Parihaspora Buddhist Site

Parihaspora is a Buddhist Site, which is situated about 24 kms from Srinagar, towards the right direction of the Srinagar to Baramulla road, on an area popularly referred to as Karewa. This region was once ruled by the Dogra Kings who had named it as ‘Pargana’ or ‘Paraspur’ during their era and what we see today are just the remnants of a bygone past that once thrived with the wealth of religious and heritage attributes.

The enchanting ruins of the Parihaspora Buddhist Site are seen spread over three Karewa lands which were collectively referred to as the Kane Shahr, which translates to the ‘Main Stone Structure’. These Karewa lands were developed by the famous King Lalit Aditya, who reigned over this region between 695 AD and 731 AD that later became the capital town of Kashmir and soon it was inhabited and thriving with his people.

Parihaspora, presently known as Kane Shahr or the City of Stones, reveals the ancient historic ruins witnessed at four distinct places referred to as the Dewar Yekhmanpur, Budh Karewa, Govardhan Karewa or Wudur, and Teirgam Karewa. The Archeologists working on these ruins have also observed that these Karewa lands do carry a few religious structures and palaces that once were an integral segment of this city.

During the period when this City of Stones, Parihaspora, was flourishing as a civilized city, the River Jhelum, known then as the Vitasta River and River Sindh would converge at the Naid Khai area flowing further beyond to Nigli Nallah where they would meet to flow down into the Wular Lake, known as the largest lake in Asia.

Parihaspora lies within the limits of this ancient Karewa lands, holding a series of prominent structures, which were erected by King Lalit Aditya, during his reign. This Ruler was highly revered for his artistic skills and known to have a unique sense for art and craft as one will notice with the distinct edifice of the Martand Sun Temple, also established by him.

Govardhan, Mahavrah, Mukta Keshav, Parhas Keshav, and Raj Vihar are a few of the cities established by King Lalit Aditya and are known for their architectural excellence and stunning relics. The King wanted to ensure that he’d left his mark quite prominently in the map of history by constructing a massive Fort made of iron brick within this ancient city, but unfortunately, what we see today are only a miniscule percent of this Fort while even its ruins seems to have faded with time.

Within the Parihaspora City, Chuknan, a Turkish Minister of King Lalit Aditya had also constructed a Buddhist Stupa, a stunning relic that exists even today. Looking at the devastation of this monumental and glorious city is daunting enough. Had this city in ruins survived the test of times, we would have has been able to enjoy it its magnificent edifices and learnt more about the living conditions of a mystic ancient era.

Parihaspora witnessed several wars and battles that were fought between the Kings and this City saw its final destruction by to Sultan Sikandar, who had ruled over this land between 1379 AD and 1413 AD. Up till the era of Sangram Raj, which was between 1003 AD and 1028 AD, the various structures of buildings, Palaces, Temples, and inhabitant settlements were largely in existence and almost thriving as usual.

According to a number of historians, it is said that when the Kushan dynasty was prevalent between 79 BC and 15 BC, the Royal Budh Vihar venue was established at the very site where Parihaspora is located and the 3rd Budh Conference of Kashmir was believed to have been organised here, during the year 79 BC. This fact is evident in the inscriptions embedded on certain stones that were discovered by the Archeological Department of India.

We can reason out that the name of the city, referred to today as the ‘Parihaspora Buddhist Site’, came about as a reference to the establishment of Budh Vihar, a highly revered ancient religious site, which happened to have existed within Parihaspora – the ancient city of stones, a must visit for all history enthusiasts and tourists alike.

Places to Visit in Kashmir