Sharada Peeth

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Sharada Peeth

Sharada Peeth is a ruined Hindu temple and ancient centre of learning located in present-day Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan. Between the 6th and 12th centuries CE, it was among the most prominent temple universities in the Indian subcontinent. Known in particular for its library, stories recount scholars travelling long distances to access its texts. It played a key role in the development and popularisation of the Sharada script in North India, causing the script to be named after it, and Kashmir to acquire the moniker "Sharada Desh", meaning "country of Sharada".

Quotes[edit]

  • The shrine of Sharda Devi was at one time among the most revered in Kashmir, indeed India. The Sharda Mahatmya narrated that once Muni Shandilya, son of Matanga, was practising great austerities to obtain sight of goddess Sharda (who as Shakti embodied Sharda, Sarasvati, and Vagdevi). A divine voice directed him to Shardavana, the sacred spot of Shardi (a small village and fort near the Sharda temple).
    • Jain, M. (2019). Flight of deities and rebirth of temples: Espisodes from Indian history.
  • It was at the temple of Sharda that Shankaracharya was accepted as a religious scholar of the highest merit. Bilhana stated that it was because of Sharda that Kashmir was recognized as a centre of learning....
    • Jain, M. (2019). Flight of deities and rebirth of temples: Espisodes from Indian history.
  • In Inner Kashmir, about two or three days journey from the capital in the direction towards the mountains of Bolor, there is a wooden idol called Sarada, which is much venerated and frequented by pilgrims
    • (Alberuni 1910: 117) quoted in Jain, M. (2019). Flight of deities and rebirth of temples: Espisodes from Indian history.
  • The temple, which consists of the usual cella surrounded by a walled enclosure, stands at the foot of a spur which rises above the right bank of the Madhumati stream. The temple is approached by a stair-case about 9 feet wide, of steep, stone steps, some 63 in number... In the middle of the wall on the northside is an arched recess, which contains a lingam...The cella, which is about 22 feet square, stands on an elevated plinth about 4 feet from the present level of the ground...The entrance is approached by a flight of steps. ... The interior of the temple is square, and perfectly plain; on the ground lies a large rough slab of unpolished stone, somewhat like a huge mill-stone, which, with the walls, is smeared in places with red pigment, and flowers are inserted in cracks. This stone is said to have been disturbed by Mansur Khan, Rajah of Karnao, in search of treasure, ..exertions, however, were unsuccessful.
    • Major Charles Ellison Bates, (Bates 1873) quoted in Jain, M. (2019). Flight of deities and rebirth of temples: Espisodes from Indian history.
  • At two days’ distance from Haehamun is the river named Padmati which flows from the Dardu country. Gold is also found in this river. On its banks is a stone-temple called Sharada, dedicated to Durga and regarded with great veneration. On every eighth tithi of Shulkapaksha, it begins to shake and produces the most extraordinary effect
    • Abu Fazl, (Ain-i- Akbari Vol. Il 1927: 365). quoted in Jain, M. (2019). Flight of deities and rebirth of temples: Espisodes from Indian history. 47

External links[edit]

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