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Information Digest
Volume 4
April 2003

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Lalla-Ded Educational and Welfare Trust

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Lalla-Ded Educational Trust
Project Zaan
Information Digest - Vol. 4

Har-van

Historical Places

Pandrethan

Situated near Srinagar, Pandrethan is remarkable for a very old and interesting Hindu temple, standing in the middle of the tank, about 50 yards from the river bank. The tank is about 40 yards square. The temple is 18 feet square with a projecting portico on each side, and displays in a confused exuberance of decoration, more especially the repetition of pediment within pediment and trefoil within trefoil, clear indications of having been built at a later date than other existing ruins. It is probably the most modern example of the true Kashmiri style extant. It was erected during the reign of king Partha, who governed Kashmir from AD 921 to 931, by his prime minister Meru, who dedicated it to Mahadeva under the title of Meru Vardhama Swami. There are in the neighbourhood some few fragmentary remains, consisting of two large lingams, one 6 feet high, erect and entire, the other broken into three pieces, the lower part polygonal, the upper round with conical top, which together made up a height of 16 feet. Near these, which are seperated from each other by a short interval, is a huge mass of stone, being feet and legs as high as the knees of a colossal seated figure, probably a Buddhist image. At some little distance beyond this, an isolated crag has been cut, as it stood, into some sculptured f.mp3, apparently a Chaumukhi, i.e. a square pillar with a figure on each side. Baron Hugel calls the Pandrethan edifice a 'Buddhist temple'  and states that there are some well preserved Buddhist figures in the interior. But he is doubly mistaken, for the temple was dedicated to Mahadeva and the figures inside have no connection with Buddhism.

Pandrethan (near Srinagar). One of the few temples of Kashmir with roof intact.
Pandrethan (near Srinagar). One of the few temples of Kashmir with roof intact.
Although miniature in size, it is ornate with structural symmetry.
10th century era.


Islamic Monuments

Pathar Masjid: This mosque opposite Shah Hamdan mosque across the Jhelum in Srinagar, is the largest surviving Mughal structure in Kashmir. Built in local grey limestone, the facade consists of nine arches, remarkable for their horizontal construction. Built in 1623 AD by Nur Jehan, the Pathar Masjid was, however, never used for prayers. 


 Pather Masjid, the valley's only unconsecrated mosque.

Shah Hamdan Mosque:  The medievel wooden style of Kashmir’s Muslim architecture is best typified in the Khanqah mosque of Shah Hamdan in Srinagar between third and fourth bridge on the right bank of river Jhelum.Sultan Sikandar built the mosque in 1395 AD, to commemorate the the visit of Mir Sayyid Ali Hamdani, popularly known as Shah Hamdan. Twice destroyed by fire, the structure as it stands now, with cloisters added later, was rebuilt by Abul Barkat Khan in 1732 AD. Some of the doors and windows in the mosque are exquisite specimen of the Kashmir wood carver’s art at its best. The pyramidal roof culminates in a graceful steeple, rising 38 meters from the ground.


The beautifully inlaid doorway to Shah Hamdan's shrine.

Jama Masjid: The most ‘architectural’ structure in the wooden style of Kashmir is the Jama Masjid of Srinagar. Buily by Sultan Sikandar in 1389 AD and enlarged by his son, Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin, it was rebuilt (after fires) and repaired by several kings including Jehangir and Aurangzeb. The mosque, a huge structure containing all the essential components of the Kashmir type of wooden building, is a quadrangle, roughly square in shape, its northern and southers sides measuring 107 meters. Four minars, one in the middle of each side, are covered by a series of pyramidal roofs. The compound is divided by two broad paths, planned after the pattern of a f.mp3er Mughal garden.


The simple beauty of Jama Masjid.


 
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