At Kheer Bhawani, Pandits yearn for peaceful Kashmir

Centre’s special representative Dineshwar Sharma also visited the shrine and interacted with the devotees and the district administration. State Congress president GA Mir also visited the fair.

IRFAN RAINA
Tulmulla, Publish Date: Jun 21 2018 1:23AM | Updated Date: Jun 21 2018 9:17AM
At Kheer Bhawani, Pandits yearn for peaceful KashmirPhoto: Habib Naqash/GK

Thousands of Kashmiri Pandit devotees on Wednesday thronged the Kheer Bhawani temple of Ragnya Devi, a revered goddess of Kashmiri Pandits, at Tulmulla in Ganderbal district for the annual festival.

Centre’s special representative Dineshwar Sharma also visited the shrine and interacted with the devotees and the district administration. State Congress president GA Mir also visited the fair.

The majority of the devotees were Kashmiri Pandits who travelled to the shrine from various parts of the state and the country.

Walking barefoot, the devotees made offerings of flowers and other items to the goddess. Men took a holy dip in the stream close to the shrine.

The devotees, the majority of whom migrated to Jammu and various parts of the country in the 90s, felt nostalgic about old times.

“Yes we are born here and will like to die here,” said Omkar Nath, a devotee.

Shambu Nath, a government employee who lived in Mattan, Anantnag, before migration to Jammu in 1991, said the community wants to return to its homeland.

“Despite prevailing situation we are here to meet our Muslim brethren and I would seek Mata’s blessings so that normalcy returns to Kashmir for ever,” said Renu Bakshi, a Kashmir Pandit living at present in the Middle East who has been visiting the shrine for the past years.

Meanwhile the Kashmiri pandits praised the hospitality exhibited by local Muslims.

Krishan Nath, who lived in Habba Kadal area of Srinagar before migration, said, “This is a festival of Hindus but what I saw here is an example of brotherhood between Hindus and Muslims.” Local Muslims sell pooja items to the devotees.

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