Kasmir - Avantipura - Vishnu temple
The temples in Avantipur are both situated on the road southeast of Srinagar and are very easy to find. The two temples dating from the 9th century are only 1 km apart. One is a Shiva Temple, which is renovated and in daily use.
The larger, the Avantiswami Temple is now a ruin. King Awantivarman, who ruled Kashmir from 853 to 888 AD built both temples and dedicated the larger, the Avantiswami Temple to the Hindu God Vishnu. The likeness to the Sun Temple in Martrand is stiking. Both the Sun Temple and the Avantiswami Temple shows an outward apperance of Greek architecture.
The temples are built by the same materials, a sandstone, which has not proven its durability very well over the centuries. Both temples are highy eroded and not much is left of the very rich carvings, that has been all over the temple surfaces. In 18th century the Avantiswami Temple was escavated by the English. Some idols were taken to museums in England, but quite a few can still be seen in the SPS Museum in Srinagar. The temple is open daily and the local guide, who have been working there for more than twenty years, is most happy to show you all the most important features.