India's oldest Sun Temple 'Martanda Surya Mandir' is in Kashmir
Next to Anantnag, a town in Kashmir stands an ancient magnificent temple with its ruins, the Martanda Surya Temple, the oldest sun temple in India. This Martanda Sun Temple is the oldest Sun Temple in India and the construction of this temple predates the Sun Temple in Konark, Odisha. The Martanda Surya Temple was built by Lalitaditya Muktapida, the 3rd ruler of the Karkota dynasty, in the 8th century AD.
According to historical data, this temple was built between 725 and 756 AD. But before the construction of the temple, between 370 and 500 AD, the foundation of the temple already existed on this same site. According to some sources, the construction of this temple started during the reign of Ranaditya.
« In the 15th century AD, this oldest Sun Temple in India was completely destroyed under the orders of Sikandar Butsikan, the ruler of Jammu and Kashmir. The work of destroying this temple went on for almost a year. »
The temple was built on a plateau in such a way that it overlooks the entire Kashmir valley. An examination of the ruins and architecture of the temple revealed that the temple was built in a combination of Gandhara, Gupta, Chinese, Roman, Syrian-Byzantine and Greek architectural styles. This temple was a magnificent example of Kashmiri architectural style.