Hindus including Kashmiri Pandits were greeted by local Muslims before performing the rituals of the festival at the temple
Mela Kheer Bhawani commenced on Wednesday in Tulmulla area of Jammu and Kashmir’s Ganderbal district, after being stalled for two years owing to the pandemic of COVID-19.
On the occasion, Hindu devotees including Kashmiri Pandits were seen flocking the Mata Ragnya Devi’s temple.
According to reports reaching here, the annual festival is being celebrated after a nearly two-year hiatus owing to the lockdown imposed due to the pandemic situation.
Devotees joyful to celebrate the festival
Meanwhile, devotees who came to the temple for the annual Mela expressed their joy at being able to celebrate the festival after a long hiatus.
“I came here from Rajouri as I had resolved to pay obeisance at the shrine at any costs this year. Those who did not come are unlucky,” a devotee, Janki, said while adding that the devotees were greeted with garlands when they arrived at the temple.
Adequate arrangements in place
Another devotee, Rajesh, said that they are satisfied with the arrangements at the temple site and thanked the locals as well as the local administration.
Notably, the authorities have made free SRTC bus service available for devotees visiting Kheer Bhawani Temple from various public places and roadside locations such as Nehru Park, Shankar Acharya, TRC Srinagar, Srinagar Airport, Indira Nagar, Tulsi Bagh, Mattan, Vessu, Sonamarg, Gulmarg, Pulwama, Kulgam and Budgam.
Local Muslims greet Hindu devotees
Meanwhile, Kashmiri Pandits on the occasion were observed performing the festival rituals at the temple while local Muslims were spotted greeting them.
This display of communal harmony and inter-faith brotherhood was hailed by the Hindu devotees as they happily accepted the garlands.
It is in place to mention here that the event is celebrated on ‘Jyeshtha Ashtami’ while the devotees seek the deity’s blessings.
In the temple, there is a spring and the goddess, according to belief, alters the colour of the spring’s water. This is attributed to many deity forms.