‘Panchaloha’ idol of Goddess Sharada from Sringeri to adorn new temple in Kashmir

BENGALURU: The ‘panchaloha’ idol of Goddess Sharada, the main deity of Kashmiri Pandits, would be carried from Sringeri in Karnataka on January 24 to Teetwal near the Line of Control in Kashmir where she would be installed in the newly built temple, said Save Sharada Committee Kashmir (SSCK) founder Ravinder Pandita on Thursday.

A vehicle has been purchased and converted into a chariot to carry the idol of the ‘Goddess of Knowledge’. The idol would pass through different States before being installed in the temple on March 22, Pandita said in a statement.

According to Pandita, Sringeri Dakshnayam Sharada Peetham is giving the consecrated idol made of five metals (panchaloha) to the SSCK for the newly constructed Sharda Temple at LoC Teetwal.

The chariot would proceed from Sringeri on January 24 and pass through Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Delhi-NCR, Chandigarh, Amritsar, Jammu, Kupwara and Tikker Asthappan in Kupwara.

“The primary aim to move the chariot from one Kashmiri Pandit Bhawan to another is to allow community members to have ‘darshan’ of Sharada, as they will not be able to make it to Teetwal on consecration day,” Pandita said in his statement.

The idol would finally be consecrated in the newly built temple on 22 March on the first day of Chaitra Navratri, the nine auspicious days of Goddess-worshipping.

Pandita said the committee has also invited its civil society members across LoC for the inauguration of the temple on March 22 as a goodwill gesture via Chilhana in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

The temple inauguration is likely to be presided over by a local sarpanch of Teetwal, he added.

The SSCK founder expressed his gratitude to the Sringeri Peetham for having supported them in reclaiming the lost heritage of 1947 at Teetwal.

The Save Sharada Committee of Kashmir has been set up to revive the ancient Sharada temple, which used to be a major seat of learning in ancient India but now lies in ruins in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir after being plundered and ravaged by invaders.

The Teetwal temple is significant as the pious ‘Chhadi Mubarak’ used to be taken out from Teetwal to the main Sharada temple which is now located in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Last December, the SSCK handed over a gurudwara to Sikh Sangat of Karnah at Teetwal which has been built adjacent to the newly built Sharada temple.

There used to be a Sikh gurudwara adjacent to the Teetwal temple which was also burned down in tribal raids in 1947.

“The bhumi pujan of this new Gurudwara took place on December 2, 2021 and was constructed under the aegis of SSCK. Local Sikh community from nearby Tribwani village led by committee member Sardar Joginder Singh took the keys from Ajaz Khan, member of Sharada Yatra Temple Committee,” Pandita said. (PTI)

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