Table of Contents
Atrocities in Kashmir
Destruction of Temples
Desecration of Hindu Temples in Kashmir from the advent of Islam 1339 A.D.
Temples Destroyed and Desecrated in Feb. 1986
Temples Destroyed and Desecrated from 1987 to 1990
Temples Destroyed and Desecrated from 1990-Dec. 1992
Temples Destroyed and Desecrated after Dec. 6, 1992
Temples Vandalized in Kashmir after December 6, 1992
Press & Police Reports
A list of Temples Destroyed

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Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri

Panun Kashmir


Symbol of Unity


Historical Perspective - Preliminary Remarks

Desecration of Hindu Temples in Kashmir from the advent of Islam 1339 A.D.

(The following brief is based on the recorded findings of Historians including Muslim chroniclers and foreign non-Hindu travelers).

Sikandar the iconoclast desecrated and destroyed this temple which was built by Queen of Partapaditya II who reigned in Kashmir from 634 to 648 A.D. Zain-Ul-Abdin (1420-70) A.D. used stones and idols in the construction of Bund from the Naidkhal to Sopore.

Noor Jehan, Queen of Jahangir, built the grand Mosque known as Pather Masjid (Srinagar) with the sculptured beautiful stones which formed steps of the mandir right from River Jhelum to the top of the hill.

Built by Likhana-Naraindraditya who reigned Kashmir from 178 to 191 A.D. has been turned into a Muslim ziarat called Narparisthan.

Qutab-Ud-din usurped it (1373-89) A.D. to be converted into a mosque in memory of Mir Syed Ali of Hamdan of Persia who had come to the Valley to establish Islam. Hindu King Pravarsena ll. had dedicated the Kali-Shrine to the Goddess Kali (79-139 A.D.).

It was turned into a graveyard, Wife of Sikander was buried in its interior.

Its sacred springs and massive temple construction desecrated and spoilt, it was christened as Ziarat of Pir Mohd. Basur.

This temple built by Chadrapida (684 to 693 A.D.) was laid to ruins and its vast vicinity used as graveyard.

Built in (950-58 A.D.) was desecrated. Its sculptured stones removed. DIDDA- MATHA (Srinagar downtown) Temple converted into Tomb of Malik Sahib.

Built (521-63 A.D.) It was destroyed by Sikander. Material utilized to built a mosque nearby.

Constructed by Queen Magavahana (22 B.C -13 A.D.) There are other ruins of Hindu temples in its vicinity which have been converted into Ziarats and burial grounds and nothing is known about their antiquity.

Built by King Ramadatiya (414-74 A.D)

On the North Eastern corner of the Dal Lake, Pravarsena II, the founder of Srinagar had built a Villa for a Hindu saint named Sukarna Swami. Bernier, who visited Kashmir with Aurangzeb, gives an interesting account of the garden in his travels and says that the doors and pillars made of stone were used in the garden during Mughal era had come from some of the idol temples demolished by Shah Jehan and that it was impossible to estimate their value.

Built by King Ramadeva (2936-3005 B.C) with large ornamented and beautifully carved stones erecting it to the height of 50 yards. Regarding this British Researcher Sir Walter Lawrence has remarked thus:

While the old Hindu buildings defy time and weather, the Musalman shrines and mosques crumbled away. Other foreign travelers have recorded that Hindu temples were built to endure for all time. Their solidity of construction and their gigantic size strike one with wonder that puny man could have built them. They often gazed upon them with amazement and lamented bigoted Muslim fanatics who laid them to ruins with tremendous efforts.

It was usurped and converted into the Ziarat of Baba Bamdin. Another temple close by was turned into the tomb of Rukh Din, disciple of Muslim Priest Bamdin.

The slopes of the mountains overlooking the Dal lake have adorned many ancient shrines mercilessly destroyed by bigoted Muslim fanatics.

Sir Walter Lawrence records in his ''Vale of Kashmir'' that all books of Hindu learning which bigoted Muslims could lay their hands on were sunk in the Dal lake and Sikander flattered himself that he had extirpated Hinduism from the Valley. Alberuni an Arab scholar recording his visit to Kashmir has stated that in all their grandeur the Hindus of Kashmir never slackened in their ardent desire of doing that which was good and right. He also records they were men of noble sentiments and noble bearing. Books of science, astronomy, space travel, medicine and the like were destroyed - The labor of countless ages and countless researchers.

We quote here under from world famous work of Mr. M. A. Stein:
Rajtarangini - Kalhana (Volume II)
Moti Lal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
Delhi, Reprint 1989

Eastern slopes of the latter are now occupied by extensive buildings connected with famous ziarats of Maqaddam Sahib and Akhun Mullah Shah. It is probable that Mohammadan shrines have taken here place of Hindu religious buildings, just as at so many old sites of Kashmir.

