Monday, December 31, 2012

A VIEW FROM GANDOLA( CABLE CAR ) IN GULMARG KASHMIR.


                                                                   

A VIEW FROM GANDOLA ( CABLE CAR ) IN   GULMARG   KASHMIR..
Photo ..Sandeep Mota 2012. 


To this photo i add lines from  poem of  noted  kashmiri poet Amin Kamil                                                                

Dil Maag Rooh Maag taa Soaruuy Zamaana maag
Vushnaavi Kuss ya sheen Kamiss vanizee jaam di…
( Amin kamil)

These hearts ,These souls and this world around is like the cold “Maagha ”
.O Heart ! Who shall warm up this ice ?
To whom should we look for a glassful of wine ? ,

( Maagha or Maagh is a month of Bikrami calender and corresponds to Mid January to Mid February )

( Autar Mota )
30th December 2012 …Time 11.58.PM…. Good Night.


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Sunday, December 30, 2012

A VIEW FROM AHARBAL VALLEY KASHMIR AND A POEM OF SHERKO BEKAS


                                                                             
        
 Photo Autar Mota
 ( 2012  kashmir series )

JUST HALF KILLOMETRE DOWN THIS   BRIDGE  IN AHARBAL VALLEY LIES THE GREAT WATER FALL .THIS RIVER IS KNOWN AS VESHAV AND IT JOINS VITASTA  OR  JHELUM   AT  SANGAM  BRIDGE NEAR   BIJBIHAARA  IN KASHMIR . TO THIS PHOTO I ADD A POEM OF KURDISH SHERKO BEKAS 
...

(Power )

Through the narrowest needle's eye
I can pull the thread of a poem,
even in the dark.
The fantasies,
even the slippery ones,
I can seize with the naked hand of a sentence,
just like this pen.
The biggest whale of the oceans
I can accommodate in a mugful of words
.But what will never find room in my heart or in my poems
is the lie,
big or small
.( Sherko Bekas Kurdish Poet)                                                                       

30TH DECEMBER 2012 ... TIME 11.55 PM... GOOD NIGHT 
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Friday, December 28, 2012

CHERRIES OF KASHMIR







                                                                    


“ Thus when on the shores of the eastern ocean  he was camping with the army he,  on one occasion ordered  cherries to be brought  ”


 (From Rajtaranginin of kalhana translated by R S Pandit page  138 verse  219 Taranga IV)



This is how  Kalhana describes king lalitaditya’s love for cherries of Kashmir .Lalitāditya MuktapÄ«da (reign 724 -760 CE) was a  Emperor of the Karkota dynasty (625-1003 CE) from Kashmir.



Though cherries can be found in Himachal , UP  and  Uttarakhand , Kashmir remains home to quality cherries  produced in the country .Cherries require cold climate and are successfully grown in areas  ranging from 2000 to 3000 metres above sea level . In kashmir the ripening time of this fruit is mid May to mid June and heavy rains during this period may  cause fruit cracking . Cultivation in Kashmir is confined generally to  hilly areas on sloppy lands of Tangmarag , shopian , Ganderbal  and Budgaam  areas . The fresh fruits are picked with stem when the outer color changes from green to red . This fruit is known as GILAAS in Kashmir.
In Kashmir the fruit is now packed in cardboard boxes with adequate ventilation  before being sent out of the state .The boxes are in the range of 1 kg to 5 kgs. Red cherries are full of  antioxidants and have a powerful pain relieving property. Cherries also contain Vitamin A , Vitamin C, Fiber  ,Manganese  and other  useful compounds that can also fight insomnia and Jetlag.

To my readers I want to say something about the varieties of cherries grown in Kashmir.


1 DOUBLE GILAAS (BIGARREAU   NAPOLEON )

This variety is large sized and attractive with cream red colour . The flesh is firm and juicy but a little acidic. It has a shelf life of 5- 6 days ordinarily. It is good for canning ad dessert purposes.

2 GILAAS MAKHMALI ( GUIGNE  POURPERA  PECOCE)

This is the early May variety . It is medium sized light red colourd and lesser fleshy than the double Gilaas .The flesh is juicy , sweat with acdic tinge. It is a good dessert variety.The shelf life of this vaiety is also 4-5 days ordinarily.

