It was probably for the first time that central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district witnessed no MelaKheerBhawani, AmarnathYatra and Baba NagriUrs.
The government this year did not allow any processions on the MelaKheerBhawani that otherwise is held annually at Tulmulla, Ganderbal.
MelaKheerBhawani is one of the most important religious events for the Kashmiri Pandit community. However, this year due to COVID19 pandemic, a handful of devotees visited the KheerBhawani temple here.
However, the holy rituals and aarti of the deity were conducted as per the tradition by the priests in the temple on May 30 and were shared with the public and devotees via social media.
The MelaKheerBhawani falls on the ZeshtaAshtami that was on May 30 this year. The occasion witnesses lakhs of Hindu pilgrims from across the country, largely from the Kashmiri Pandit community, thronging the famous Ragnya Devi temple in Ganderbal district to seek the blessings of their Kul Devi.
This year, the Amarnath shrine board also cancelled the annual yatra to the Amarnath cave due to the surge in COVID19 cases.
However, the Amarnath shrine board to respect the sentiments of the devotees provided a live telecast (virtual darshan) of the morning and evening aarti.
The annual Urs of HazratMianNizamuddinKiyanwi held every year at Baba Nagri area of Kangan in Ganderbal district was also not held amid COVID19 pandemic.
The Urs that witnesses around one lakh devotees from across J&K was this year observed without any major participation of the devotees.
The tourist resorts in Ganderbal district including Sonamarg, Mansbal, Naranag also remained deserted this year.
The COVID19 claimed atleast 43 lives in Ganderbal while around 5000 tested positive for the novel coronavirus.