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An Ancient Hindu Temple is home to the Muslim Population in Rajouri Village, Kashmir

The six to eight hundred years old ancient Shiv temple is looked after by the cent per cent Muslim community at Rechva

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A temple in Kashmir. (Representation Image). Image source: pathikaa.wordpress.com
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  • Muslims of Rajouri district in Kashmir have set an example of tolerance by taking care of an ancient temple in the Rechva village
  •  The six to eight hundred year old ancient Shiv temple is looked after by the cent per cent Muslim community at Rechva
  •  “Temple is a house of God and we have full respect for it. It’s our responsibility to ensure its safety”, the local residents said

At a time when societal upheavals and great communal disturbance fill the air, Muslims of Rajouri district in Kashmir have set an example of tolerance by taking care of an ancient temple in the Rechva village of the area.

Although the local Hindu population migrated decades back, the ancient Shiv temple is looked after by the cent per cent Muslim community at Rechva. The temple is carefully maintained and children are not allowed to play in the complex to prevent any structural damage to it. Some believe the structure to be about six to eight hundred years old, but the exact number is not known, said the greaterkashmir.com reports.

“Almost every day we clean its premises and have also asked our children not to play in the temple compound. We also ensure than no animals from the village is grazed near the temple premises as it can damage its structure”, an elderly resident said.

The grand architecture of the Shiv temple suggests it is the work of experts, with its walls and doors carrying engravings of distinct sculptures of Hindu gods and goddesses. The temple sits atop a ridge in the middle of Rechva village, with its roofs beautified by detailed stonework. Four pillars stand in the four directions of the monument.

Engravings on an ancient temple wall Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Engravings on an ancient temple wall. (representation Image) Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

According greaterkashmir.com, the temple has been protected during tensions and turmoil as the entire complex stands intact as it was years back. During festivals like Shiv Ratri, many Hindus visit the temple and perform pooja.

 “Temple is a house of God and we have full respect for it. It’s our responsibility to ensure its safety”, the local residents said.

An official posted in the area said that the local Muslims “never allowed anyone to damage its property.”

On inquiring about rising violence in the region, a local resident said, “We don’t know about all that, we have kept the temple protected and we will keep doing so till our last breath.”

Although Hindus come to the temple to celebrate certain festivals, the locals have urged the Central and State governments to put the ancient temple on the tourist map so that “devotees will come and offer Pooja. It will also ensure better safeguard of the temple.”

-prepared by Maariyah Siddique, an intern at Newsgram. Twitter: @MaariyahSid

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    So pleasing to hear things like this. Change has been taking place, just like how the Hindus celebrated Kumbh mela in kashmir, is exactaly how these kashmiri muslims take care of this temple as their own.

  • Aparna Gupta

    Truely this is an example of Hindu Muslim harmony in Kashmir irrespective of communal violence which had taken place in Kashmir for years.

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    So pleasing to hear things like this. Change has been taking place, just like how the Hindus celebrated Kumbh mela in kashmir, is exactaly how these kashmiri muslims take care of this temple as their own.

  • Aparna Gupta

    Truely this is an example of Hindu Muslim harmony in Kashmir irrespective of communal violence which had taken place in Kashmir for years.

Next Story

Government ends Haj subsidy as part of a new policy

Announcing the decision, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said it was in line with the government's agenda to empower minorities without appeasing them.

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A total of 1.75 lakh Indian Muslims can go for Haj this year. Wikimedia Commons
A total of 1.75 lakh Indian Muslims can go for Haj this year. Wikimedia Commons
  • The government had drafted the policy after the Supreme Court asked it in 2012 to withdraw it gradually by 2022
  • The government would utilise the funds saved from withdrawing the subsidy for the education of minorities, particularly girls
  • This year, the highest number of Indian pilgrims are likely to go for the pilgrimage

The central government on Tuesday said it has decided to withdraw subsidy given to hundreds and thousands of Muslims for the annual Haj pilgrimage.

Announcing the decision, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said it was in line with the government’s agenda to empower minorities without appeasing them.

“This is part of our policy to empower minorities with dignity and without appeasement,” Naqvi told reporters here.

He said the government would utilise the funds saved from withdrawing the subsidy for the education of minorities, particularly girls.

Also Read: Muslim women can now travel to Haj without Mahram

The government had drafted the policy to abolish the Haj subsidy in a phased manner after the Supreme Court asked it in 2012 to withdraw it gradually by 2022.

This year, the highest number of Indian pilgrims are likely to go for the pilgrimage after Saudi Arabia increased India’s quota by 5,000.

A total of 1.75 lakh Indian Muslims can go for Haj this year. IANS