3 GILAAS MISHRI (BIGAREAU  NOIR  GROSA )

This is the king variety. Large sized, red in colour with firm skin . The flesh is totally sweet and juicy. The shelf life of this variety is 15 days ordinarily. It is a mid June variety .

 A Popular kashmiri song goes as under :-

 "Loli Chhay lalwan poph tay Maasa
 wanwaan draayi moaj yemberzal
 Maam laal iyyee taai diyiyo Dilaas
 Paartho Gilaas kulinay tal "


Come darling let me dress you up under the shade of a Cherry tree.
 Your father's sister and your mother's sister
 are offering their laps to hold you my tiny darling .
 Your mother sings for your long life.
 Your mama( Maternal uncle) is coming to put courage in your tiny soul "

( Autar Mota )

28th December 2012 … Time 11.55 PM Good Night
PS
( This is an old kashmiri lullabay which a mother sings to the infant in her lap. A Mama or mother's brother is a very important relation . In kashmir the bonding between a Mama and children of his sister is stronger than the bonding between father and the children. A Mama has important role to play in taking care the infants of his sister till they grow .)



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Monday, December 24, 2012

DIFFERENT TYPES OF RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS IN KASHMIR




                                                                     






                   
                                                                   



 DIFFERENT TYPES OF RESIDENTIAL BUILDING IN KASHMIR


THE PHOTOGRAPHS WERE TAKEN  BY ME  AT  SAGAAM ( KOKKERNAAG )  ,   SHIVPORA ,     KARAN NAGAR, SRINAGAR  ,   BADAMI BAGH  SRINAGAR ( AFTER  THE SNOW FALL ) ,
 KULGAM . SAIDPORA BALA AND KOKKERNAAG  RESPECTIVELY . 

TO THESE PHOTOGRAPHS I AM ADDING .........

The optimistic note from Farooq Nazki 's poem NAAD LAAYEY ( I shall Call you Back ).The poem appears in his Book Naar Heutun Kazalwanuss ( Kazalvan is on fire )

"Me Yuth Na Rokukh Me Kuth Kaerin Chhum
Golaab Sholan Sareib Vakhtas
Shinai Baaghas Pagaah Pholun gul
Timan Gulan chhum Vonun Kanas Tal
Achhun achhun manz Volur Diwaan Guth
Timan Vonun Chhum Kunuy Chhu Aalav
Timan Vonun Chhum Zi Sonth bulbul Chhu Az ti Volaan
"Chhu Naavi Vaavai Nivaan Bathis kun "
Timan Vonun Chhum zi Pranvarun ander chhu Jismus Alaav Praraan
Me Yuth Na rokukh me Kuth karein Chhum"
(Farooq Nazki)


( Don't stop me , i have to outpour my heart.
  Roses shall   bloom  in this desert ,
Tomorrow  flowers shall also  blossom in the  abandoned Garden,
I need to talk gently to those flowers ,
My eyes are as turbulent as the water of Lake WULAR,
I need to convey them that  common is the call for us  .
I need to tell them that the spring Bulbul is still singing the melodious song
It is the storm again that takes a boat to safety of  the shore. "
I need to convey them that
deep inside this body ,
a volcano is about to erupt,
Dont stop me
I have to outpour myself ."        

( Autar Mota )

 23rd December , 2012 ....Time 00.05 AM ... Good Night                                               

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Saturday, December 22, 2012

EMPEROR AKBAR ALSO VISITED MARTAND TEERTHAA OF KASHMIR


            

 Martand Teertha ( Mattan Kashmir ) of Kashmir and visit of Emperor Akbar
Photo Autar Mota.

'' Emperor Akbar visited kashmir three times . Once he brought his finance minister Raja Todar Mal  with him  who camped at village Pattan and measured the whole land to settle the revenue."
From    "Kashmir Through Ages "by Gwasha Lal Kaul.
Ain e Akbari also confirms that Emperor Akbar visited kashmir three times via Pir Panchal .

