Sharada Peeth – a temple of Goddess Sharada – was one of the three principal shrines of J&K before the Partition.
Sharada Peeth – a temple of Goddess Sharada – was one of the three principal shrines of J&K before the Partition.(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
  • 1. Sharada Peeth Lies Close to LoC
  • 2. Kashmira Puravasini: Religious and Spiritual Significance
  • 3. Location, Routes and Geographical Significance
  • 4. Sharada University: The Learning Centre
  • 5. Destructions and Restorations
  • 6. The Pilgrimage Demand
  • 7. Travelling to PoK: The Biggest Hurdle
Sharada Peeth: PoK’s Abandoned Temple of ‘Kashmir Puravasini’

“Namastey Sharada Devi Kashmir Pur Vasini Tvam Ham Prartheye Nityam Vidya Danam Che De hi Mahi. (Salutations to you, O Sharada, O Goddess, O one who resides in Kashmir. I pray to you daily, please give me the charity of knowledge).”

This is a prayer that Kashmiri Pandits say as a part of their daily worship to pay obeisance to Goddess Sharada, commonly known as Saraswati – the goddess of knowledge. However, the revered shrine of their kuldevi (principal deity) – Sharada Peeth – now lies abandoned in the valleys of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK).

The Pakistan government on Monday, 25 March, approved a proposal to establish a corridor that will allow Hindu pilgrims from India to visit Sharada Peeth.

The Sharada Peeth corridor, when opened, will be the second religious tract after Kartarpur corridor in Pakistan-controlled territory that will connect the two neighbouring nations.

Here are a few aspects that make the religiously significant shrine politically relevant:

  • 1. Sharada Peeth Lies Close to LoC

    Sharada Peeth was one of the three principal shrines of the region, along with the Martand Sun Temple and the Amarnath Temple, before the Partition of India and Pakistan. After the 1947-48 war between the two countries over Jammu & Kashmir, the shrine was abandoned as it fell into PoK.

    The shrine, religiously and politically significant, lies close to the LoC in Sharda village atop Mount Harmukh.

    While demands from Indian pilgrims to allow visits to the shrine have been made in the past, the echoes have become louder after the two bitter neighbours decided to pave way for the Kartarpur corridor leading to Gurudwara Darbaar Sahib Kartarpur in November.

    Former J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, too, had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to consider the demands of the Kashmiri Pandits to visit Sharada Peeth.

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