Hindu kings & Shaivism (700AD-1400AD)

Lalitaditya Muktapida 724 CE–760 CE

During his reign, he conquered Afghanistan, Punjab, Haryana, Kannauj, Tibet, Ladakh, Badakshan, Iran, Bihar, Gauda (Bengal), Kalinga (Orissa), South India, Gujarat, Malwa, Marwar, Konkan, and Sindh.

He broke the power of Arabs in Sindh.

Not just a warrior Lalitaditya was a great builder too, he built his capital near the sacred shrine of Kheer-Bhawani and named it Parihaspora (city of pleasure).

Throughout the valley, he built massive temples, out of which is the famous sun temple (Martand) built on Mattan Karewa. It reminds us of the grandeur and splendour of the times when he ruled the state.

Martand Sun Temple

The emperor used 84,000 tolas of gold to make the statue of Vishnu, the temple is in ruins today

He also made a statue of Buddha in copper that according to Kalhana in his book Rajtarangini is described as the one which “reached up to the sky”.

The extensive ruins of his capital city Parihaspur, speak of his activities in the field of art and architecture.

After his death, it was mostly the weak rulers except for his grandson Jayatida.

Wangan temple ruins. src google

Kashmiri Shaivism

Kashmiri Shaivism originated during the 8th century.

From 700 to 1100 c.e., Kashmir was the spiritual, cultural, and intellectual centre for some of the most sophisticated spiritual practitioners of the time.

Kashmir Shaivism arose from the experience of dedicated Trika Yoga practitioners, who also happened to be skilled in expressing their experiences.

It emphasizes the inner Self. nature of the highest reality, describing it as pure Consciousness Moksha.

Kashmiri Shaivism deals with concepts that also have a bearing on questions such as:

How do the senses emerge in the emergence of the mind?

Could there be more senses than we possess?

Dr. Mark Dyczkowski one of the world’s foremost scholars on Tantra and Kashmiri Trika Shaivism and has lived and worked in India for close to forty years. Both a scholar and a practitioner, he was initiated by the great Indian teacher Swami Laksmanjoo in the year 1976.

Main Scholars & Philosophers of that period

  1. Vasugupta (860–925) – Write of Shiv Sutra, founder of Kashmiri Shaivism

2.Kallata (850–900)

3.Somananda (900–950)

4.Abhinavagupta (1000–1050) – his masterwork includes Tantrāloka, Natya Shastra

King Harsha (1089-1111 AD) – Iconoclast

Versed in many languages, a good poet, and a lover of music and art, he started his rule in a remarkable way as a good King.

But in the later stage of his life came under influence of Turks who became his very close associates. This is even claimed to be the reason for him to be an Idol breaker in the later stages of his life.

He destroyed both Hindu and Buddhist temples and is credited with creating an office of “devotpaatana-nayaka“, destroyer of god.

This has been an issue of debate recently due to the unavailability of solid proof of Harsha really looting or destroying temples.

Jaisimha (1128-55AD)

The King repaired and restored many temples and shrines, and numerous other pious foundations were also made during his region.

Contribution of Hindu & Buddhist Rule

-> Kashmiri Shaivism – Shiva school of thought.

-> The emergence of the Mahayana form of Buddhism during the time of Kanishka.

-> 2000 years back Kashmir has been the home of Sanskrit learning and this small valley has issued masterpieces of history, poetry, romance, fable, and philosophy.

-> Kashmiris are justly proud of the literary glories of their land. For centuries Kashmir was the house of the greatest Sanskrit scholars.

-> One great Indian religion of ‘Shaivism’ has found some of its most eloquent teachers on the banks of the Vitasta.

-> Some of the greatest Sanskrit scholars and poets were born, and wrote in the valley and from it has issued in the Sanskrit language a world-famous collection of folk-lore.” (Panchtantra.)

European art critic: “Ancient India has nothing more worthy of its civilization, than the grand remains in Kashmir, the massive, the grotesque the elegant in architecture, maybe admired in many parts of India, but nowhere is to be seen, the counterparts of the classically graceful, yet symmetrically massive edifices of Kashmir, and in beauty, and position are immensely superior. 

The Martand temple has been universally admired by archaeologists and artists.

Writes H. Gotezi ” The temple of Martand set the model for Kashmir Hindu Art in all the following centuries… Thus Lalitaditya must be regarded as the founder not only of the short-lived empire but also of six centuries of Kashmir Hindu Art. “

Mammal Shiva temple was built by King Jaisimha (1128-1155AD)

Mamaleshwar Temple Pahalgam

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