Destinations - India Heritage

Martand Sun Temple | A gem of a temple in Kashmir!

Written by Poorna & Brinda
Martand sun temple? Have you heard of it? In all possibility you would have seen it. Take a second guess. We will tell you where you would have seen it at the end of this post.

When we went to Kashmir last year to see tulip garden in bloom, we spent a day in Gulmarg and another day in Pahalgam. One of the reason for us to go to Pahalgam apart from lovely Lidder river was an opportunity to visit Martand sun temple. Musthaq, our driver was well versed with this place and took us there.

We reached the place around 10 in the morning. A nice winding road took us to the temple. Getting down from the Scorpio, we enter the temple premises which is well-managed by Archeological Survey of India. There was no one in the temple except us.

We enter and we could imagine how this temple would have been in eighth century when it was built. It should have been a big and beautiful temple. We will take you through a pictorial tour of Martand sun temple. Click on the pictures to see them in larger size.

martand sun temple

The entrance to the temple. The ASI has done a fairly good job in developing a nice lawn which provides a good setting.

martand sun temple

The main entrance to the temple. The remains of a possible “Gopuram” or “Temple spire”. One can see these columns – seems to have been inspired by Greek architecture – to have nice sculptures on them.

martand sun temple

Once you enter the temple, you will see the main portion or “Sanctum Santorum” of the temple. A small tank in front is something unusual for a North Indian temple.

martand sun temple

The roof of the Sanctum Santorum is high which is an indication that the temple would have been a big one. The place where the main deity – Surya or Sun god – is filled with brick and mortar. The main deity must have been very tall.

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The main arch of Sanctum Santorum with the place where the main deity would have stood.

martand sun temple

Eroded figure of a woman.

Martand Sun temple

Deities adorning the niches in the wall. No idea who this deity is.

Martand Sun temple

Another one…..

Martand sun temple

Nice sculptures on the panels…..

martand sun temple

We saw this inscription. Not sure what it is all about.

Martand sun temple

The pillared pavilions are quite impressive…

We spend an hour appreciating the heritage structure. There was nobody except us in the temple. As we were coming out we saw this young boy with a can……

Martand sun temple

 

Postscript – This is the same temple where the “Bismil” song in the movie “Haider” starring Shahid Kapoor was shot.

Travel Tips

a) The Martand sun temple is close to Pahalgam. It can be either seen as a day trip from Pahalgam or seen on the way back to Srinagar. The drive to the temple to Pahalgam goes through picturesque roads.

b) No guide is available. Go around yourself and appreciate the beauty of the temple.

c) Few small shops at the entrance sell some snacks/soft drinks. There are no restaurants. Carry your own food.

d) There is a small entrance fee to enter the temple complex. One can buy the entrance tickets at the ASI counter.

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About the author

Poorna & Brinda

We are Brinda and Poorna from Bengaluru, the “Silicon city” or “Garden city” of India.

We travel together. We caught the travel bug 20 years back. On our honey moon, we traveled over the sea, in the train, by bus and in an aircraft! Our adventures probably started in that year. It continues, ever since.

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