Temple Architecture of Kashmir


The architectural remains of Kashmir are perhaps the most remarkable of the existing monuments of India, as they exhibit un doubted traces of the influence of Grecian art. The Hindu temple is generally a sort of architectural pasty, a huge collection of ornamental fritters huddled together either with or without keeping. The Hindu Temples cannot indeed vie with the severe simplicity of the Parthenon, nor with the luxuriant possess great beauty. The characteristic features of the Kashmirian architecture are its lofty pyramidal roofs, its trefoiled doorways covered by pyramidal pediments, and the great width of its intercolumniations. The Grecian pediment is very low, and its roof exceedingly flat: the Kashmirian pediment, on the contrary, is extremely lofty, and its roof, high. The superiority of the Kashmirian architecture over all other Indian buildings would appear to have been known to the Hindus themselves; for one of their names for the people of Kashmir is Shastrashilpina, a term which could only have been applied to them on account of their well known skill in building. Even now the Kashmiris are the most expert handicraftsmen of the East; and it is not difficult to believe that the same people who at present excel all other Orientals as weavers, as gun-smiths, and as calligraphers, must once have been the most eminent of the Indian architects.


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