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Information Digest
Volume 2
January 2001

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Lalla-Ded Educational Trust
Project Zaan
Information Digest - Vol. 2

Har-van

Kashmiri Missionaries in China

Historical Places

Baramulla

55 Kms. away from Srinagar, Baramulla is the western entrance to the Valley. Till 1947, it was the export-import trading centre of Kashmir, the nearest rail head being Rawalpindi.

Baramulla is situated on both the banks of Vitasta. The town on the right bank, in ancient times, was called Varahmula, derived from the ancient tirtha of Vishnu - Adivaraha - at the site of Kotitirtha, which is situated at the western extremity of the town, close to river bank. [The Linga, the sacred image was destroyed by Sikander Butshikan, according to Jonaraja.] On the left bank, is the ancient site of Hushkapur (now Ushkur). Hushka had built a town, a Buddhist vihara and a Stupa here. Later Lalitaditya also built a vihara, a stupa and a Vishnu temple. Heun-Tsang, on arrival in the Valley, stayed here for the first night. He says, some copper plates, on which the proceedings of Kanishkas council were engraved, lay buried here. These two ancient and sacred sites are now connected by bridges and f.mp3 the present Baramulla. In ancient times, a dwarpal incharge of the security of the Valley was posted at the watch tower called Drung, which was situated a little below Kotitirtha. The following religious places, situated in the town are famous:

  • Chhatipadshahi in honour of the visit of the sixth Sikh Guru.
  • On the right bank, f.mp3ing the back wall of Varahmula, is Gosaniteng hill, which is the abode of seven springs and a temple sacred to the memory of the heroes of Ramayana, including that of Sita.
  • Bhairao Mandir amidst an almond orchard at the foot of Gosaniteng.
  • The famous Shrine of Dastgirsahib.
  • On the left bank are situated the Shrine of Janbaaz Sahib at Khanapora and Devibal, the famous sacred spring of Shailaputri.
Baramulla town is the headquarter of Baramulla district. The town bore the brunt of Pakistan aided tribal raid in 1947 and halted its onward march to Srinagar for two vital days. The town was the native place of Shaheed Sherwani who laid down his life, defending Kashmir against Pakistani invaders in 1947.

Avantiv.mp3ans Temples

Avantiv.mp3ans Temples, two in number, were built by Avantiv.mp3an (855-883 A.D.) at a place now known as Avantipur, 29 kms. from Srinagar, on the Jammu-Srinagar road. The larger of the two, is the Shiva Avantipura Temple, commanding a magnificient view of the broad bend of the Vitasta (Jhelum) over a ridge. The extensive courtyard enclosed by a massive stone wall, western face of which is adorned on the outside with a row of fluted columns, indicates that it must have been one of the best achievements in the field of architecture. The temple base, the only existing part of the main edifice, is seventeen meters square and three meters high. The sanctum has been reduced to a mass of ruins. Second one, the more ornate and better preserved temple known as Avantiswami Vishnu, comprises a spacious paved courtyard, a colonnaded peristyle, in the centre of which is the main shrine, raised on a double base with four smaller shrines at the corners. The structure closely follows the plan of Martand and is a more refined product of art.  The peristyle has a row of fluted columns on the west side. The front pilasters of the side walls bear figures of Vishnu and his consorts carved in relief. The chief beauty of the temple lies in its cellular colonnade which consists of 69 cells. The walled courtyard served as fortification in parlous times that followed Avantiv.mp3ans reign. The temple was completely destroyed by the time of Sultan Sikandar in the 14th century.

Parihaaspur

Parihaaspur, also known as Paraspur, is situated on and below a plateau, at right side of the Srinagar-Baramulla road, about 27 kms. from Srinagar. The plateau is known as Paraspur Udar. In the early period of Dogra rule, the whole area around this plateau, was called Paraspur. Parihaaspur, in Sanskrit means the The Laughing City. The town is known as the Town of Stones now.

Parihaaspur, of which only ruins are available now, was laid by the famous king Lalitaditya (695-731 A.D.) to establish his capital.  Ruins are also available at four different places near the plateau. Three of them are known as Divaryakhmanpur, Govardhan Udar and Tregaam. The fourth one is on the north-east side of the plateau where ruins of Bodh constructions are available. Till now, there have been no discoveries to prove that residential places existed there in ancient times. The discoveries prove that the plateau had been reserved only for religious places and palaces whileas the residential places were confined to the area between Divaryakhmanpur and Tregaam. During the time when Parihaaspur was established, the Sindh river confluenced with Vitasta (Jhelum) at Tregaam and flowed via Naid Khai before confluencing with the Wular lake. Goverdhandhar, Muktakeshav, Parihaskeshav, Mahavarah, Rajavihar, Chitiha and Vinaysaman, were some of the famous places, constructed by the  King within the Parihaaspur area. The king had also built a fort with iron bricks, in the city. The exact location of this fort has not been established, but it is said that iron bricks of the fort, would be found during ploughing of land in the vicinity, even upto early twentieth century. Chunkan, a Turk wazir of the king, had also built a stupa here, the ruins of which still exist. During Kushan rule, a royal Bodhvihar was built on the plateau. It is said that summary of the proceedings of third Bodh conference which was held in Kashmir, was engraved on copper plates and kept here. The plates are believed to be buried under the Bodh viharas.

Destruction of Parihaaspur started taking place immediately after Lalitaditya, when his son Vijadatta (733-774 A.D.) took over the control of the property of various temples. During the reign of Avantiv.mp3an (855-883 A.D.) Suyya relocated the confluence of Vitasta & Sindh at Shadipur. This resulted in the tremendous loss to Parihaaspur, because the source of potable water shifted 5 kms. away from the city, and secondly, it hampered the water transport system in the area which was of prime importance because of the absence of any other transport system. The next phase of destruction of Paraspur came when King Shankarv.mp3an (883-901 A.D.) demolished the temples and used those stones and other material in the construction of a new town Pattan and the temples here. Abu Fazal says that Sultan Sikandar (1389-1413 A.D.) was responsible for the final destruction of Parihaspur.
 

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