Rajtarangani of Jonaraja confirms Emperor Akbar ‘s vist to Mattan town as under:-

“ He came from the city of Lahora in order to see the country . On fifth bright lunar day of Ashaadha he arrived with his army in the capital of kashmira .On the seventh bright lunar day of that month he pleased the Brahmans boys with gifts of gold and they blessed him. He then went to Marttanda ( Mattan Teertha ) and gave cows adorned with pearls and gold to Brahmanas . jaylalldina ( jalal Ud din Akbar ) was a great benefactor of Brahmins . Truly a Vikramaditya .Ramdasa his servent gave one hundred pieces of silver and also pieces of gold to every house of Brahman. He also distributed fifty thousand pieces of silver among poor Brahmans. The emperor then ordered shikhaphaija to take one thousand pieces of silver and distribute it among Brahmans and beggars who dwelt in villages and woods respectively. .”

. I need to clarify as under ….

I have lived in Mattan for about 3 years from 1987 to 1989 in my capacity as Manager of a Bank Branch . During this period I have personally visited almost all places in and around the town and collected a lot of material.

Firstly I need add that The picture in the post is of Mattan Naag or Martand spring . This is a Teertha for Hindus especially for performing Shradaa (Homage to dead parents or grand parents ). This particular place finds mention in NEELMAT  PURANA  as well as MAHABHARATA as MARTANDA . This is not to be confused with Lalitaditya’s Grand Sun Temple  located 2 kms from this Teertha in village Ranbirpora and proximal to village Wantraag..This entire area was known as SURYA- KSHETRA Or the region of the sun god.

.It must be also known that the Jonaraja entrusted the manuscript of his Rajtarangini to his trusted pupil Srivara who updated it upto 1486 AD . It was further entrusted to Prajyabhatta and shuka who completed the book upto Akbar’s visit to Kashmir . This entire manuscript was in one book which was finally translated to English from Sanskrit by A Bengali scholar Jogesh Chandra Dutt and published in 1879 AD by Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal and sold as ‘ RAJTARANGINI OF JONARAJA ‘ by Jogesh Chandra Dutt . what I have written is from pages pages 416 to 427 of this book..
 ( Autar Mota )

 December 22nd  Saturday  ....Time 00.20 AM good Night .    
                                                   

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

ZIYARAT OF MIRZA KAMIL SAHIB HAWAL SRINAGAR KASHMIR


                        
This is Ziyarat of Mirza Kamil Sahib or Mirza Akmal Ud Din Sahib Badakhshi( 1642-1717 AD )at Hawal srinagar .Mirza sahib's forefathers hailed from Tashqandh area of central Asia . They came to India via Badakhshan during the reign of Mughal emperor Akbar. Malik Mohd Khan Baig was actually Mir Munshi of Emperor Shah Jahan. Malik Mohd Khan Baig happened to be the great Grand father of Mirza Akmal ud Din. Mirza sahib’s Grand father Malik Adil Khan came to Kashmir with emperor Shah Jahan and decided to permanently settle over here .

Mirza Kamil sahib was born in 1642 AD . At the age of twelve ,he directly came under the influence of Local elderly saint Makhdoom sahib and became his trusted disciple .Abandoning his official status , Mirza sahib engaged himself in study of religious scriptures more specifically persian Mystical poets. Mirza Sahib had beautiful handwriting and was a known calligrapher of his time . He authored several books on Islamic Tassavuf or Mysticism .He also wrote poetry in persian. His long poem Bahr ul Irfan ( ocean of mysticism ) follows the style of Maulana Rumi .The poem consisting of thousands of verses with discourses on Mysticism , is considered as greatest contribution to Persian literature from kashmir.
Mirza sahib was also a sufi poet  though much of what he wrote in kashmiri has been lost.One of his poems  still sung in sufiana Mehfils goes like this;
"  Baalie Hayee rum Rumai -Chhum Yaara Choan Tamanaa "
He was also a saint of high order given to simple living with a strong belief in service to mankind. Mirza sahib Breathed his last in the year 1718 A. D . He is revered by kashmiris as a saint of high order.

Chein Azmat Poaz Amaapuz ,
Chaeni Azmatakuy kasam .
Oush Dohay choam Dhaarie,
Samayan Daag Deitnumm Beshumaar.

(  Saqi )


Great is thy majesty My Murshid !
How can i even swear by it ; But then
"The wounds that time inflicted upon me,
left me to drink my Trickling tears ,
My Peer! My saviour !"

