SHIVAMOGGA: A tiny temple amid the Sahyadri mountains in Karnataka has become a symbol of communal harmony with a Muslim woman and her relatives offering special puja there during the ongoing Navaratri festival.
Famida Sharif and some relatives offered puja at Bhagavati Amma temple in Sagar town, about 375km from Bengaluru. Her late husband Ibrahim Sharif built it 50 years ago on land donated by the Railways. “When my husband was young, Goddess Durga appeared in his dreams often. Later, when he consulted Sridhar Swami, a seer from Varadahalli, he suggested he worship the goddess regularly,’’ recalled Famida.
Later, when Ibrahim, who hailed from Kerala, joined the Railways and decided to build a temple, many did not like the idea.
Overcoming opposition, he finally built it and managed it for several years before handing it over to Hindus after forming a committee.
He then relocated to another town. However, he and his family made it a point to go there and offer prayers during special occasions like Navaratri. “After his death, we continued this tradition,’’ Famida said.