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J-K: Diwali celebrated at Sharda Devi temple for ‘first time in 75 years’ as temples lit up across Kashmir

Diwali was celebrated with fervour and gaiety across the country including in Jammu and Kashmir where temples were lit up across the Valley and people rejoiced on the occasion.

Ashesh Mallick Edited By: Ashesh Mallick @asheshmallick07 Kupwara Updated on: November 13, 2023 7:42 IST
Diwali, Jammu and Kashmir, Kashmir Diwali, Srinagar
Image Source : AP Locals celebrate Diwali with fervour in Srinagar

Diwali celebrations: In a significant development, Diwali was celebrated for the first time at the Mata Sharda Devi temple in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Sunday (November 12) in the last 75 years, as part of which earthen lamps were lit and prayers were performed, the organiser of an event claimed. The temple has been reconstructed in the area on the Line of Control (LoC). Ravinder Pandita, Head and founder of the Save Sharda Committee claimed that the development was taking place for the maiden time since 1948.

People gathered outside after completion of Diwali rituals and burst crackers.

"It's a matter of happiness that Diwali is being celebrated in the same way as it used to be 75 years ago. The inauguration of this temple was done on March 22 after its renovation," Pandita said.

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Image Source : ANIMata Sharda Devi temple

Appeal to the Centre

He also appealed to the government to open the Sharda Peeth in line with that of Kartarpur Sahib corridor which was inaugurated in November 2019.

"This is our request to the government that Sharda Peeth be opened like Kartarpur Sahib," he said.

The ancient temple and its centre were rebuilt with a view to reviving centuries-old pilgrimage to Sharda Peeth temple in the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). 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 tribal raids 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 tribal raids and partition.

Diwali celebrated with fervour in Jammu and Kashmir

Diwali, a festival of lights, was celebrated with fervour and gaiety in Kashmir on Sunday by the local Hindu population and security forces as several temples and popular landmarks were lit up to celebrate the festival of lights.

All the major temples in Srinagar City and elsewhere in the valley were illuminated to celebrate Diwali, according to the officials.

Tourists and locals thronged Srinagar’s iconic Clock Tower to celebrate. Most parts of the Valley rang with the sound of firecrackers bursting. Kashmir Valley has witnessed significant changes since the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A from the Constitution in August 2019.

(With inputs from agencies)


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