MoS Meenakshi Lekhi offers prayers at Sharda Temple in J&K

This marks an important step towards preserving the heritage of the Kashmiri Pandits and reestablishing the ancient pilgrimage to Sharda Peeth.

| Updated: 24 June, 2023 6:35 pm IST

Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture, Meenakshi Lekhi, offered prayers at Sharda Temple located in the border village of Teetwal in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday. This marks an important step towards preserving the heritage of the Kashmiri Pandits and reestablishing the ancient pilgrimage to Sharda Peeth.

Ravinder Pandita, the caretaker of the temple complex and head of the Save Sharda Committee, expressed gratitude for her visit. He said, “We feel pleased to welcome the first union minister of the current government on this occasion today.”

Once a renowned hub for scholars seeking knowledge in scripture and spirituality, Sharda Peeth holds great historical and religious significance. The Sharda Yatra temple in Teetwal had faced destruction during the partition and subsequent tribal invasions, leading to the abandonment of the holy pilgrimage. However, efforts by the local community, particularly the Save Sharda Committee Kashmir, have played a vital role in preserving the site.

The reconstruction of the temple has been a collaborative effort, with the Panchloha Sharda murti (idol) donated by Sringeri Mutt. The consecration of the idol took place on March 22, 2023, coinciding with Navreh (the first day of Navratri), inside the newly constructed Teetwal Temple.

The inauguration ceremony was held in the presence of distinguished guests, including Home minister Amit Shah, LG Manoj Sinha, BJP MP Tejasvi Surya, and Ravinder Pandita, the head of Save Sharda Committee Kashmir.

The revival of the Sharda Peeth temple and the exploration of Sharda Civilization signify a renewed commitment to preserving cultural heritage and fostering religious tourism. Discussions and interactions held during seminars in Delhi and at Sherwani Hall in Baramulla have highlighted the desire for cross-LoC heritage and religious tourism to transcend religious boundaries.
The visit by Union minister and BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi to the Sharda Temple in Teetwal serves as a testament to the government’s commitment to preserving the rich cultural heritage of Kashmiri Pandits and reviving the ancient traditions associated with Sharda Peeth.

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