The Great Temple Complex at Naranag

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The Wangath Temple ruins located near Naranag near Kangan above the Sindh Valley. This Temple Complex was built Lalitaaditya Muktipada one of the most celebrated Kings of Kashmir of the Karkota Dynasty. The current structure was built around the 8th Century.

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Kalhana notes in Rajatarangini that Ashoka built the city of Srinagari in the 3rd century BC. His son Jaluka, 220 BC, built the Shaivite temples Bhuteshvara, Jyestarudra, and Muthas in the Wangath valley around the holy spring of Naranag.

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The Wangath temples were built in three groups, around the same time as the Shankaracharya Temple in Srinagar and the Bumazuv temple near Mattan. King Jaluka built a stone temple at the site of the spring Naranag around 137BC. King Jayendra (61 BC) used to worship Shiva Bhutesha at the shrine. Lalitaditya Muktapida (713-735 AD) donated a good sum of money to the shrine after his victorious expedition. King Avantivarman (855-883 AD) built a stone pedestal with a silver conduit at this shrine for the bathing of sacred images. Kalhana’s father Canpaka and uncle Kanka also frequented the site.

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As per Kalhana, the treasury of this shrine was plundered by King Sangramraja of Kashmir (1003-28 AD), during King Uccala’s time (1101 – 1111 AD) and later by the rebel baron Hayavadana. (Wiki)

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Auriel Stein did a lot of work on these Temples and identified a number of them along with other Western Archeologists.

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It was in the Meadow of Mohanmarg that Auriel Stein stayed and translated the Rajtarangani from Sanskrit to English.

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One thing surprising about this Temple is that all the main Temple Complexes in Kashmir were usually on the Valley floor itself or in case of the Shankaracharya Temple on top of a very prominent Hill. But this complex lies high above the Sind Valley by the Naranag Nallah. And it surely is a large Complex. Not to be missed and there are a lot of trekking / hiking opportunities around.

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A very interesting place to say the least.