( Autar Mota )
Wednesday 19th December 2012. Time 11.50 PM Good Night
                                                   
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Monday, December 17, 2012

TRUXORS IMPORTED FROM SWITZERLAND TO SAVE DAL LAKE IN KASHMIR


                                                                

                                                                                    

Truxors imported from Switzerland to restore glory of  the  DAL LAKE. in Kashmir


Truxors are state of art machines that are  used  for cutting  and dredging under water growth even in swamps and narrow channels . These machines can be used on land as well as on water . TRUXOR  can also   be used for restoration of blocked water ways .The machines  cut  abnoxious weeds . Every Truxor has attachments to undertake more water management jobs .  LAWDA ( lake and water ways Development Authority ) has also procured two Water Master Machines from Finland for cleaning Dal lake . We also see de-weeding work being done manually in the lake . Root Millers ,  choppers and skimmers are being considered by LAWDA  for speeding up the cleaning process .

A good news for all kashmiris.

I have visited almost all the  interior parts of the lake  during  2009 to 2012  and have  observed as under:-

 (a)The Algal Blooms have a malignant growth in the entire lake periphery and   need to be attacked  more vigorously .  The Bigger Dal  on HazratBal side is totally choked with this wild growth .

(b)The roads , buildings and the  Unauthorized  habitation within the lake needs to be   cleared sympathetically  to stop water pollution in the lake . House Boats need to be shifted to the Bay proposed . Can it be done ?

(c)The   canal system link  of Smaller Dal and  Hazratbal  Dal and Nigeen lake needs to be cleared of all vegetation , unauthorized habitation  , floating gardens  and  land masses created for growing vegetables.

(d)Fish and fisheries development programme needs to be kept in focus once cleaning has been done.

(e) Silt coming to the lake from Telbal Nallah needs to be stopped from  slipping to the lake waters once for all .

All of us do agree  shall agree that the lake size has shrunk . The lake has undergone morphometric changes . There is a change in the water chemistry of the lake. The condition of lake area near Hazrat Bal shrine is simply pathetic .

Well begun by LAWDA is not half done . But hope still keeps us happy that one day every  Kashmiri shall see  Hazratbal shrine clearly from  Nehru Park bank of the lake .The conservation rate has to be faster than the deterioration rate .

Can it be done ? I ask my friends in LAWDA?


Hum  ne   Maana  Ki   Tagaaful   na   karoge   Lekin

Khaak Ho Jaayeingay  Hum Tum Ko Khabar Honay  Tak.

( Autar  Mota )

!7th December 2012 …. Time 00.20 AM … Good Night .


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Sunday, December 16, 2012

A NEW TUNNEL IN SIMTHEN PASS SHALL PROVIDE ALL WEATHER ROAD CONNECTIVITY BETWEEN KASHMIR AND KISHTWAR


                                                                 

A VIEW ENROUTE KISHTWAAR. THE MIGHTY CHENAB  LIES SWOLLEN DUE TO BAGLIHAAR DAM NEAR RAMBAN.
PHOTO Autar Mota 

One of the major entry passes to Kashmir valley from Kishtwaar side is known as SIMTHAN PASS. The pass is about 3748 metres in altitude and shortly we shall be having regular Public Transport facility to Kashmir from this side . A motorable road connecting Kishtwaar with kokernaag is complete now.. After crossing this pass , one can straightway come to Kokernaag area of Kashmir. Simthan Pass is about 8 km from Chhatroo and 72 km from Anantnag.The Pass falls on Batote-Kishtwar-Anantnag NH1B.

Prior to this link ,a person had to cover 290 km. to reach Kishtwar via the Srinagar-Jammu highway and the Srinagar-Simthan-Kishtwar road reduced the distance by 200 km. But presently Only a few light vehicles from South Kashmir to Kishtwar ply on a daily basis and the pass shall close soon after the first snowfall in this area.The state government is exploring the possibility of construction of a tunnel on this route.While the BRO has proposed a six-km.-long tunnel between Pahalgarh and Ahlam Gadole, the State government would like to have a four-km.-long tunnel from Singhpora and Vailoo.That shall keep the road open for 365 days and provide an all weather connectivity from this side to kashmir valley .

