Tuesday, February 12, 2019




( Photo Avtar Mota 2009 )

“ Where is Sri Rupa Devi Sharda Peeth School ; The big Building near Raghu Nath Mandir ? “

“ I don’t know. We have come from Baramulla District . We are New to this area .”

“ Where is Sri Rupa Devi Sharda Peeth School ? “

“ I don’t know . I am New to this locality . There is one private school in newly built rooms in that old temple . Some Petha or Peetha school ? Ask some old shopkeeper . There that man is old resident of this locality . Please , Just go and ask him. Only he can tell you correct location . ”

“ Where is Sri Rupa Devi Sharda Peeth School ? “

“ Rupa Devi Sharda Peeth School for Girls was here in this Raghunath Mandir premises. That big Old white school building , which you may be looking for , got completely destroyed in a devastating fire during peak armed  militancy . So you can't find it anymore.
Many Pandit women come and weep here as they don’t find their old school building anymore . Dr S N Dhar and his wife Dr Bimla ji helped in reconstruction of some rooms that you see currently. They gave money from their pocket for everything that you see at the spot . They wanted that the name of this grand old Pandit Institution should not die . A school for children is being run here now.There is no pandit teacher or student in the school now. "

" Thank you . No body could guide me properly over here ."

"After buying property left by pandits, Unknown People have come to live in this locality now .These people know nothing about Rupa Devi sharda Peeth School ? What can they tell you ? “

And in 1953, Late *Parmanand who retired as Accountant General , used his GP Fund and other terminal dues amounting to Rs60000/= for construction of the school building that is nowhere to be seen now . It was named after his daughter Rupa Devi. He was very much interested in imparting Sharda and Sanskrit knowledge to girls apart from creating a centre for research in ancient texts . The school was a premier institution for learning Sanskrit Language . Sri Daya Ram Shastri , A Sanskrit scholar from Udhampur was the first Incharge of this Peeth . Shri Jagan Nath Braroo Shastri , Shri Badri Nath Kala , Prof Kashi Nath Dhar and many more scholars were also associated with this institution. Some Muslim Girls also read Sanskrit in this school . For many years , degrees were awarded to students through Examinations conducted by “Bharatiya Vidhya Bhawan “ . The school also awarded Degrees of Praagya, Visharadh and Shastri to its students .

Parmanand Research Institute headed by Prof. kashi Nath Dhar was an affiliate institution. So many research papers and translations have been undertaken by Parmanand Research Institute under the stewardship of Prof Kashmir Nath Dhar .This institution had a rich library with many rare sanskirt and Sharda manuscripts.

Well known Hindi writer Smt. Kshama Kaul commented  on my face book  as under   :

“This is my school. Great school. It flows in my veins . The very name of the post caught me and couldn't resist myself from writing these words. In Dardpur I have made heartiest mention of my school. I am in tears. Hey  Ram!”

 Shri.Mohammad Sidiq wani commented on my Face book post as under  

“ One amongst alumni is my spouse (Prof/Dr) Mahbooba who studied in the institution and learned Devanagari script (Hindi) to proceed for career and gaining fame as a classical artist . We intend to volunteer in any genuine initiative taken for restoration of the bruised image of this institution.”

Prof. Sanjay kaul ( USA )  commented on my Face book Post as under :

   Avtar Ji , Dr. Vimla Dhar is still running this school from her personal funds and you understand how difficult it gets ! The old school building got completely burnt and no government help was provided !”

Shri Ram Krishen sadhu commented on my Face book Post as under :

“Pandit Parmanand was a noble character, an extraordinarily brilliant student who topped M,A. Mathematics  in those times, a brilliant and honest civil servant, an academician, an outstanding Sanskrit scholar who initiated and guided Dr Karan Singh into the study of Sanskrit and scriptures. This is what Dr Singh has told me. The death of his daughter Roopa Devi was a great shock to him. He invested all his savings in this Institution which he wanted to develop into an outstanding research center. All that got destroyed in the flames of terrorist fire and Raghunath Temple which was a heritage area is almost non existent today. More than the money which was spent by him, the loss of the rich Library including rare books and manuscripts which he transferred to the Peeth were also  lost .”

After the death of Parmanand ji ( The founder ), it was converted into a regular Girls school . I can name so many well known names who have studied in this school .  Alas !  Some miscreants  set this old  Centre of learning and research   on fire and removed it from the landscape . Present status of the  new school set up in some rooms  is not known to me . I didn’t visit the school after 2009.

 Dr Bimla Dhar (Actual name  Dr  Vimla Dhar W/O Dr. S.N.Dhar. ) happens to be the daughter of  Parmanand ji the founder of the institution.  And her husband , Dr S N Dhar  spent 83 days  in the captivity of armed  Militants   when he was  kidnapped . He wrote a book “The Story of a Frozen River” on this  torturous experience .

( Avtar Mota )


* Sri Parmanand ji has also been a teacher of Dr Karan singh. He taught Samskrata to yuvraj Dr Karan singh. Dr  karan singh pays glowing tributes to Sri Parmanand ji in his Autobiography.

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