Arrangements in place for Mela Kheer Bhawani

Local Muslims eagerly wait to welcome Kashmiri Pandits
Arrangements in place for Mela Kheer Bhawani
File: Habib Naqash/GK

Ganderbal, May 26: While the administration and the security agencies are on their toes to make arrangements for the Mela Kheer Bhawani, local Muslims of Tulmulla and surrounding areas of Kheer Bhawani temple in Ganderbal district are eagerly waiting to welcome the Kashmir Pandits.

Mela Kheer Bhawani, one of the important festivals of Kashmiri Pandits, would be celebrated at Tulmulla on Sunday, May 28.

The Kheer Bhawani temple in Tullmulla in addition to being the holiest shrine of the local Kashmiri Pandit community is also a symbol of centuries-old syncretic culture and brotherhood.

The annual mela is famous as the display of Hindu-Muslim bonhomie with local Local Muslims every year making arrangements for the worship by their Kashmiri Pandit brethren.

They put up stalls outside the temple and prepare Kheer (pudding) for the devotees.

The devotees use it while offering prayers to the deity at a spring near the temple.

These days, the majority of the local population is preparing to welcome the devotees, many of whom lived at the same place before their displacement during the early nineties.

The mela witnesses the reunion of the two communities.

Thousands of Kashmiri Pandit devotees, particularly the displaced Kashmiri Pandits throng the Kheer Bhawani temple housing the idol of Ragnya Devi, a revered goddess of Kashmiri Pandits.

The annual festival is held on 'Jeshtha Ashtami' when devotees seek the blessings of the deity.

The devotees believe that the goddess changes the colour of the spring's water, which are ascribed to different manifestations of the goddess.

The colour turning into shades of black is supposed to signal approaching disaster while the milky colour of the spring indicates peace and prosperity.

Meanwhile, the administration said that all arrangements had been made for the festival.

Deputy Commissioner (DC) Ganderbal Shyambir told Greater Kashmir that all the arrangements had been made.

He said that a large number of devotees were expected to visit the Kheer Bhawani temple for which proper arrangements of transportation, health, accommodation and other facilities had been made.

Meanwhile, Traffic Police, Rural Kashmir, issued a route plan for the vehicles coming to the Kheer Bhawani temple.

“In order to ensure hassle free movement of vehicular traffic during the celebration of Jeeshta Ashtami Kheer Bhawani temple, all the Tulmulla-bound vehicular traffic should adopt Pandach-Beehama-Tawheed Chowk-Dhombkadal-Police Lines- Tulmulla (Kheer Bhawani temple)-Central University of Kashmir General Parking route while the departure should be from Central University General Parking-Barsoo Dangarpora-Theeru-Dhombakadal-Tawheed Chowk-Behama-Pandach- Srinagar from May 26 to May 29,” an order of the Senior Superintendent of Police, Traffic Rural, Ravinder Pal Singh said.

Deputy Superintendent of Police, Traffic Rural, Ganderbal Mehrajuddin Raina told Greater Kashmir that arrangements had been made for ensuring hassle-free movement of commuters in general and devotees in particular to the Kheer Bhawani temple.

"All the commuters and general public, especially people living in the vicinity of the shrine and surrounding areas are requested to cooperate with traffic officials and adhere to the traffic plan as envisaged for ensuring hassle-free movement,” he said.

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Thursday also visited the Kheer Bhawani temple and reviewed the facilities and arrangements for the annual Mela Kheer Bhawani.

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