Srinagar: Thousands of Kashmiri Pandits on Wednesday converged at Tulla Mulla, a sleepy village about 27-km north of capital city Srinagar to participate in the annual Kheer Bhawani mela.
Among them were many of the displaced families of the Valley’s Brahmin Hindus who travelled all the way from Delhi and other places in the country to pay obeisance at their most revered place of worship back home.
“Many of us see in this trip the hope that it may see the beginning of the return of the displaced families to their homes,” said Satish Mahaldar, Coordinator Yatra organized by Kashmir Education, Culture and Science Society (KECSS), a Delhi-based organization of Kashmiri Pandits.
Jammu and Kashmir government had provided a free bus service for the Pandits living outside the State to facilitate their travel to Tulla Mulla in Ganderbal district. A batch of 120 pilgrims had started journey from ‘Kashmir House’ at Prithvi Raj Road, New Delhi on June 18. Hundreds of other pilgrims travelled to the Valley from Jammu, Delhi, Mumbai and other parts of the country either on their own or in government provided transport, the officials here said.
Khir Bhawani is a historic temple which sits next to a sacred stream at Tulla Mulla. Kashmiri Pandits turn up in thousands at the place of worship during the annual mela (fair) in June to seek blessings from the goddess Ragnya Devi coinciding with the festival of Zeystha Ashtami....