Saikh Raza of Village
by Chander M. Bhat
Wanpora popularly known as Thanther Wanpor is a small village in
Pulwama District. This village forms the boundary between Pulwama and Badgam
District on the West side. Kashmiri Pandits were also residing in the village up
to 1990. Saikh Raza was the village diety of the Kashmiri Pandit families. No
Pandit family is presently residing in this village. This village is famous for
Thanther [blacksmith], a class who were making loya thaal, khias,
Kanzi Khias, dul, gada, thoor etc for Kashmiri Pandits. Wanporek Thanther
was very famous throughout the valley. Before 1990 one could hear the beating of
louy from the shops situated on the bank of a small stream coming down
from Saikh Raza temple.
This temple is situated in the north-west of the village at an isolated place
surrounded by paddy fields and dense trees. A small stream is also flowing in
front of this temple having muddy water [Gurei Woan in Kashmiri]. It
remains muddy throughout the year.
Sh. Ajay Pandita of village Lajura [Pulwama], who is still residing in his
native village along with his family, accompanied me to this temple. It was 8th
August 2009 at about 3 p.m. After reaching the temple we started cutting the
wild shrubs grown inside the burnt temple, collected idols, which were scattered
in the premises of the temple, arranged them near the trunk of the Banyan Tree [Bren
in Kashmiri], applied sandoor, fixed three red jindis on the bran
tree, lighted doop etc and went to capture. About 18 village
children were watching our actions with rapt attention.
It was learnt that some miscreants set the temple on fire in October 1990.
However the land of the temple has not been encroached till date. It has become
a barren land now.