pilgrimage from early times. It contains two groups of temples. The first comprises six temples. The principal temple has a square base with two entrances opposite each other in the northeast and southeast sides. It has pyramidal roof and domical ceiling. The two sides which are closed are decorated externally. The second group of temples is enclosed in a parastyle pierced by a two chambered gateway. The largest temple has a square base. There is a rectangular trough of granite to let in a water of holy spring outside. The monuments is being conserved and preserved.
The Sun Temple was built by Lalitaditya Mukatapida in the eight century A. D. It consists of a courtyard with the principal shrine in the middle and colonnaded peristyle around. The peristyle contains eighty four fluted columns. The entrance in the middle of western side of the quadrangle faces in the sanctum. The walls re profusely decorated with pedimented niches. The main shrine has three distinct chambers and some of its walls are carved with images. There are also six subsidiary shrines in the courtyard. A beautiful garden has been developed.
This well-preserved temple, dedicated to Vishnu, stands on a two tiered base in the middle of a quadrangle surrounded by a colonnaded peristyle. A lofty trefoil arch provides access to square sanctum. It is attributed to circa eighth century A. D.
This temple which is internally circular and externally square stands in the middle of a tank fed by a natural spring. The entrance on the south west sides as an arch surmounted by a pediment. The structure is datable to circa eighth century A. D.
Ancient temple, Fatehgarh
A ruined large temple with a square sanctum. Fragment of a colossal Shiva-linga is placed over a moulded platform in the cell. It may be attributed to circa ninth century A. D.
Pratapswamin Temple with four Subsidiary shrines,
The temple is in the middle of a courtyard enclosed by a peristyle. It is assignable to the eleventh century A. D. and consists of a garbhagriha and a mandapa. It has subsidiary shrines in the courtyard. Only the plinth is preserved, rest of the superstructure as fallen. The area has been chain link fenced.
Avantiswamin Temple, Avantipur
Built by King Avantivarman (A.D. 855-883), this Vaishnava temple is constructed on a two tiered base in the centre of the paved courtyard enclosed by a colonnaded peristyle. The entrance, located in the middle of the west wall, is approached by a flight of steps. The walls of entrance are ornamented with sculptured reliefs both internally and externally. The pilasters of the stairs of the main shrine are also ornamented with sculptured reliefs. The courtyard has subsidiary shrines at the four corners .The famous Vaikunatha Vishnu is said to be found in this temple.
Avantisvara Temple, Avantipur
This Siva temple was built by king Avantivarman. It is located in the centre of a courtyard surrounded by a colonnaded peristyle. The entrance is in the middle of the western wall and is approached by a flight of steps. The base of the sanctum is cruciform approached by stairs from four sides. There are two subsidiary shrines at the rear corners of the courtyard.
Ancient Shiva Temple Payer
This well- preserved temple with a square sanctum is built on a moulded base with a staircase on the east. It is open on all sides (Sarvatobhadra type). The doorways are surmounted by a trefoil arch enclosed by a pediment. There are beautiful sculptures in relief of three forms of Shiva in the trefoil arches of the doorways. The roof is pyramidal and two- tiered.
Shankargaurisvara Temple and Excavated Structures, Pattan
Built by Sankaravarman in the ninth century A.D., the temple is dedicated to Shiva. It has a square a sanctum with a portico having a trefoiled niche and a number of carved figures. The peristyle and plinth are buried underground .The entrance faces east. The complex faces east. The complex has beautiful garden.
Sugandesha Temple, Pattan
Built by Sugandha, queen of Ssankaravarman in the ninth century A.D., the temple has a square sanctum with a portico in front and a peristyle around. It is open on one side and has trefoiled niches with sculptures on other sides. The area has been fenced.
The temple is built on a high platform in the middle of the courtyard surrounded by a peristyle. The entrance is through a two- chambered gateway. It is assignable to circa tenth century A.D.
Bumzuva Cave and Temple, Bumzuva
The only important group of caves in Kashmir is located here. A temple is enshrined in one cave, which has a trefoil arched doorway surmounted by a pediment and side walls. On stylistic consideration it is assignable to circa twelfth century A.D.
The main Shiva Temple was built on a high raised platform inside the cave. A Shiv linga installed on the right side of the Cave temple the area of the cave is approximately. 5X10 mts. The flight of steps with railings has been restored.