( Autar Mota )
Sunday Dec 16th 2012 ... Time 4.00 PM Good Evening ..



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Saturday, December 15, 2012

TWO VIEWS FROM PARIMAHAL GARDEN SRINAGAR AND A POEM OF FAIZ AHMED FAIZ



                   
  TWO  VIEWS FROM PARIMAHAL GARDEN SRINAGAR
 TO THESE PHOTOGRAPHS ,I ADD A POEM OF FAIZ AHMED FAIZ TRANSLATED  BY AGHA SHAHID ALI .

"City of Lights"


On each patch of green, from one shade to the next,
the noon is erasing itself by wiping out all color,
becoming pale, desolation everywhere,
the poison of exile painted on the walls.
In the distance,
there are terrible sorrows, like tides:
they draw back, swell, become full, subside.
They've turned the horizon to mist.
And behind that mist is the city of lights,
my city of many lights.


How will I return to you, my city,
where is the road to your lights? My hopes
are in retreat, exhausted by these unlit, broken walls,
and my heart, their leader, is in terrible doubt.


But let all be well, my city, if under
cover of darkness, in a final attack,
my heart leads its reserves of longings
and storms you tonight. Just tell all your lovers
to turn the wicks of their lamps high
so that I may find you, Oh, city,
my city of many lights.


( A poem of Faiz Ahmed Faiz Translated by Agha Shahid Ali)

Saturday  15th December  , 2012 , Time 00.05 AM Good Night                                               
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Friday, December 14, 2012

RAMA VAIDYANATHAN, KEDAR SHARMA , PANDIT JAWAHAR LAL NEHRU AND SAHIR LUDHIANAVI


           

“Aaj sakhi Pee Daaloongi me
Darshan jal Ki Boondh Boondh
Me To Apnay Rasik Ko
Nainon mein Rakh Loongi
Palkein Moondh Moondh
Aey Ri …. jaane naa Doongi ”
( Sahir )
WELL KNOWN BHARATANATYAM EXPONENT RAMA VAIDYANATHAN DANCES IN SKICC SRINAGAR KASHMIR IN JUNE 2012
To this photograph I add my brief story on LATE KEDAR SHARMA and his movie CHITRALEKHA..

Some time in early 1950, Pandit Jawahar lal Nehru Summoned Kedar sharma ( 1910-1999 ) noted writer , Director ,Actor , Photographer , Producer and lyricist of Indian cinema to his official residence in New Delhi . Pandit ji had liked dialogues and songs that Kedar Sharma wrote for DEVDAS in 1936 . Pandit ji had also liked the song “Baalam Aan Baso More Mun Mein”. Pandit ji had also liked another song “ Sun Bairi Balam Such Bol Re Ib Kyaa hogaa ” from his movie Baawre Nain ( 1950 ) . This song was also written by Kedar Sharma.
“ kedar ji I appreciate your skills. I have a project in mind . I want you to take over as Director in Chief of Children’s Film Society .”
“ Thanks . I am grateful ”
‘’Kedar Ji , I do not know why writers from our country do not attempt at learning more Languages . Urdu writers should learn Hindi at least and Hindi writers should learn Urdu at least . I believe that a writer adds dimension to his thought if he knows more and more languages.’’ Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru
“I fully endorse your views . While we try to learn English the language that is spoken in Europe ,we tend ignore Hindi or Urdu that is spoken by our next door neighbour. ” Kedar Sharma
“ Look ! Alberuni who visited India happened to be quite proficient in Sanskrit apart from Turkish and his mother tongue Arabic . And in Hindi we have Amir Khusro who was equally proficient in Persian . we also have many Hindus who have contributed to the field of Urdu and Persian literature. I am sure there must be many writers who are skilled in more than one language spoken in our country . I am not including English .I would like you to Bring such people to films .” Pandit Ji
“ We have some such people in this Industry . We have a Muslim lyricist from Punjab . This gentleman remembers almost entire Gurbaani or Hymns from Guru Granth sahib . He is quite proficient in Hindi as well . I want to utilize his talent in some project . ” Kedar Sharma
“ That is fine . ” Pandit Jawahar lal Nehru.
And in 1964 , the project was launched by kedar Sharma with his movie CHITRALEKHA . Sahir Ludhianavi was brought in to write some memorable songs in chaste Hindi like ..
(a) Mun Re Tu kaahe na dheer Dhare
(b) Sansaar Se Bhaage phirtay Ho
(c) Kaahe Tarsaaye Jiyaraa
And also my faourite “
“Aaj sakhi Pee daaloongi me
Darshan jal Ki Boondh Boondh
Me To Apnay Rasik Ko
Nainon mein Rakh Loongi
Palkein Moondh Moondh

