Abhinav Gupt cave facing threat

Jehangir Rashid
SRINAGAR, Apr 23: Abhinav Gupt cave located in the foothills of Bairam hillocks in Beerwah area of Budgam district is facing threat due to stone quarrying, says Vir Saraf, Convenor, Roots in Kashmir (RIK).
The cave has a great religious significance for Kashmiri Pandits as Abhinav Gupt is regarded as the greatest scholar of Kashmiri Shaivism, an ancient school of thought for which Kashmir is famous world over.
Vir Saraf told Excelsior that the Abhinav Gupt cave is sacred to Kashmiri Pandits. “Till 1947 AD Kashmiri Pandits used to go to the entrance of the cave and perform their religious rituals every year on the 10th day of full moon in the month of June. The cave is of great value of heritage. It is part of the ancient historical civilisation,” he added.
Stone quarrying is taking place with impunity on North-West side of this hill top which is supposedly the tail of the cave as well as on the Eastern side of Bairam too.
However, officials said that the quarry is located some 150 feet away from the cave. They say that the quarrying is going on for past over 60 years and government is getting its royalty.
“It is said that some people have tried to cruise the un-ending cave upto 1 km but returned back when there was no end to the cave. Abhinav Gupt was a philosopher and a Bhairwa (seeker of Lord Shiva),” said Vir.
Talking to Excelsior, M. S Zahid, Deputy Director, Department of Archives, Archaeology and Museums said that he would depute a team of the officials to the site.
“As of now I have not received any complaint. But since you have raised this issue it would be ensured that nothing illegal is being done. This is a place of heritage importance and we would leave no stone unturned in preserving this heritage symbol,” said Zahid.