Restoration of Ancient Martin Temple in Kashmir, Meeting Scheduled Next Week

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JAMMU: (CNI) The Jammu and Kashmir administration has called a meeting of officers here next week to discuss the ‘conservation, preservation and restoration’ of the 8th century old Martand Sun temple in Anantnag district.


Located at Kehribel village of Matan, about 63 km south of Srinagar, the temple is considered to be one of the oldest sun temples in the country and a symbol of priceless ancient spiritual heritage.


It has been declared a site of national importance by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and also appears in the list of centrally protected monuments.


According to a notice issued by the Department of Culture, Jammu and Kashmir, a meeting has been convened at the Civil Secretariat of Jammu on April 1 to discuss the preservation, conservation and restoration of ancient temples in Kashmir along with the installation of Emperor Lalithaditya Muktapeda in Kashmir, the matter has been discussed covering of the Martin Sun Temple.


The meeting chaired by the Principal Secretary will be attended by Director Archives, Archeology and Museum (JK), Superintendent of Archaeologists (in-charge) ASI (Srinagar Circle) among others.


Thousands of pilgrims including Kashmiri Pandits visit the temple every year and have been demanding its restoration.


In May 2022, Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha participated in the “Nugra Ashtamangala Puja” at the temple which the ASI protested as a “violation of rules” for not taking necessary permission.


However, the J-K administration defended the worship citing Rule 7(2) of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, which states that it applies “in accordance with any recognized religious usage or custom” Should not be on any event held.


Built on the top of a plateau, the ruins of the temple and associated archeology show that it was a masterpiece of Kashmiri architecture, which combined Gandhara, Gupta and Chinese forms of architecture.


The temple has a colonnaded courtyard, with its main shrine at its center and 84 smaller shrines around it, which is 220 feet long and 142 feet wide and includes a smaller shrine that was built earlier.(CNI)

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