Aey Ri
Aey Ri jaane naa Doongi ”
Music director Roshan did wonders for the project. And for this composition , Roshan has possibly used RAAG KEDAR . I am not sure but after having heard this RAAGA sung by Ustaad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan sahib and kishori Amonkar , I have formed this opinion. May be I am incorrect .The movie was not a commercial success but the trend was set . And Pandit ji could not live to appreciate Sahir’s Hindi ..talent .

(Autar Mota )
Friday  14th November 2012. Time 11.50 PM… Good night

Source
1 write ups in Hindu newspaper published from chennai .
2 Articles on kedar Sharma in various magazines .
And
3 “The One and Lonely Kidar Sharma ” published posthumously in 2002, edited by his son Vikram Sharma.
                                                                
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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

PEERZOO ISLAND RESTAURANT, SRINAGAR KASHMIR















       
 PEERZOO  ISLAND  RESTAURANT

Walking on The Bund near GPO Srinagar , I found that a new restaurant had come up on the island created by Jhelum river diversion. Crossing the diversion canal through a small foot bridge , I enter a beautiful garden with green grass and rows of flower beds . Trees . Shade . Chairs . Tables . Tourists ; local and Europeans sipping Tea , coffee and enjoying Veuth Rooz Pakaan ( silent Flow of river Jhelum ).Enter PEERZOO JHELUM RIVER BANK RESTAURANT .Elegantly built structure on river bank in wood with main hall , Counters , Riverside galleries , A landing Ghaat for Speed Boats (meant for down and up river ride along all the seven bridges of srinagar city ). A spot Just near the Erstwhile Grindlay’s Bank Ghaat of river Jhelum . This restaurant is adequately fenced to create a garden like ambiance .Wonderful concept of a restaurant on Jhelum Bank. One can see presentation convent school clearly on otherside of the river while sipping tea in the Khatambandhi roofed Gallery of this stylish restaurant. My pictures convey the remaining details .


Teri nigaah bhi kaisee ajab kahaani hai
Mere alawaa kissi se padhi nahin jaati
Ajab mizaj hai in khandaani logon kaa
Tabaah ho ke bhi dariya dili nahin jaati...

( Photographs and Text Autar Mota )
Tuesday , 11th December 2012 .. Time  11.45 PM.. Good Night 
                                                        
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Sunday, December 9, 2012

SUGANDESH AND SHANKARA GAURISA TEMPLES OF PATTAN KASHMIR












                                             
Photographs Autar Mota 
( From top to bottom :- First five photographs were taken at Sugandesh Temple ruins and last three were taken at Shankara Gaurisa temple ruins )
“Thereupon the Chamberlain Rattanvardhana laboured and made Sankarvarman the son of Avantivarman , the king.”

( Taranga 5 Canto 128 Rajtaringini )


“By him the daughter of the illustrious Swamiraja , the lord of the northern region, named Sughandha was the beloved as is the night of full moon by the moon”

( Taranga 5 Canto 157 Rajtaringini )


“In association with her , in that fine town , the king who was comparable to the king of gods , constructed SANKARA GAURISA and SUGHANDESHA”


(Taranga 5 Canto 158 Rajtarangini )

“ A Brahmin named Nayaka , learned in four Vedas who was the noble  of the shrine of the goddess of speech , was placed in charge of the two temples of SIVA ”

( Taranga 5 Canto 159 Rajtaringini )

“Thus the petty minded king , in order to make his own city celebrated , carried away everything belonging to Parihaspora :”
( Taranga 5 canto 160 Rajtaringini )

“Cloth weaving , sale and purchase of live sock and similar things which were the basis of fame of Pattana were once in that city . “

