India plans to open corridor to revered pilgrimage in PaK

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The government will make efforts to open a corridor in Pakistan-administered-Kashmir (PaK) for the Sharda Peeth pilgrimage, reported NDTV.

The move will necessitate engagement with Pakistan and reopening of the Line of Control (LoC) at Teetwal in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwara, which has been closed indefinitely after the limited autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir was scrapped in August 2019.

The announcement was made by Home Minister Amit Shah after he virtually inaugurated the Sharda Devi temple at Teetwal in Kupwara district on Wednesday.

The temple has been built on the banks of the Kishanganga river along the LoC, which divides the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is considered one of the most revered religious sites in the subcontinent.

The ancient Sharda temple and the centre of learning, or Sharda Peeth, is located in Neelam Valley across the LoC in PoK.

“Ravinder Pandita has said that Sharda Peeth should be opened for pilgrims on the pattern of the Kartarpur corridor. The government of India will definitely make efforts in this direction. There are no two opinions about it,” said Shah.

Shah said the inauguration of the temple is the beginning of an era and a step towards the discovery of the Sharda civilisation and the Sharda script.

The construction work on the Sharda Peeth base temple at Teetwal started after local Muslims handed over the land for the construction of the temple in 2021. They also remained part of the construction of the temple and its inauguration on Wednesday.

“The reconstruction of Maa Sharda’s temple in Kupwara is a necessary and important step towards the discovery of Sharda civilization and promotion of Sharda script,” Shah said.

Opening a corridor for pilgrimage will be the first major step to restore contact between the two sides following after Jammu and Kashmir became a Union Territory in August 2019.

Cross-LoC trade and bus services have been stopped indefinitely since 2019.

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