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At Mela Khir Bhawani, age-old Pandit-Muslim bond of amity at full display

Raja Syed Rather

Ganderbal, June 14: Mela Kheer Bhavani is being celebrated with religious fervor and gaiety at Tumulla, Ganderbal in Kashmir.

Kashmiri Pandit devotees from various parts of the country thronged to pay obeisance at the temple of Goddess Ragniya Devi Popularly Known as Mata Kheer Bhavani.

The event, as usual, displayed Kashmir’s age-old strong bond of love and amity between Muslims and Pandits at the occasion.

Tulmulla area of Ganderbal wore a festive look after thousands of devotees from various parts of country arrived at the temple of Mata Ragnya Devi, a revered goddess of Pandits to celebrate the annual festival of Kheer Bhawani.

Nestled in shades of mammoth Chinar trees, the temple witnessed rush of devotees, mostly Kashmiri Pandits performing the rituals of the festival around the temple. Special prayers were held in the temple where devotees offer milk and kheer to the sacred spring.

This year, a good number of devotees were witnessed compared to last year.

Emotional scenes were witnessed and exchanged between the Kashmiri Pandits and Muslims. This annual festival becomes a source of income as well for the local Muslims who set up stalls outside the temple to sell everything needed to perform the rituals of the festival.

The stalls are established by both men and women folk of the area.

The arrangements made by district administration through various departments remain appreciable during the festival. Besides other essential services adequate medical facilities are also put in the place.

Besides, Farooq Abdullah and M. Y. Tarigami, numerous other political and social leaders visited the festival site and greeted their Pandit brethren there.

SSP Ganderbal, Sandeep Gupta extended warm greetings to the Kashmiri Pandit community & people of Ganderbal on the auspicious occasion of Mela Kheer Bhawani and prayed for peace, love, harmony & brotherhood.

Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said over 30,000 devotees paid obeisance at Mela Kheer Bhawani at Tulmulla, Ganderbal while as a  Yatri Niwas to accommodate 1000 pilgrims will be completed next eight months in the district.

Talking to reporters, after paying obeisance at the Mata Kheer Bhawani Temple at Tulmulla, Ganderbal, LG Sinha,said that over 30,000 devotees visited the Temple this time. “The devotees were ferried in over 200 buses from Jammu,” he said.

—(KNO)

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