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Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 15, p. 97.


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HISTORY
97
Alexander Cunningham and Mr. F. S. Growse 1. They exhibit traces
of the influence of Grecian art, and are distinguished by the graceful
elegance of their outlines, by the massive boldness of their parts, and
by the happy propriety of their decorations. Characteristic features
are the lofty pyramidal roofs, trefoiled doorways covered by-pyramidal
pediments, and the great width of the space between columns.
Among the numerous temples two may be noticed-Martand and
Payech-the first for its grandeur, and the second for its excellent
preservation. Martand, the Temple of the Sun, stands on a sloping
karewa, about 3 miles east of Islamabad, overlooking the finest view
in Kashmir. The great structure was built by Lalitaditya in the eighth
century. Kalasa came here at the approach of death and expired at
the feet of the sacred image (ro8g). In the time of Kalhana the
chronicler, the great quadrangular courtyard was used as a fortification,
and the sacred image is said to have been destroyed by Sikandar, the
iconoclast.
The ,building consists of one lofty central edifice, with a small
detached wing on each side of the entrance, the whole standing in a
large quadrangle surrounded by a colonnade of eighty-four pillars with
intervening trefoil-headed recesses. The length of the outer side of
the wall, which is blank, is about go yards; that of the front is about
56 yards. The central building is 63 feet in length by 36 feet in
width, and, alone of all the temples of Kashmir, possesses, in addition
to the cella or sanctuary, a choir and nave, termed in Sanskrit the
antandla and arddhamandapa ; the nave is 18 feet square. The
sanctuary alone is left entirely bare, the two other compartments being
lined with rich panellings and sculptured niches. As the main build-
ing is at present entirely uncovered, the original form of the roof can
be determined only by a reference to other temples and to the general
form and character of the various parts of the Martand temple itself.
It has been conjectured that the roof was pyramidal, and that the
entrance chamber and wings were similarly covered. ' There would
thus have been four distinct pyramids, of which that over the inner
chamber must have been the loftiest, the height of its pinnacle above
the ground being about 75 feet.
The interior must have been as imposing as the exterior. On
ascending the flight of steps, now covered by ruins, the votary entered
a highly decorated chamber, with a doorway on each side covered by,
a pediment, with a trefoil-headed niche containing a bust of the Hindu
triad, and on the flanks of the main entrance, as well as on those of
the side doorways, were pointed and trefoil niches, each of which held
a statue of a Hindu deity. The interior decorations of the roof can
only be determined conjecturally, as there do not appear to be any
,1 Calcutta Review, No. CVII.
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