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Photos: Kashmiri Pandits throng Khir Bhawani festival

June 06, 2014 21:48 IST

Photos: Kashmiri Pandits throng Khir Bhawani festival

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar

Thousands of Kashmiri Pandits on Friday thronged the revered north Kashmir Khir Bhawani temple on the annual festival. The temple is located at Tullamulla, 26 kilometres from summer capital Srinagar in Ganderbal district.

The town, where hundreds of Pandits resided before their migration in the early 1990s when militancy erupted, wore a festive look and the temple has been resonating with bhajans for the past three days.

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Image: Devotees lighting earthen lamps during the Kheer Bhawani mela
Photographs: Umar Ganie

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Photos: Kashmiri Pandits throng Khir Bhawani festival

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Mukhtar Ahmad

Kashmir Pandits from across the country started reaching Tullamulla on Thursday evening using all modes of transport. The majority of the Pandits came from Jammu were they have been residing after their migration in 1990.

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Image: A devotee offers milk to the deity during the mela
Photographs: Umar Ganie

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Mukhtar Ahmad

They were greeted by the local Muslims who had put up stalls for the visiting Pandits. The state government had made elaborate arrangements of transport and set up camps for the families. Before the migration, larger number of Pandits would visit the temple on the festival.

“This is an occasion when we meet our relatives in the valley and our Muslim neighbours. We prayed for return of peace and harmony in the valley. I think one day we will return and live peacefully with our neighbours,” said Ravinder Koul, a pilgrim.

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Image: Devotees offer prayers to the deity during the mela
Photographs: Umar Ganie

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Mukhtar Ahmad

Jammu and Kashmir governor, N N Vohra visited the temple and prayed for peace and well being of the people of the state and the country, an official statement said. He extended his greetings to the people, particularly Kashmiri Pandits, on the occasion. 


Image: Devotees throng the temple during the festival
Photographs: Umar Ganie

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