Close to the foot of the southern extremity of the hill is a rock which has from ancient times received worship as an embodiment of Ganesa under the name of BHIMASVAMIN...... In fact, if we are to believe Jonaraja, the rock image has changed its position yet a second time. This chronicler relates that BHIMASVAMIN from disgust at the iconoclasm of Sikander Butshikan had finally turned his back on city.
Page 446, para 95

A short distance to the S. E. to the BHIMASVAMIN rock and outside Akbar's fortress, lies Ziarat of Baha-ud-din Sahib, built undoubtedly with the materials of an ancient temple. The cemetery which surrounds it contains also many ancient remains in its tombs and walls. At the S.W. corner of this cemetery rises a ruined gateway, built of stone blocks of remarkable size, and still of considerable height. This structure is traditionally believed by the Srinagar Pandits to have belonged to the Temple of SIVA PRAVARESVARA which Kalahana mentions as the first Shrine erected by PRAVARESVARA in his new capital.

...... Blocks majoring up to sixteen feet in length, with a width and thickness equally imposing, were no convenient materials for the builders of Muhammadan Ziarats, hammams etc. who have otherwise done so much to efface the remains of ancient structures in Srinagar. The position of the ruins is very central and might have well been chosen by the founder of Pravarapura for prominent shrine in his new city.

Not far from Baha-ud-din Sahib's Ziarat, to the S.W. stands Jami Masjid, the greatest Mosque of Srinagar. Around it numerous ancient remains attest the former exist- ence of Hindu Temples. Proceeding still further to S.W, in the midst of a thickly built city-quarter, we reach an ancient shrine which has remained in a comparatively fair state of preservation probably owing to its conversion into a ziarat. It is now supposed to mark the resting - place of the saint styled Pir Haji Mohammed. It consists of an octagonal cellar of which high basement and the side walls are sill- preserved. The quadrangular court in which it stands is enclosed by ancient walls and approached by or ornamented gateways. The position of this shrine has suggested me its possible identity with the ancient temple of VISNU RANASVAMIN which Kalhana mentions as founded by Ranaditya.This temple must have enjoyed considerable celebrity up to a comparatively late period. Mankha refers to it an object of his father's devotion, and Jonaraja in his comments on the passage speaks of VISNU RANASVAMIN as one of the chief shrines of Pravarapura. The evidence on which the suggested identification is based has been fully indicated in note iii.453.
Page 447, para 96

The site of vihara has been traced by me in the close vicinity of Ziarat Pir Muhammad Basur. Certain ancient remains there were locally known and worshipped till the middle of the present century as a tirth sacred to Skanda. Near the SKANDABHAVANVIHARA there stood once the temple of Sivaparavaguptesvara referred to by Kalhana as a foundation of King Paravagupta. Page 448, Para 97

A little higher up, if we can trust local tradition, stood the ancient temple of VARDHAMANESA mentioned already in King SAMDHIMAT'S reign. The site so designated by the purohits of the adjoining mohalla is close to the Malyar ghat. I have referred already in a previous note to the curious manner in which an ancient linga supposed to be that of VARDHAMANESA was recovered a few years ago from a neighbouring mosque and a Mahatmaya composed for the newly established shrine.
Page 450 Para 99

A tradition recorded already by General Cunninghum identifies this place (Zukur) with ancient JUSKAPURA. Kalhana names the place as a foundation of Turuska (i.e Kusana ) King Juska who also built Vihara there. The Muhammadan shrines and tombs of the village contain considerable remains of the ancient buildings. Page 456, Para 104

On the shore of the Anchar lies the large village of Amburher. It took its name from a temple of Siva Amaresvara which Suryamati, Ananta's queen, endowed with Agraharas and a matha.The ancient slabs and sculptured fragments which I found in 1895 in and around the ziarat of Farrukhzad Sahib, may possibly have belonged to this temple.
Page 456,457 Para 104

It is held be a manifestation of Ailapattra Nag who is mentioned also in Nilamata. An earlier designation seems to be MUKAMULAKANAGA which is given to the locality by Srivara and in the Tirthasamgraha. To the west of village and near an inlet of Anchar are the ruins of three ancient temples now converted into ziarats and tombs.

Close to the mosque of Sodarbal and by the lake shore are two pools fed by perennial springs. These according to local tradition, were in old times visited by numerous piligrims. Now all recollection of this tirtha has been lost among the Brahmins of Srinagar. But a name of the portion of the village area, Battapor, points to a former settlement of Battas or Purohits. It is curious too that we find only half a mile from the village the ziarat of Hazatbal, perhaps the most popular of all muhammadan shrines in the valley. It is supposed to be built over the remains of the miracle-working Pir Dastagir Sahib. Is it possible that the presence of the rather ubiquitous saint at this particular spot had something to do with the earlier Hindu Tirtha?
Page 457, Para 104

The chief place of Vihi Pargana is now the town of Pampar, the ancient Padmapura, about 4 miles south west of Khunmoh. It was founded in the beginning of 9th century by Padma, the powerful uncle of puppet King Cippata/Jayapida. Padma is said by the chronicle to have also built a temple of Visnu-Padmasvamin. To this may possibly have belonged the scanty remains of an ancient temple which have been described by General Cunningham. Close by is the Ziarat of Mir Muhammad Hamadani with some fine ancient columns and ornamented slabs which are likely to have been taken from the temple. Also other Ziarats of the town show similar remains.

