The opening of the Sharda Peeth corridor across the Line of Congrol (Loc) in Jammu and Kashmir can "help navigate" the current India-Pakistan impasse, former state Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said on Monday.
"Not too long ago I had written to PM (Narendra Modi) imploring GoI to reopen Sharda Peeth, a temple across LoC for Kash Pandits. An initiative like this at a time when Indo- Pak tensions are at an all time high could help navigate the current impasse," Mehbooba said in a tweet reacting to reports from across the border that Pakistan might soon green light the opening of the corridor.
The opening of the corridor has been a longstanding demand of Kashmiri Pandits, for whom the Sharda Peeth temple is one of the holiest religious places.
The ancient temple of Sharda and the adjacent ruins of Sharda University lie in the Neelam Valley, about 160 km from Muzaffarabad across the line of control (LoC) in a small village called Shardi or Sardi, where the river Neelam, known as Kishenganga on the Indian side, converges with the Madhumati and Sargun streams.
Maa Sharda is considered to be the principal deity by Kashmiri Pandits.
Built around 5,000 years ago, the temple is also the site of Sharda University built by Emperor Ashoka in 237 BC.
The temple was also once regarded as the foremost centre of higher learning in the sub-continent.
It is one of the 18 Maha Shakti Peethas, or Grand Shakti Peethas and is considered to be the abode of Hindu Goddess Saraswati.
The talks to open the corridor had started alongside negotiations for Kartarpur Corridor in Punjab, informed sources here said.
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