PRAYAGRAJ: In the magnificent Kumbh Mela, the members of the 'Save Sharada Committee Kashmir' have been pushing forward their demand of starting a pilgrimage for Kashmiri Pandits to Sharada Peeth, which is situated in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).
Founder of the 'Save Sharada Committee Kashmir', Ravinder Pandit told ANI here: "Since ancient Sharada is located in PoK, we are urging to the Indian and Pakistan government to permit visas to pilgrims who want to visit there. Sharda Peeth is an ancient religious place, which had the oldest study centre and it had its own language and culture."
Ravinder further said that the Government of India has a written to the Pakistan government regarding the same.
"All the prominent priests have urged the PoK authorities and we have asked them to maintain the infrastructure of the temple," he added. Situated close to the Line of control (LoC), Sharada Peeth is an abandoned temple, which sits in PoK’s Sharda village in the Neelum Valley.
After the partition of India, the sacred site remained at the other side of the Indian border and went far away from the reach of Indian pilgrims. Notably, Kashmiri Pandits consider Sharada Peeth as an important site because it's said to be an abode of Lord Shiva.
In 2018, after the Pakistan government opened the Kartarpur Corridor to allow Indian Sikh pilgrims to visit the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur across the border. This has encouraged the Kashmiri Pandits to take a call of opening a corridor to Sharada Peeth site.
In this regard, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Mehbooba Mufti and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah have requested Prime Minister Modi to look into the matter and pursue the request.