Only a mile to the south east of Khruv is the village of Sar, until recently the seat of flourishing iron-industry, Kalhana mentions it by the name of Sanara as an Agrahara founded by King Sacinara------. The Ziarat of Khwaja Khizar which stands here near small springs is built with the remains of the Hindu Temple. Page 459, Para 105

About two miles south-west of Sar are found the well preserved ruins of a temple near the village Ladu (not marked on survey map). They have been described by Bishop Cowie, but I am unable to trace any old reference to this shrine in the texts I have examined. It is remarkable for having a circular cellar, the only one known to me in Kashmir. A small square cellar to the east of this temple has been annexed to a neighbouring Ziarat.
Page 459-60, Para 105

It was once the site of one of the oldest and most famous shrines of the volley, the temple of Visnu Cakradhara.... The plateau is still as TSAKDAR UDAR.... The shrine of Cakaradhara is often mentioned as Tirtha of great sanctity. The temple seems to have been subsequently restored, and Jonaraja mentions the statue of CAKRADHARA among those chief divine images which Sikandar Butshikan destroyed.
Page 461-62, Para 107

The old Linga of Siva Vijayesvara seems to have been destroyed by Sikander Butshikast.
Page 464, Para 109

It forms the modern Pargana of Khovurpor. An old site is undoubtedly the large village of Hutmar. Its modern name seems to identify it with the SAKTAMATA which Ksemendra names as one of the stations in peregrinations of his heroin Kankali. The chief mosque of the place is built with the remains of a Hindu temple and preserves in its walls some sculptured fragments of remarkable beauty.

About a mile below Hutmar and on the bank of a branch of Lider lies the hamlet of Bumzu which contains an ancient structure of considerable historical interest. The Ziarat of Baba Bamdin Sahib is nothing but a well preserved resting place of a Muhammadan saint.
Page 465, Para 110

The ancient remains at the sacred spring itself are very scanty. All the more imposing are the ruins of the great temple which King Lalitaditya erected at a short distance of the presiding deity of the tirtha. The destruction of the sacred image is ascribed to Sikander Butshikast.
Page 166, Para 111

About four miles to the north east of Kother and on a branch of Arpath river lies the populous village of Sangas, the ancient Samagasa......... some old carved slabs built into the chief Ziarat of the place attest its antiquity.
Page 467,468, Para 112

In the lower portion of the district and on the left bank of Visoka, we have the ancient Katimuso, the present village of Kaimuh. The place Is mentloned by Kalhana as Agrahara, founded by Tunjina I, and contains some old remains built into its chief Ziarat.
Page 471, Para 116

It has received its name from the ancient Parihasapura which King Lilitaditya had built as his captal. The identity of the names Parspor and Parihasapura is evident on phonetic grounds, and was well known to the authors of the Persian abstracts of Rajatarangini. Yet curiously enough the site of Parihasapura had remained unidentified until I visited the spot in 1892 and traced the ruins of Lalitaditya's great structures as described by Kalhana on the Plateau known as Paraspor Udar.

The full destruction of the temples is attributed by Abu-l-fazal and the Muhammadan chroniclers to Sikandar Butshikast.
Page 477 and 478, Para 121

Varahamula, situated on the right river bank, has left its name to the present town of Varahmul, usually called Baramulla by Punjabis and other foreigners. The ancient temple of Varaha which seems to have been one of the most famous shrines of Kashmir, is repeatedly mentioned by Kalhana. According to the tradition of the local Purohits it stood near the site of the present Kotithirtha, at the western extemity of the town and close to the river bank. Some ancient Lingas and sculptures found at Kotitirtha may have originally belonged to the temple. The destruction of its sacred image is noted by Jonaraja in the reign of Sikandar Butshikast.
Page 482-483, Para 124

After India achieved freedom and Kashmir acceded to Union of India, temple desecration was resumed. Temple lands, cremation grounds etc. of Hindus were usurped for expansion of Islam. The famous Bhairavnath Temple of Chattabal, Srinagar was got locked through police. The judicial case pending in court concerning this temple was never allowed to be decided. Precious lands around Hari Parbat hill, Durganag Temple of Srinagar and lands at several Hindu placcs of worship in the valley were slowly and steadily turned into lands under occupation of Muslim trusts (Maqboozai-Ahali-Islam). In 1967 Shivala Temple, Chotta Bazar, Srinagar was desecrated. Again in 1984 Shri Hanuman Temple at Hari Singh High Street was damaged and in the same year Arya Samaj Temple of Wazir Bagh, Srinagar was burnt. From 1986 the law and order situation in the valley deteriorated day by day and temple desecration became order of the day.

Atrocities in Kashmir

Destruction of Temples



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