The annual Kheer Bhawani mela in the temple of Rajnya Devi, in Tulmulla Ganderbal in central part of Kashmir, was held on Friday.
Hundreds of Kashmiri Pandits visited the shrine on the annual festival (Jyestha Ashtami) and held prayers.
Amid the hymns and bells, men and women, young and old, paid obeisance at the temple dedicated to the goddess Rajnya Devi, popularly known as Kheer Bhawani. However, reports said a very few pundits visited the temple this year compared to past few years. “Last year the attendance was in thousands, but this year it reduced to a few hundred’s only,” a local told Kashmir Life.
At the temple complex, devotees offer milk and “kheer” (pudding) to the sacred spring which is surrounded by Chinar trees. They also shower rose petals and light earthen lamps in the temple.
Pandits living in Jammu and other parts of mainland India visit the Kheer Bhawani mela annually.
According to District Administration office in Ganderbal, 4,000 people since Thursday paid their respects in the temple.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti also visited the temple, met devotees and participated in the rituals. She called for peace and harmony in Jammu and Kashmir and said that the day will come soon when Kashmiri Pandits would return to their homes respectfully.
“This is an important day for Kashmiri Pandits. I pray that day comes soon when Kashmiri Pandits will return to their homes respectfully and peace and harmony prevails in Kashmir,” the Chief Minister said.