मार्तंड सूर्य मंदिर

( Martand Sun Temple )

The Martand Sun Temple is a Hindu temple located near the city of Anantnag in the Kashmir Valley of Jammu and Kashmir (union territory), India. It dates back to the eighth century CE and was dedicated to Surya, the chief solar deity in Hinduism; Surya is also known by the Sanskrit-language synonym Martand (मार्तण्ड, Mārtaṇḍa). The temple was destroyed by Sikandar Shah Miri.


According to Kalhana, the Martand Sun Temple was commissioned by Lalitaditya Muktapida in the eighth century CE.


According to Jonaraja (fl. 1430) as well as Hasan Ali, the temple was destroyed by Sikandar Shah Miri (1389-1413) in a zeal to Islamise the society under the advice of Sufi preacher Mir Muhammad Hamadani;[a] Jonaraja pinned the blame on his chief-counsel Suhabhatta, a Brahman neo-convert who was held to have manifested a reign of intense persecution for the local Hindus whereas Ali particularly affirmed Sikandar's own convictions in these aspects.[1][2][3]

Scholars caution against accepting these sources at face value — Jonaraja was appointed by Sikandar's son, who sought to bring back the Brahminical elite into the royal fold while later Muslim chroniclers had their motives to fit the past into an idealist tale of orthodox Islamic morality. According to Chitralekha Zutshi and Richard G. Salomon, Sikandar's policies were guided by realpolitik[4] and, like with the previous Hindu rulers, an attempt to secure political legitimacy by asserting state power over Brahmans and gaining access to wealth controlled by Brahminical institutions.[5] J. L. Bhan notes a stone sculpture—a four-armed Brahma, sculpted by son of a Buddhist Sanghapati and dedicated to Sikandar—to challenge simplistic notions of religious persecution.[6] Slaje disagrees about an absence of religious motivations but notes the aversion of Brahmin chroniclers to be, largely, the result of resistance to the gradual disintegration of caste-hierarchy under Muslim influence.[7]


The ruins and the remnants of structure were further ruined by several earthquakes.[8]

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^ Slaje, Walter (2014). Kingship in Kaśmīr (AD 1148‒1459) From the Pen of Jonarāja, Court Paṇḍit to Sulṭān Zayn al-'Ābidīn. Studia Indologica Universitatis Halensis - 7. Germany. pp. 28–29, 36, 155–173, 185–189, 201–203, 213–215. ISBN 978-3869770888.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link) ^ Pandit, Kashinath (1991). Baharistan-i-shahi: A chronicle of mediaeval Kashmir. Kolkata: Firma KLM Pvt. Ltd. ^ Slaje, Walter (19 August 2019). "Buddhism and Islam in Kashmir as Represented by Rājataraṅgiṇī Authors". Encountering Buddhism and Islam in Premodern Central and South Asia. De Gruyter. pp. 128–160. doi:10.1515/9783110631685-006. ISBN 978-3-11-063168-5. S2CID 204477165. ^ Salomon, Richard; Slaje, Walter (2016). "Review of Kingship in Kaśmīr (AD1148–1459). From the Pen of Jonarāja, Court Paṇḍit to Sulṭān Zayn al-ʿĀbidīn. Critically Edited by Walter Slaje with an Annotated Translation, Indexes and Maps. [Studia Indologica Universitatis Halensis 7], SlajeWalter". Indo-Iranian Journal. 59 (4): 393–401. doi:10.1163/15728536-05903009. ISSN 0019-7246. JSTOR 26546259. ^ Zutshi, Chitralekha. "This book claims to expose the myths behind Kashmir's history. It exposes its own biases instead". Scroll.in. Retrieved 1 February 2021. ^ Bhan, Jawahar Lal (2010). Kashmir Sculptures: An Iconographical Study of Brāhmanical Sculptures. Vol. 1. Delhi, India: Readworthy Publications. pp. 68–69. ^ Slaje, Walter (2019). "What Does it Mean to Smash an Idol? Iconoclasm in Medieval Kashmir as Reflected by Contemporaneous Sanskrit Sources". Brahma's Curse : Facets of Political and Social Violence in Premodern Kashmir. Studia Indologica Universitatis Halensis - 13. pp. 30–40. ISBN 978-3-86977-199-1. ^ Bilham, Roger; Bali, Bikram Singh; Bhat, M. Ismail; Hough, Susan (1 October 2010). "Historical earthquakes in Srinagar, Kashmir: Clues from the Shiva Temple at Pandrethan". Ancient Earthquakes. doi:10.1130/2010.2471(10). ISBN 9780813724713.[permanent dead link]
Photographies by:
Varun Shiv Kapur from New Delhi, India - CC BY 2.0
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