Pakistan approves proposal to establish Sharda Peeth corridorDate: 26 March 2019 Tags: Architecture, Religions
Pakistan Government has approved proposal to establish Sharda Peeth corridor that will allow Hindu pilgrims especially Kashmiri Pandits from India to visit Sharda Peeth, an ancient Hindu temple and cultural site in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
Sharada Peeth is considered as revered shrine for Kashmiri Pandits, which has been out of bounds for Indian pilgrims since partition. It is also one of the three famous holy sites for Kashmiri Pandits, the other two being Amarnath temple and Martand Sun Temple in Anantnag.
India had already sent proposal to Pakistan to open the temple corridor. Sharda Peeth corridor, when opened, will be second religious tract after Kartarpur corridor (for Sikh pilgrims) in Pakistan-controlled territory that will connect the two neighbouring nations.
- 5,000-year-old Sharada Peeth is abandoned temple and ancient centre of learning dedicated to Hindu goddess of learning.
- It was established in 237 BC during reign of Emperor Ashoka. It is located on the banks of Neelum river (tributary of Jhelum) over 100km from Muzaffarabad in PoK.
- It is also one of 18 Maha Shakti Peethas, or “Grand Shakti Peethas”. It is considered to be abode of Hindu Goddess Saraswati.
- According to one of the legends about this temple, goddess Sharada (Saraswati) had saved pot of knowledge during war between good and evil. She carried it to valley, hid it beneath ground and then turned herself into stone to cover it.
- Between 6th and 12th centuries CE, Sharada Peeth was one of foremost temple universities of Indian subcontinent, like Nalanada and Takshashila universities, where religion, philosophy, contemporary literature and astronomy.
- Kashmiri Pandit organisations have been demanding the opening of the Sharda Peeth corridor for many years now.
It is 4km corridor along India and Pakistan border that will connect Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur — the final resting place of Guru Nanak Dev (founder Sikh faith) with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India’s Gurdaspur district. It will facilitate visa-free movement of Indian Sikh pilgrims, who will have to just obtain permit to visit Kartarpur Sahib, which was established in 1522 by Guru Nanak Dev. It is expected to be completed by 2019 end.