History of the Cave Temple
It is said that in the year 993 BC, Raja Nara, succeeded his father King Vibishana. One day, while travelling, Raja Nara came across Chandrasaha, the daughter of Susravas, a serpent-god, whose place was in a lake and decided to carry her away from her husband, a Brahmin. The plan failed, upon which the enraged Brahmin asked Susravas to avenge the insult. A storm was called up and the earth opened and swallowed the king and his whole Court. The sister of the serpent-god assisted him and hurled on the city huge stones from the Martand Mountain. The cavern of Bhumju are said to be on the spot where these rocks were upturned.
Architecture of the Cave Temple
The entrance to the cavern, which is more than 60 ft above the level of the river, is carved into an architectural doorway. There is also a gloomy passage, which leads to the door of the temple and is about 50 ft in length. It is a simple cella about 10 ft square, exterior dimensions, raised on a badly moulded plinth and approached by a short flight of steps. The square door way is flanked by 2 round headed niches unspoiled of their status and is surmounted by a high triangular pediment reaching to the apex of the roof, with a trefoil tympanum. Since there is no record of the construction of the temple, it is assumed from the absence of all ornamentation and the simple character of the sloping timber roof, which appears to be a rudimentary copy in stone that the cave temples are the earliest perfect specimen of Kashmir Temple, which dates from the 1st or 2nd century of the Christian era.
Visiting Information on the Cave Temple
The Cave Temple is accessible by road from Srinagar and Anantnag, by regular bus services. The nearest railway station isthe Jammu Station while the Srinagar Airport is at a distance of 62 km from Anantnag.