Harwan Buddhist Ruins

Harwan Buddhist Ruins easily dates to 300 AD as mentioned in the chronicles. These ruins are situated towards the Northwest of Kashmir and are accessible from the eastern side of Shalimar Mughal Garden.

Famous for depicting the civilization during the Kushan era, the Harwan Buddhist Ruins were first discovered after an excavation was held in these parts of Kashmir during the first quarter of the 20th Century.

Excavations revealed that the Kushan period settlement area used a unique form of a large structure built in steps as their place of residence making them distinct in architecture spectacle not only in India but across the globe. This is the only ancient settlement in the entire world that depicts the habitat and living conditions of the inhabitants of the Kushan period not seen anywhere else.

A European writer named Henrich also makes a mention of a Buddhist named Nag Arjun, who was born during the Kanishk era and had settled at Harwan, a probable reason how the name ‘Harwan Buddhist’ came about, as he had owned a position of power during those days.

During the ancient times, Harwan was referred to as Shadara Hadwan which meant ‘woods of six saints’. A few tiles excavated and discovered from the Harwan Buddhist ruin site are reminiscent of a bygone era and throws evidence on the existence of an early civilization that once, ruled these parts of Kashmir.

Images of the ancient people bearing resemblance in their features to the people of Kashgar or Yarkand are seen exquisitely carved out on these well supported Tiles within the Harwan Buddhist Ruins. Other shapes also seen on these tiles are people dressed in Turkish caps and trousers. There are two springs that flows nearby which were probably used as a water source for household use and drinking water supply as well.

Harwan Buddhist Ruins came to light sometime between 1919 and 1929 AD, after excavations were conducted by the Archaeological Department of India. Artefacts discovered includes tiles, stones, relics, and much more that have been safely preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India within the Ramnagar Palace Museum situated at Udhampur in Jammu.

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