Video: It was a ‘Mini’ Haridwar at Shadipora Today

KL NEWS NETWORK

SRINAGAR

Apparently a mini Haridwar was at display in Sadipora today. The Kashmiri Pandits fresh from Kheer Bhavani Mela had turned up at the banks of Jehlum for the first time to celebrate what was termed as “Maha Kumb” in Kashmir.

Carrying puja thalis, the KPs were seen in effervescent mood to be the part of yatra that was earlier branded and subsequently trended as ‘Kumb in Kashmir’, 75 years later.

‘Dashar Maha Kumbh’ was organised on the confluence of “sacred rivers” – Sindhu (Indus) and Vitasta (Jhelum) in Ganderbal district. There is a Chinar tree that stands on a small island in the middle of the confluence spot where KPs claim there is a “Shiva Lingam”. There are also religious places like Shadipora Ghats and Narayan Bagh, the KPs say.

One has to come to this Chinar tree in a boat and go up some steps to have a commanding view of the confluence.

One of the organisers of the yatra spoke about the Maharaja Hari Singh’s time when the yatra was first performed at Shadipora.

“The puja was first performed on June 14, 1941,” said Susheel Dhar, an organiser. “Now 75 years later, we are performing it again after our revered priests predicted that some religious cycle has completed.”

Though the yatris — mostly the Pandits celebrated the occasion with religious fervor, but its timings have created another debate in Kashmir.

The yatra was announced on close heels of controversial Abhinav Gupta yatra at Budgam. The commentators in particular and the netizens in general have termed the yatra a “religious aggression” in valley by PDP-BJP government.

“First of all,” says Danish, a netizen, “one needs to understand that there is no written history of this yatra being remotely related to Kashmir. And second, why was it announced at the time when the valley is already passing through turbulent phase because of various controversial proposals mooted by the state government.”

Unaware of the raging debate going on about the yatra on social networking sites, the organisers boasted of open support by state government. “We were provided transport, logistics and other facilities by government,” said Sanjay Raina, another organiser. “But we are especially thankful to state BJP leadership who made all the arrangements possible.” For the security of the yatra, army’s counter insurgent RR was posted in and around Shadipora.

Most of the yatris who participated in the mela had two days back attended the annual Kheer Bhavani Mela at Tulmulla. As per the reports, the organisers had camped in Kheer Bhavani Mela for some days before proceeding for the yatra starting midnight Monday till Tuesday afternoon.

Other than KPs, many Hindus from the mainland India made their presence felt at the mela.

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