The Kashmir valley has always given exemplary examples of brotherhood between communities.
After 75 years of taking over property from the Hindu community, the Muslims have returned the land for the construction of the Mata Sharda temple in the Teetwal belt near the Line of Control (LoC).
The temple is located in Kupwara district in northern Kashmir and will be built to revive the centuries-old pilgrimage to Sharda Peeth in Pakistani-occupied Kashmir (PoK). The plan of the temple was approved by the southern matth of Sringeri. The temple is said to be made of art granite stones and is carved in Karnataka.
”Mata Sharda is the goddess of knowledge and wisdom. The significance of Sharda Peeth is well known to all. It was the oldest university much older than Nalanda and Taxila. And the oldest civilization. None of the Hindus were allowed to go to Sharda Peeth and now we have tried our best, my committee has called Save Sharda Committee (SSC) to revive and reopen it,” Ravindra Pandita, Head of Save Committee Sharda, mentioned.
“We have a lot of PoK seekers and here also working there. It’s a common heritage, the traditional routes come from places like Keran. Teetwal is the official pilgrimage route of Sharda. We are building a base temple. We are “I hope that the LoC permit that exists between two countries will be restored so that we can travel and do the pilgrimage. Hindus from Jammu and Kashmir should be allowed to make this pilgrimage,” Ravindra Pandita added.
The Hindu community of Kashmir wants the pilgrimage to open on the same pattern as Kartarpur. They want the PoK government to allow them to make this pilgrimage. It is the most important temple for the Kashmiri Pandit community.
“It’s basically a base camp for Sharda Temple. The yatra would start from here. The pilgrimage would be taken to PoK. It is the most important temple for the Pandits of Kashmir. This is what Mecca is for Muslims; Sharda is for Kashmiri pundits. This base camp had a Gurudwara before 1947. People called us and said this is the land that belongs to the temple and welcomed us with open arms. We have started the work,” said Surinder Mirza, a Pandit from Kashmir.
The Muslims recently handed over the land to the temple committee. And also called on the Indian and Pakistani governments to reopen the pilgrimage so that the Kashmiri Pandit community can visit the PoK temple.
”It was our duty, our ancestors always told us that this land belonged to the temple, and they told us that whenever they came and wanted to take this land back, we had to give it back. We hope the roads will be open. We want old times back,” said a local Zameer Ahmad.
The temple construction committee also kept Muslim members on the team. The temple is built by a Kashmiri Muslim who says it is the greatest example of brotherhood in Kashmir. He hopes it will become a meeting point for all communities and an example of peace.
”It’s a very old heritage and we had kept the land very safe with us. To strengthen the bond between the communities, we are building a temple, a Gurdwara already exists and we will build a mosque too. It should be a center where everyone can meet. We ask governments to allow this pilgrimage. We need the government opposite to give us permits. People should remember that Ajaz was a Muslim who built temples, mosques and gurudwara,” said Ajaz Khan, a member of the temple construction committee.
The sacred mass would be transported from Sharda Peeth temple to Chilhana village in PoK. The base camp would be a traditional yatra route.