This temple assignable to tenth – eleventh century A.D. is built in the centre of a courtyard enclosed by peristyle. Only base of the sanctum and a few cells of the peristyle are preserved.
Tomb of Zain –Ul – Abidin`S Mother, Zaina Kadal, Srinagar
The tomb was built by Sultan Zainul- Abidin. Its superstructure comprises of a main central dome with four smaller domes in the corners. It is embellished with glazed blue tiles. Another enclosure with gateway to the north of the tomb contains a number of tombs one of which is said to be of the king himself.
Khanqah of Shah Hamdan, Srinagar
It is square edifice which is mostly built of wood with spaces filled by dressed bricks. It is embellished with wooden moldings and beautiful carvings over doors and windows. The roof is crowned by a steeply- shaped pinnacle. It is dated to fifteenth century A.D. This is one of the Architectural Landmarks of Kashmir.
Located at Khanpur on the ancient Mughal route, it served as a Sarai in the Mughal period. The Sarai has arches and cells built of lakhauri bricks. The area has been fenced for development of garden.
Gates in The Rampart of The Fort
Kathi Darwaza, Sangeen Darwaza, Srinagar
Kathi Darwaza: The Kathi Darwaza was built in the rampart to serve as the principal entrances to the fort. It is a structure comprising a vaulted chamber in the middle with recesses. Its chief decorations are arches and rectangular panels and two medallions in the high relief on the spandrels of the arch. As per the Persian inscription on gate, it was built in A. H. 1006 (A.D. 1597-98) by the orders of emperor Akbar. The fencing and restoration has been carried out.
Mughal Arcade Including the Spring, Verinag
The construction of an octagonal tank with arcade which now surrounds the natural spring was commenced by the emperor Jahangir (A.D.1605-27) and completed by Shah Jahan (A.D.1628-58). The spring is reputed to be the source of the river Vitasta (now Jhelum).
Pather Masjid, Zaina Kadal, Srinagar
The mosque is said to have been built in A.D. 1623 by Empress Nur Jahan. Its façade consists of nine cusped arches including an arched portion in the centre. Its roof consists of twenty- seven domes which are partly ribbed and partly vaulted. The prayer hall has eighteen massive square columns.
Groups of Arched Terraces / Structural Complex,
Pari Mahal, Srinagar
Pari Mahal is a structure of six terraces built by Dara Shikoh. In the uppermost terrace, there are the ruins of two structures resembling a baradari and a reservoir. In the middle of second terrace is a large tank. The façade of the retaining wall is ornamented with series of twenty-one arches built in descending order. The third terrace has the main entrance. On either side of it are series of spacious rooms. The fourth terrace has remains of a tank. The fifth terrace has an arched retaining wall with pigeon holes. The sixth terrace has a rectangular tank in the middle and octagonal bastions at its ends. Fragments of earthen water pipes are still to be seen in the structure. The monuments is famous for its garden
Mosque of Akhun Mulla Shah, Kathi Darwaza, Srinagar
This mosque was built by Dara Shikoh in A.D.1649 for his teacher Akhun Mulla Shah. It is located on the slope of Hari Parbat and is little way up above the Kathi Darwaza. Built of grey limestone, its lotus final over the pulpit is the only example of its kind surviving in Kashmir. Its external decorations are cusped arches enclosed in rectangular panels. The courtyard on its north and south sides have been provided with arcades. On a lower level are the ruins of arched halls. Fencing and Mosque of Akhun Mulla Shah restoration carried out.
Ancient Temple, Hariparbat, Srinagar
This ancient temple dedicated to goddess Sarika is Particularly sacred to the Pandits of Kashmir. The shrine was built during the Dora rule in the middle of nineteen century A.D.
At present Srinagar Circle of Archaeological Survey of India has 56 centrally protected monuments under their jurisdiction in which 15 centrally protected monuments are in Jammu Region. Structural conservation and environmental development at most of these monuments are carried out for their better preservation. The circle has conducted significant archaeological exactions at Burzahom, Semthan and Kanispur (ancient Kanishkapura) in Kashmir which have brought to light valuable data on prehistoric and early historical life of the people of the valley.