(Taranga 5 canto 162 Rajtaringini )

This is the story of  two temple complexes on Srinagar Baramulla road  known  as  PAANDAV LAARIE (PANDVA’s ABODE ) by people  over here . Thanks to kalhana , the story of the temples known as SUGANDESH and SANKARA GAURISA  is well documented  in  Taranga 5 of his monumental work  Rajtaringini.. The temples are located at  village PATTAN  on  right side of main highway  once you go from srinagar to Baramulla .
Inspite of  neglect , they still  catch your eye even if you move past them in a bus or car or any other mode of transport . The temples were laid by king  Sankarvarman who  succeeded  his father king Avantivarman and reigned from AD 883 to 901AD  . In fact he tried to do what his father had done by laying similar temples at Awantipora . Both the temples had outer stone wall and a central Shiva  temple with sanctum Sanctorum. The temples are in big stones and resemble MARTAND  style of temple architecture of kashmir  .The area used to be called PATTANA  as per Kalhana and later came to be known as Sankarapura .Both the temples were  dedicated to Mahadeva or shiva by the king .Sankarvarman built his kingdom's capital in Sankarpura ( Pattan ) . The temples were laid in conjunction with his queen Saugandha . This queen  was executed during the reign of king PARTHA ( 906-921 AD)  who had come under the influence of TANTRINS .The temples are about  300 metres apart and beautiful gardens have been laid  presently beside  these monuments  by Archeological survey of India . Both are protected monuments . While SUGANDESH  Temple structure  is in a  larger  area , SANKARA GAURISA temple is close to the town and has a Tonga stand near it. I visited both the monuments  thrice in 2009. All the six photographs  at the top of this post relate to SUGANDESH  while below uploaded four photographs were taken by me in and around SANKARA GAURISA  . Some parts of the  Sankara Gaurisa  temple, including the colonnade, the temple plinth and a small shrine in the northeast corner, have sunk into the ground  due reason of its long neglect. The entrance to the Sankara-Gaurishwara temple is through the square space in the middle of the eastern path.  There are various images in the lower and larger panels of this Temple structure. Most of the European travelers to kashmir saw these temples in bad shape almost as ruins in total  neglect  . According to Lawrence:-

 "There are many ominous cracks on the walls , and if the forest trees which have taken root in these crevices are allowed to remain  and spread , the destruction of both the buildings is imminent .  "

( see page 125 of the valley of kashmir )"


kalhana records that sankarvarman practically took everything from Parihaaspora ( a city built by our illustrious king  Lalitaditya nearby  these temple structures )  to build his new capital at PATTAN.It took me some time to take inner views of SHANKARA GAURISA temple .  .

 “Sahib ji . Baa vanay naa kenh yimun.  yum  Besharam Londaa  Jamaat Chhe Assi bhudan samjhaan buss vatti Hunz Kaen. Zunn Chhunaa Assi Kenh Sonch Naa samajh. Beqal haa Saa ”

“Sir I shall tell them nothing . These young men think that we elders are a stone in their path . As if we can neither think nor understand. Just Fools . ” 
That is what Abdul Salam the tonga owner  from Tonga stand outside the Shankara Gaurisa   told me . Infact I wanted to take some pictures of the monument  but I found  two boys and a  girl sitting inside the monument in a posture that made me feel ashamed  . They noticed me but ignored my physical presence . Having failed to seek help of Abdul Salam , I went again and requested them that I wanted to take a photograph and would  be pleased if they could move to one side for just two minutes . One of the boys turned to me and said smilingly ,

“ Tul Assi Ti Tul Saa  Photo . Assi Chhanaa Shaqal photovuss laayakh. ” Meaning “Take our snap also . Don’t you find our faces worth Photographing . ” I felt shame is My problem not theirs . Abdul Salam was right .

On My return from these monuments i told  my driver as to how rapidly values have changed in Kashmir . He agreed and blamed the younger generation.   I do not blame youngsters alone . I hold a firm belief that Kashmir can produce many many  Fayaz shawls , Mohd Sultan Khuroos and Agha Shahid Alis .   I have found the new generation of kashmiri children sharp , intelligent and sincere. They need a direction and environment .

(Text And Photo By Autar Mota )

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