Hindu temple ruins, Avantipur, Kashmir, India

Avantipur was founded by king Avantivarman who reigned from AD 855 - 883 situated at a distance of 18 miles from Srinagar on the Anantnag cart-road, represents the town of Avantipura. The site has two temples. The larger one, Shiva-Avantishvara, is marked by massive walls some half a mile beneath the town on the outskirts of village Jaubror. The subsidiary shrines are to the rear corner of the courtyard. But the complex has, over the years, lost its grandeur and has been reduced to ruins, though it is still visited by the devout. The temples here have groups of figures of both sexes, engaged in drinking, making love, and other such things. The sculptured reliefs are principally found on the walls of the entrance and the flank walls of the stairs. It is probable that not only the plain wall surfaces but also the reliefs were covered with a fine coat of lime plaster, on which the addition of colour defined the more delicate details of decoration. The base is either a plain square block with the upper edge rounded off or is elaborately molded. Half a mile up is Avantisvami-Vishnu, a better-preserved temple.

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