Jammu-Kashmir : Numbers of earthen lamps lit the Teetwal hamlet in Kupwara district on Sunday as Diwali was celebrated for the first time at the Mata Sharda Devi temple in the last 75 years, the organiser of the event claimed.
Prayers on the occasion were also performed in the temple, which is now reconstructed in the area on the Line of Control (LoC).
Ravinder Pandita, Head and founder of the Save Sharda Committee said that this is happening after 75 years.
“It’s a matter of happiness that Diwali is being celebrated in the same way as it used to be before 75 years. The inauguration of this temple was done on March 22 after its renovation”, said Pandita as per media reports.
He further appealed to the government to open the Sharda Peeth — “the seat of Sharada” like that of Kartarpur Sahib.
“This is our request to the government that Sharda Peeth gets open like Kartarpur Sahib,” he said.
After performing the Diwali rituals, the people gathered outside the temple and burst firecrackers. The ancient temple and its centre were rebuilt with a view to reviving centuries-old pilgrimage to Sharda Peeth temple in the Pakistan-occupied Jammu Kashmir (PoJK).
Sharda Peeth is an abandoned temple located in Sharda village along the Neelum River, which was a major centre of learning. It is regarded as one of the 18 highly revered temples across South Asia.
The Save Sharda Committee took the lead in the reconstruction of the temple and a Sikh gurdwara after reclaiming the same.
“The inauguration of this temple was done on March 22 after its renovation as it was demolished during the attacks in the past. Prior to the Pakistani tribal invasion in 1947, a dharmshala and a Sikh gurdwara used to exist in the same plot that was burnt down in the raids,” Pandita said.
Teetwal was a traditional route of pilgrimage to Sharda Peeth which was last stopped in 1948 after the Pakistani tribal invasion and partition.