After prayers were held at the ruins of the eighth-century Martand Sun Temple in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has expressed its concern to the district administration while refraining from lodging a formal complaint.
What is the issue?
- The ASI, which functions under the Ministry of Culture, is the custodian of the protected monument.
- According to ASI officials, prayers are allowed at its protected sites only if they were “functioning places of worship” at the time it took charge of them.
- No religious rituals can be conducted at non-living monuments where there has been no continuity of worship when it became an ASI-protected site.
About the temple –
- Built in the 8th century CE, it is the most unforgettable and good-looking work of King Lalitaditya. It was built by the emperor in honour of the Sun God or Bhaskar.
- Lalitaditya was a Kshatriya of the Surya (Sun) Dynasty.
- The ruins of the huge temple stand in a square field with snow-capped mountains as its backdrop.
- This temple has been built with strong and square limestones and exhibits pillars in Greek pattern.
- Lalitaditya was not only the founder of a vast empire but also the founder of the art and skill of Kashmiri Hindus for six centuries.
- It was destroyed by Sikandar Shah Miri in the 14th century.