Martand Temple

Archaeological survey of India is looking towards bringing back artefacts belonging to the medieval History of Jammu and Kashmir that were lost or stolen previously. Among these includes the objects stolen from Martand Temple.


  • It is a Hindu temple dedicated to Sun God located near Anantnag in Kashmir Valley of Jammu and Kashmir (Union Territory), India.
  • According to Kalhana in Rajatarangini, Martand Sun Temple was commissioned by Lalitaditya Muktapida in the eighth century AD. Lalitaditya belonged to the Karkota dynasty.
  • Dedicated to Surya, the chief solar deity in Hinduism. Surya is also known by the Sanskrit language synonym Martand.
  • The temple was destroyed by Sikandar Shah Miri in a zeal to Islamise the society under the advice of Sufi preacher Mir Muhammad Hamadani.
  • Other Sun Temples in India: Sun Temple at Konark (Odisha), Sun Temple at Modhera (Gujarat).

Temple architecture:

  • It blended the Gandharan, Gupta and Chinese forms of architecture.
  • Primary shrine in its centre and surrounded by 84 smaller shrines.
  • Temple walls are depicted with the images of lord Vishnu and river goddess such as Ganga and Yamuna.
  • Material: Lime mortar was used with huge blocks of grey limestones.
image 13


  • Duration: 625 − 855 CE
  • Region: Kashmir Valley
  • Founder: Durlabhavardhana
  • Succeeded by: Utpala dynasty (Avanti Varman was the founder)
  • Patronised the both Hinduism (Vaishnavite) and Buddhism (ruins of Stupa, Chaitya and Vihara could be found).
  • Sources for the dynasty: Kalhana’s Rajatarangini, Nilamata Purana, Vishnudharmottara Purana, Chronicles of Xuanzang.
  • Coins: based on the Kushan style (image of king standing or Gods on obverse) with Sharada script. Coins were always inscribed in the name of Kidara I on the reverse. They were made using the mixed metals.
  • Lalitaditya commissioned numerous gold and silver images for temples and monasteries across faiths, and his span is considered to be the zenith of Kashmiri sculpture.

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