‘Save Sharda Committee’ attempts to restart ‘Sharda Yatra’ in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir

Editorial comment

The Government should make an effort for this !

Srinagar (J&K) – The pilgrimage to Sharda Peeth in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is likely to revive. The foundation stone of the temple and Dharamshala at Kupwada was laid by the Save Sharda Committee at Teetwal on the line of control. The foundation stone was laid by BJP’s national executive member Darakhsahn Andrabi. Andrabi is the Chairperson of the Waqf Development Committee under the Union Ministry of Minorities. Sharda Peeth is an ancient Hindu University. This place was famous for Sharda Yatra before 1947.

‘I am the first Kashmiri to visit Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara’, said Ravinder Pandita, head of the Save Sharda Committee. If India and Pakistan can make some arrangements for Kartarpur Sahib, then why can’t they make some arrangements for Sharda Peeth ? Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara is in Pakistan and a highway has been constructed from Punjab to reach there.

Ravinder Pandita further said, ‘People in both parts of Kashmir should be allowed to visit their places of worship by changing the existing rules. The Muslims should be allowed to visit Hazratbal and Chrar Shrines. Similarly, people from here should be allowed to visit Sharda Peeth and Gurdwara Ali Baig’.

Pandita has been working with the Governments of India and Pakistan for many years to restore the Sharda Yatra and has set up a committee comprising people from both sides. Due to his efforts, a Court in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir has ordered to stop encroachments on the site of Sharda Peeth and brought the site under the archaeology department.

History of ancient Sharda Peeth

Sharda Peeth, named after the Goddess of wisdom Saraswati, is believed to be an ancient centre of learning established in Neelum Valley in 273 BC, even before the Takshashila and Nalanda universities. Although it is a university, the annual pilgrimage to the temple was famous during the reigns of Maharaja Pratap Singh and Ranbir Singh. After the partition in 1947, the pilgrimage was interrupted and the temple got neglected. Although people are not allowed to cross the border at present, it will be possible soon, said Ravinder Pandita.