Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Yet Another Historical Proof That Jammu and Kashmir are Linked

Archaeological twin found in Rajouri

Famous Martand like temple found in Rajouri

Jammu: The famous Martand like temple recently found in Rajouri district and considered to be the earliest one of Jammu region, has finally attracted the much needed attention of State Government, which is going to declare it as State Protected Monument to prevent its further plunder.

After the declaration of this earliest temple of Jammu as State Protected Monument, the number of historical monuments being preserved by the State Archeology Department will go beyond 37.

Besides this temple, the Government is also in the process of declaring Bamiyan like Buddha in Kargil district, Rajouri Fort, Mughal Wall around Hari Parbhat Fort, historical mosque at Jaffar Chak near Domana in Jammu, ancient Hamam near Mulla Akhoon Shah mosque at Srinagar, as State Protected Monuments.

This earliest temple of the Jammu, which resembles like famous Martand temple in Kashmir valley, is situated in Panjnara village of the Kalakote tehsil in Rajouri district and is entirely different from all other temples in the region thus assuming great importance. This temple was noticed during survey and documentation of historical sites in the State.

According to former Director General, State Archives and Archaeology Department and Consultant to Government, Khursheed Ahmed Qadri, the style and other architectural characters of the temple resemble with famous and early ancient temples of Kashmir like Sun Temple Martand in Anantnag, group of temples at Naranag in Kangan, Awantiswami Temple at Awantipora and Buniyar Temple in Baramulla dating between 8th to 12th century AD.

Like early Kashmir temples, this temple, although in ruins, has a central shrine enclosed by peristyle and Havan Kund. The entrance of the temple is assessed through a large double-chambered gateway.

The main temple stands on 14.6 feet high double terraced plinth. The whole structure is measuring 126 feet by 174 feet while as its 63 meditation cells are measuring 7 by 5 feet each. All these compartments were being used for meditation purposes.

Disclosing that this temple is entirely different from all other ancient temples of the Jammu region and is the earliest one, Mr Qadri said that the poor quality of a friable sand stone unable to withstand the seasonal temperature changes and some major earthquake have reduced the relief carvings including the figurative works mention of the shrine".

However, after a thorough search the highly weathered bust of a female figure most probably of a Gandharva, a figure of a bird (peacock) and few lotus designs have been found.

Likewise, the inner walls of the doubled chambered entrance carries highly weathered relief carving of a miniature temple of Kashmiri style with double tent roof as also found in Sun Temple Martand in Kashmir.

The use of huge stone slabs measuring up to 10 feet long reveals that the shrine construction must have involved large number of stone cutters, sculptors, masons and carriers to build this temple over a period of years.

Mr Qadri said that this temple would help in establishing the missing links in the ancient history. However, it requires further research/ excavations, which would throw light upon its exact period and name of the builder (ruler).

The earliest temple of the Jammu region was recently visited by Minister for Tourism and Culture, Nawang Rigzin Jora, his deputy, Nasir Aslam Wani and Consultant, Khursheed Ahmed Qadri to assess its historical and architectural importance.

(Daily Excelsior)

No comments: