Thousands of Kashmiri Pandits including migrants thronged the temple of Ragnya Devi at Tikker area of North Kashmir’s Kupwara district to celebrate the annual festival of Kheer Bhawani on Monday.
Pandits participated in Havan and offered floral tributes to the idol of the Mata. Walking barefoot, the devotees carried rose petals, milk and offered tribute to the goddess.
“This festival gives us a chance to meet and live with the old mates. This is really an emotional moment for us.when we see our Muslim brothers arranging everything for this festival,” said Kishan Lal who had come from Jammu to celebrate the festival. “I prayed for peace and return of Pandits to the valley”.
Another pandit told Greater Kashmir that he had applied for a leave of ten days from his department so that he could visit the place, “Celebrating the festival was an excuse but visiting the place was the actual reason,” Bindu said. “I have grown up here”.
The devotees offered milk and “kheer (pudding)” to the sacred spring. They also showered rose petals.
Bindu said that he felt overwhelmed by the hospitality of “our Muslim brothers”.
“I urge my Pandit brothers to return as our Muslims brothers have same feeling for us that they had before our migration,” he said.
All the arrangements were made on this occasion by Army, CRPF, Police and district administration.
A group of Pandits said that they thank the administration and people here for the arrangements.