Avantipur, Srinagar – The temple in ruins
Just 29 Kilometers from Srinagar, on the way to Pahalgam is Avantipur Temple ruins. The temple is a delight for people interested in History and Archaeology.
There are 2 temples which date back to 9th Century AD. One temple is the Shiva temple, which is renovated and is used. This temple is also called as the Avantishvara temple. The other temple is the Avantiswami temple, which is in ruins now. These temples were built by King Awantivarman, who ruled over Kashmir in the 9th Century AD. The Avantiswami temple was dedicated to Hindu God Vishnu. There is a Central shrine, which is surrounded by four smaller shrines.
The temple’s architecture is greatly influenced by Greek architecture. The Shiva-Avantishvara Temple was once attacked by Sultan Sikander. This attack led to the destruction of the structure. Also, the temple was built with sandstone. The eroding of the structure has not left much of the rich carvings, which were there on the temple surfaces. In spite of the ruins, there are still certain idols of the deities which can be seen.
Avantiswami temple was excavated by the British in 18th Century and some idols were taken to museums in England. There are some idols in Shri Pratap Singh museum in Srinagar as well.
The temple attracts lots of tourists as it is on the way to Pahalgam. And, to stand in a temple which was excavated after centuries will give anybody a huge thrill.
You can reach Avantipur from Srinagar by buses or taxis. Also, as the place is freezing cold in winter, the best time to visit this place would be between April to November.
Do carry your cameras and take loads of pictures. It would be a memorable trip and you cannot find the same satisfaction in the museums as you would, just standing in the place of the ruins.
Avantipur, Srinagar – The temple in ruins,