Sharda Temple Report

24/05/2009 19:43

2009-05-12 06:02

Sharada Peeth located near Sharda was the famous temple of the Hindu deity Sharada (Saraswati) in Northern Kashmir on the banks of what is known as the Neelum River in Pakistan and Kashmir (referred to as Kishenganga river in India). Its ruins are now in the Neelum District of Azad Kashmir, Pakistan near the Line of Control (LOC) and Gurez, India-administered Kashmir. Shina and Kashmiri languages are mostly spoken in the area. Kashmir was sometimes called Sharada Desh because of this temple.

It was once a celebrated center of learning headed by Kashmiri Brahmins. It is at this temple thatSankaracharya received Sarvanjyapeethom chair. It was a centre of great Sanskrit scholars and Kashmiri Pandits and was a famous centre of Buddhism and later Hinduism. Sharada script and Takri (from whichgurmukhi is derived. The great Jain scholar Hemachandra requested grammar texts preserved here so that he could compile his Siddhahemacandra grammar. The great Vaishnava saint Swami Ramanuja traveled all the way from Srirangam to refer to Bodhayana's vritti on Brahma Sutras preserved here, before commencing work on writing his commentary on the Brahma sutras, the Sri Bhasya. The Sharada idol at Shringeri Sharadamba temple was once said to have been made of sandalwood, which is supposed to have been taken by the Sankaracharya from here.

Kalhana mentions that in Lalitaditya's reign (8th century AD), some followers of a king of Gauda (Bengal), come to Kashmir. under the pretence of visiting the shrine of Sharada.

The temple was last repaired by Maharaja Gulab Singh of Jammu and Kashmir.


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