Mela Kheer Bhawani: Heartening reunion fosters optimism

Adequate arrangements in place, free bus service available for devotees: Officials
Mela Kheer Bhawani: Heartening reunion fosters optimism
The annual Mata Kheer Bhawani mela at the famous Ragnya Devi temple, one of the biggest religious functions of the displaced community, is being observed on June 8 after a hiatus of two years owing to COVID-19 outbreak.Special arrangement

Tulmulla: A number of devotees on Tuesday arrived at the temple of Mata Ragnya Devi, a revered goddess of Pandits in Tulmulla area of central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district, who will be joined by other devotees to celebrate the annual Mela Kheer Bhawani falling on Wednesday.

Amid tight security arrangements, nearly 250 devotees, mostly migrant Kashmiri pandits, who left Jammu on Tuesday in a fleet of government arranged buses to pay obeisance at the revered Kheer Bhawani temple in central Kashmir's Ganderbal district arrived here in evening.

The annual Mata Kheer Bhawani mela at the famous Ragnya Devi temple, one of the biggest religious functions of the displaced community, is being observed on June 8 after a hiatus of two years owing to COVID-19 outbreak.

Nestled in the shade of mammoth Chinar trees in this village in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district , the temple witnessed arrival of devotees, most of them Kashmiri Pandits.

The devotees were warmly welcomed by the officials, locals as well as members of the civil society and traders fraternity besides others sections of society.

As devotees jostled to move closer to the main temple complex, the chants of hymns echoed through the temple compound. In the outer compound of the pantheon, stalls were set up by local Muslims to sell everything needed to perform the rituals of the festival.

Deputy Commissioner Ganderbal, Shyambir Singh said that adequate arrangements for accommodation, sanitation and other required arrangements have been made for the annual Kheer Bhawani Mela.

"All arrangements in place for the celebration of Kheer Bawani Mela. Devotees have already arrived here and more are expected to come tomorrow. Langar, stalls and free bus service is available for the devotees" the DC said.

The Jammu and Kashmir police have also made elaborate security arrangements for the annual mela. Police have put up signboards enroute to the temple to welcome the Kashmiri Pandits.

Security agencies have installed CCTV cameras, check points besides patrolling to keep a check on people visiting the Kheer Bhawani temple here during the mela.

SSP Ganderbal, Nikhil Borkar told Greater Kashmir that elaborate security arrangements have been put in place for the festival. "We have made adequate security, parking arrangements to ensure peaceful passage of the mela" the SSP added.

Meanwhile, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir PK Pole on Tuesday visited Kheer Bhawani Temple Tullamulla to review the arrangements put in place for the smooth conduct of the Mela to be celebrated tomorrow here.

He was accompanied by DIG, CKR, Sujit K Singh, Deputy Commissioner Ganderbal, Shyambir, ADC Ganderbal, Farooq Ahmad Baba, ASP Ganderbal, Feroz Yehya, EO Municipality, Tehsildar Lar, President Dharmath Trust and other officers/officials concerned.

On the occasion Deputy Commissioner apprised the Divisional Commissioner that all the arrangements have been put in place and finalised for the smooth celebrations of the said mela.

The Divisional Commissioner took a round of the shrine and inspected the arrangements and gave necessary instructions to the district administration and representatives of Dharmath Trust for further augmenting the arrangements.

The DC briefed the Divisional Commissioner about the steps taken for conducting smooth mela and informed the Div Com that various line departments like Medical, Municipality, FCS&CA, Police, SDRF, Fire and Emergency have erected their stalls for providing the requisite facilities to the devotees during the mela.

While inspecting the stalls, the Div Com asked the DC to direct the Handloom and Handicrafts to erect the stalls to showcase handicraft art so that devotees visiting here get aware about the local handicraft art and it would be instrumental to promote the local Handicraft. The Divisional Commissioner directed the DC that the tents/stalls installed should be moved backwards for the proper utilisation of the available space, besides, keeping enough matting in the tents to provide a proper sitting place for devotees.

Speaking on the occasion, Divisional Commissioner said that the free SRTC bus service has been made available for the devotees to reach Kheerbawani Temple from various public places, roadsides like Nehru Park,Shankaracharya, TRC Srinagar, Airport Srinagar, Indira Nagar, Tulsibagh, Mattan and Vessu (Anantnag), Sonamarg, Gulmarg, Pulwama, Kulgam, Budgam and Pulwama.

He also appealed to the devotees to take full benefit of the bus service being provided by the administration for their convenience and appealed to them to pay their obeisance tomorrow here at Kheer Bhawani, Tulmulla.

The Div Com also complemented the locals for making arrangements for the devotees which is the best example of communal harmony and mutual brotherhood. Div Com also directed the concerned for installing more mobile toilets in the parking area, and outside the temple area.

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