Wangath Temple complex

Wangath Temple complex is a group of monuments in Wangath, close to Naranag, in the Ganderbal district of Jammu and Kashmir. Wangath is a village located around 48 miles (77 km) northeast of Srinagar.[1] The current structure was built by Lalitaditya Muktapida of the Karkota dynasty in the 8th century AD.[2]

Wangath Temple complex
StateJammu and Kashmir
Wangath Temple complex is located in Jammu and Kashmir
Wangath Temple complex
Location in Jammu and Kashmir, India
Wangath Temple complex is located in India
Wangath Temple complex
Wangath Temple complex (India)
Geographic coordinates34°21′N 74°58′E / 34.35°N 74.97°E / 34.35; 74.97Coordinates: 34°21′N 74°58′E / 34.35°N 74.97°E / 34.35; 74.97
CreatorJaluka Maurya, Son of Ashoka[citation needed] and later Lalitaditya Muktapida
Completed8th century AD
Temple(s)17 (seventeen)
Elevation1,619 m (5,312 ft)


Naranag temple complex at Wangath

Kalhana notes in Rajatarangini that Ashoka built the city of Srinagar 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. The Wangath temples were built in three groups, around the same time as the Shankaracharya Temple in Srinagari and the Bumazuv temple near Mattan.[3] 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.

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.[4]

Architecture and styleEdit

Wangath temple complex, partial shot

Bishop Crowie and Major Cole have identified the ruins of seventeen temple structures of various ages and dimensions in Buthser, near Wangath, in two distinct groups: the first on the western side and the second on the eastern side. Each group is enclosed by a separate stone wall, and lie a short distance from one another.[3] The temple complex is located along the Kanka nadi or the Kanaknai and is constructed of local grey granite.[5] Between the two groups of temples stand a number of structures of a third group, the Mathas.

Western complexEdit

The first group of six temples, also identified by Aurel Stein as Shiva-Jyestharudra or Shiva-Jyeshthesa, is situated within an enclosure wall.[3] The Jyestharudra group is placed on high grounds and consists of a main temple of Jyeshthesa (Shiva) surrounded by subsidiary shrines.[5] The principal structure is a square of 25 feet (7.6 m) externally and 17 feet (5.2 m) internally, and has two entrances opposite each other, facing the northeast and southwest. In the center of the floor is a square space which is unpaved. It marks the site of the pedestal of the image. Internally, it has a domed ceiling. Externally, the roof is pyramidal.[3]

Eastern complexEdit

The second group of temples is enclosed in a massive rectangular stone wall, pierced by a two-chambered gateway. The six temples inside the wall are in ruins and are partly buried in the ground. The largest temple has a 17 feet (5.2 m) square base internally, similar to the largest temple in the western complex. This temple has been identified by Stein as Shiva-Bhuteshwara.[3]

Central pavilionEdit

Between the western and eastern complexes lie a number of structures of a third group. This consists of the remains of a building measuring 120 feet (37 m) by 70 feet (21 m), with a height of 10 feet (3.0 m). Along the side of this structure are 30 monolithic bases or piers at intervals of 12 feet (3.7 m). This was a pillared pavilion or matha. An impressive 18 feet (5.5 m) rectangular cistern, hammered out of a boulder, is nearby.[3]

Present statusEdit

Site of national importanceEdit

The Archaeological Survey of India has declared the Wangath Temple complex at Naranag as centrally protected monuments of India.[6][7] The temple appears in the list of "centrally protected monuments" as "Group of Ancient Temples" at Naranag, Kangan.[8]


  1. ^ Parmanand Parashar (2004). Kashmir: The Paradise of Asia. Sarup & Sons, Darya Ganj, Delhi. p. 249. ISBN 81-7625-518-1.
  2. ^ Hermann Goetz (1955). The Early Wooden Temples of Chamba. Copyright, 1955, by E.J. Brill, Leiden, Netherlands. pp. 66, 114.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Chaman Lal Gadoo (2009). KASHMIR: Hindu Shrines. Vidya Gauri Gadoo Research Center, Shakarpur, Delhi. p. 67. ISBN 978-81-910057-0-7.
  4. ^ Bansi Lal Malla (2009). Sculptures of Kashmir, 600 - 1200 A.D. Agam Kala Prakashan. p. 16.
  5. ^ a b Krishna Deva (1995). Temples of India: Text [Vol 1]. Aryan Books International (Original from University of Michigan). p. 230. ISBN 9788173050541.
  6. ^ "Archaeological Survey of India protected monuments". Retrieved 7 September 2014.
  7. ^ "Archaeological Survey of India protected monuments". Retrieved 11 August 2012.
  8. ^ "Protected monuments in Jammu & Kashmir"., Archeological surey of india. Retrieved 29 October 2012.