Revival of the Sun Temple Martand and applying UNESCO for its World Heritage Status
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In the words of British architect and scholar, Sir Alexander Cunningham: "The architectural remains of Kashmir are perhaps the most remarkable of the existing monuments of India." Even amongst them, the Sun Temple Martand was one of the most glorious and grandest Hindu temples of its time. The Temple is located at an altitude of 1753 meters in the village Mattan of district Anantnag, about 65 km south of Srinagar. It was dedicated to Surya (the chief solar deity in Hinduism) and built during the 8th century CE by the third ruler of the Karkota Dynasty, Lalitaditya Muktapida. Martand itself is another Sanskrit name for the Hindu Sun-god. This temple was enclosed in a courtyard of columns and arches forming covered passage all round it. Like Chandrapida Vajraditya , illustrious king Lalitaditya was a sun worshipper and a Follower of Vaishnava cult devoted to the worship of Keshva Vishnu. Accordingly many three faced Vishnu and some Chaturbhuja Vishnu figures have been prominently carved on the walls of this Temple. A central Water Tank with narrow water channels are existing to this day. In the right panel of the eastern wall of the Ante chamber of this Temple , an image of Aruna carved discerningly is still visible. Aruna, the charioteer of surya is holding the reins of his seven horses. The roof this temple was gold coated and spires were solid gold. The temple was destroyed by the Islamic invader Sikandar Butshikan in the early 15th century. The demolition of the temple itself lasted a year. Such was its amazing strength with huge interlocking stones. The temple recently came to prominence when a Bollywood movie called "Haider' was shot here.
Martand sun temple is declared as a site of national importance by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Yet, one visit to the temple ruins will expose the utter failure of ASI to maintain this temple and its surroundings. The temple is worthy of being developed as a UNESCO World heritage site and demands urgent revival as a place of worship.
This petition is a request that Government of India along with the government of Jammu and Kashmir take urgent steps to revive this temple on the line of Somnath temple and sun Temple Konark. It is also requested to take action so that it can ve enlisted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The government must take the steps so that Sun Temple Martand is promoted as a symbol of India's rich history and heritage across the globe. This will also crate immense job opportunities for the local population. As a place of worship, this is also a matter of faith for millions of Hindus. Beside signing this petition, it is requested that people must visit this temple and further campaign for its revival.
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