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J&K govt to restore Martand Sun temple, destroyed by Muslim-ruler Sikandar Butshikan to Islamise Kashmir, a statue of King Lalitaditya to be installed

Once a glorious temple, the Martand Surya Temple in Kashmir was destroyed on the orders of Muslim ruler Sikandar Shah Miri or Sikandar Butshikan (Idol-breaker), a sobriquet he earned from Islamists of the medieval times for his propensity to attack and destroy temples belonging to kafirs (infidels).

In a historic development, the government of Jammu and Kashmir has decided to restore the iconic Martand Sun temple in Anantnag which is a significant Hindu religious site as well as erect a statue of its King Lalitaditya who oversaw its construction. The administration issued an official order regarding the same on 27th March. The notification is signed by Neeraj Pandita, Under Secretary to the Government.

The official statement read, “Principal Secretary to the Government, Department of Culture shall take a meeting to discuss the matter regarding protection/conservation/restoration of the ancient temples in Kasmir with installation of statue of Emperor Lalitaditya Muktapida in the premises of Martand Sun Terrple situated at Anantnag, in his office chamber (Room No. 2/40) Civil Secretariat Jammu on 01.04 2024 at 2:30 PM.” It also urged the officials to be present at the aforementioned meeting at the given time and date.

Jammu and Kashmir govt initiates efforts to restore Martand Sun Temple


Not long ago, a ‘Kalash’ originally from Ayodhya found its place at the Ram Temple situated on the grounds of the renowned Sun Temple in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district. Residents, along with devotees from Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, came together to install this ‘kalash’, which was among those sent to various Ram temples for this purpose.

Last month, the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Manoj Sinha, paid a visit to the Martand Sun Temple where he offered his prayers. During his visit, he took part in the Mahayagya organized by the Shri Martand Tirath Trust, expressing his prayers for the peace, progress, and prosperity of everyone.

The ancient Martand Surya Temple in Kashmir

The temple is believed to have been built in the 8th century AD, but attempts were made to destroy it several times between 1389 and 1413. It is believed that Hindu ruler Lalitaditya built the Martand Surya Temple in honour of the Sun God or Bhaskar in the 8th century AD. Lalitaditya was a Surya (Sun) Dynasty Kshatriya. The temple’s style of construction and the expertise displayed in it were unprecedented in world history. The Vastu science of architecture has been employed, and the building is designed so that the Sun’s rays fall on the Surya idol throughout the day.

According to historical documents, the Martand Surya Temple in Kashmir was destroyed on the orders of Muslim ruler Sikandar Shah Miri or Sikandar Butshikan (Idol-breaker), a sobriquet he earned from Islamists of the medieval times for his propensity to attack and destroy temples belonging to kafirs (infidels).

Though the cities, towns, and ruins of Lalitaditya’s era are not easily located, the remnants of the large Martand temple, which the emperor had built at the pilgrimage site of the same name, are an example of the expertise of the Kashmiri Hindu builders of ancient times.

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