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Pattan Tourism

Around Sughandesha Temple

Pattan, located at a distance of 26.1 km from Srinagar on National highway 1A, is one of the most interesting places in the valley. The area is as much endowed with natural beauty as it is famous for its historical heritage. If you had gone through our page on About Pattan, you would know that the town was earlier known as Shankarpur and it was the capital of Raja Shankar Varman, son of King awanti Varman. Two of the temples built during that time (9th Century AD) stand till today. Both these temples have been constructed in the Martanda style of temple architecture prevalent in Kashmir.

Tourist Spots in and around Pattan

Here they are:

Shankar Gaurisvara Temple in Pattan

 Shankar Gaurisvara Temple in Pattan

Among the two temples, one is built by Shankar Varman himself. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is known as Shankar Gaurisvara Temple, This sanctum sanctorum in this temple is square. It also has a portico decorated with carved figurine. The portico also has an alcove in the shape of trefoil. However, the plinth and the peristyle of this temple are now buried under the soil.

Like most temples in Kashmir, Shankar Gaurisvara Temple has been constructed with big pieces of stones. It is believed that these pieces were brought from Parihaspora. The entrance of this temple faces east. Apart from the architectural splendor, this temple complex also possesses a beautiful garden. Many people also go there just to enjoy that.

Sugandesha Temple in Pattan

Way to Sugandhesha Temple

This temple has been built by Queen Sugandha, the wife of King Shankar Varman. It is also constructed with stones and dedicated to Lord Shiva. It has a square sanctum measuring 12’ 7’’ on all sides. There is also a peristyle around it. The temple also has a portico with one side open. Beautiful sculptures and niches in the shape of trefoil also make this temple worth a visit. Visitors can also see intricately carved stones pieces lying around. Recently the temple has been fenced to protect such pieces. 

However, one interesting fact is that in this temple, the central structure is intact, while the walls have collapsed. Studies have shown that the temple first underwent significant damage in 10th or 11th century. However, the major damage was done in 1885. 

Sughandesha Temple Ruins

Parihaspora near Pattan

If you are in Pattan, you must also visit Parihaspora, located close to Pattan. It was built by great king Lalitaditya Mukatapida. At one point of time, Parihaspora was the capital of Kashmir and also a center of Buddhism. Now of course, everything lies in ruins. The city of laughter (pariahs) today is more popular as Kane Sahar (city of stones).

Parihaspora from a Distance

The entire city of Parihaspora was made out of large stones.  Today, its ruins lay spread over an elevated table land, known as kerwa in Kashmiri. Excavation done in 1914 revealed ruins of different buildings such as a temple complex, a royal monastery, a stupa and a chaitya,.

The Temples of Parihaspura

Ruins at Parihaspora

To reach this place you need to take a village link road from NH 1A and travel for three kilo meters. Once you enter the archeological site, you must look at the left for the ruins of the temple complex.  Earlier, it contained the idols of Lord Parihaskeshwa, Mukta keshwa and Goverdhanadhara. However, nothing but the base of this structure remains today.  Incidentally, this base is 14’ x 12’ x 7’ and made out of a single stone.  One should also take time to examine the broken stones scattered around this structure. They too are beautifully sculpted.

Apart from it, the city had many other temples dedicated to different deities such as Kubera, Kartikeya, Vipulkeshwa, Ramaswamin, Shiva, Kamalkeshwa, and Mitreswara. However, no trace of these temples is found today; their mention is found only in ancient texts.

Royal Monastery or Raj Vihara in Parihaspura

More Sculptures

There are also the remains of a royal monastery built by King Lalitaditya Mukatapida. As you enter the gate you will find it on your left. From the base, which is still intact, we can assume that the monastery was square in shape. The courtyard was enclosed by twenty six cells, each of which had a verandah in front. These verandahs had high plinth. An earthen jar full of silver coins had been found in one of those cells. According to Kalhan, it housed a lofty statue of Lord Buddha made out of copper. However, there is no sign of it now.

Buddhist Stupa and Chaitya in Parihaspura

Ruins of the Chaitya in Parihaspura

We also see a stupa located on the northeastern corner of the plateau. Although the superstructure of the stupa is lost, what is left is enough to mesmerize the visitors. From the remains, it is clear that the stupa had a square base with flight of steps on its four sides. The top of the plinth was broad; it served as passage for circumambulation. One can also see some architectural wonders like trefoil arches are lying about.

There was also a chaitya close by. It was also built by King Lalitaditya Mukatapida. This chaitya stands on a two tired base. To enter it one has to climb a flight of steps located on its eastern side. The sanctum is square in shape and is surrounded by circumambulatory passage. Images of dragons and other Mahayana symbols are clearly visible on its stones and pillars.

Carvings on the Stones

Apart from the above mentioned archeological wonders, there are other things to see as well. Parihaspora offers a fantastic view of the state capital Srinagar.  The agricultural fields around this site also offer magnificent view.

Travel Agents in Pattan

However, if you find it difficult to visit these places, you may contact the following travel agents in Pattan. They are going to help you in every way.

Imran Travel Solutions
Goom Ahmadpora, Pattan
Phone No: 95962-11408

Limbus Tour and Travel
Parray Mohalla, Pattan
Phone No: 87159-70766

Quick Comfort
Opposite Little Buds School
Pattan Chowk
Phone No: 94190-21601, 95962-10637

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