Srinagar, Jun 8: The annual Mata Kheer Bhawani Mela started on Wednesday at Tullamulla village of Jammu and Kashmir's Ganderbal district with Kashmiri Pandits and tourists flocking the Kheer Bhawani temple to pay obeisance.
The temple in Tullmulla shrine in addition to being the holiest shrine of the local Kashmiri Pandit community is also the symbol of centuries-old syncretic culture and brotherhood among different communities of Kashmir.
The village witnessed enthusiastic scenes on Wednesday as large number of devotees arrived at the temple, news agency KNO reported.
A KP devotee said that it is after almost two years that devotees are arriving at the temple to pay obeisance and to pray for themselves and the entire humanity. “We urge KPs to come to this temple and enjoy the spiritual feeling here,” he said.
Tourists were also seen paying obeisance at the temple. A group of tourists from Maharashtra told KNO that they have seen Kheer Bhawani shrine for the first time and are feeling happy. “There is a solace and we feel enchanted over seeing Muslims and Pandits celebrating the Mela together,” said Meenakshi, a tourist.
BJP’s General Secretary Organisation (J&K) Ashok Koul who visited the temple told reporters that there was "nothing like less rush". “Devotees are coming and by afternoon the temple premises will be jam-packed,” he said.
While Kashmiri Pandits were seen performing the rituals of the festival at the temple, Muslims were seen greeting pandits and making arrangements.