CONTENTS:- 1. Introduction. 2. Local Hindu Rulers. 3. Hinduism and its Deities. 4. Hindu Iconography. 5. Kashmir Shaivism. 6. Buddhism. 7. Ancient Styles. 8. Note and References.
During the period of ancient Hindu and Buddhist rulers (4th century AD up to 14th century AD) the impressive stone works, in architectures as well as in sculpture making flourished across Kashmir. The massive glorious ruins of Martand, Avantipura, Narasthan, Kothiar, Pandhrethan, Pattan, Parahaspura, Wangth temples stand a fine example of the architectural works besides the magnificently carved stone and bronze images, What today preserved in different museums and art galleries mostly were commissioned during the period of their rule. Although due to mass destruction of stone images and melting of brilliant metal images by Harsha and few other rulers, a little collection of icons had reached to us. The present monogram titled "Ancient sculptures of Kashmir" which exclusively deals with Kashmir school of Sculpture art provides its readers a descriptive Catalogue of the Kashmir Sculptures found at various archaeological sites of this land. In the scheme of things followed here, a brief historical outline of the ancient history is followed by the history of the local Hindu period. A description of Hindu and Buddhist iconography is followed by Kashmir Shivaism and Buddhism. There is the mention of evolution of Kashmir stone art which is followed by an elaborate discussion of various indigenous schools of Kashmir valley which had flourished here during the entire Hindu period. Iqbal Ahamd, the Kashmir-based author and archaeologist has taken up an in-depth study of Kashmir Sculpture heritage. The stone and Bronze sculptures found at Bijbehara, Srinager, Avantipura, Parahaspura Verinag and Devesar archaeological sites have been studied in detail with their iconographical and artistic details. The author has provided the classification and descriptive catalogued of the sculpture wealth housed in the historic Kashmir Museum. The book not only provides the description of old sculpture finds but also has made mention of the recent finds. The monogram entirely based on Kashmir sculptures with their illustrations is expected would provide a guide to the readers interested in the sculpture art of this land.