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IN PHOTOS: When Kashmiri Pandits returned to the Valley

Last updated on: June 18, 2013 17:52 IST

When Kashmiri Pandits returned to the Valley

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar

Thousands of Kashmiri Pandits kept their annual date with the Khir Bhawani festival at north Kashmir's Tullamulla temple, about 30 kms from summer capital Srinagar, on Monday.

Majority of the Pandits who visited the historic temple Monday came from various parts of the country using all modes of surface and air transport.

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Image: Kashmiri Pandit families light diyas while they offer prayers at Khir Bhawani temple in Tullamulla on Monday
Photographs: Umar Ganie

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When Kashmiri Pandits returned to the Valley

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The sleepy town of Tullamulla wore a festive look and the temple has been resonating with bhajans for the past three days.

Some Pandit families had booked rooms inside the temple complex and in adjoining areas to spent time at Tullamulla in anticipation of the big day on Monday.

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Image: Kashmiri Pandits celebrate Khir Bhavani festival at Tullamulla on Monday
Photographs: Umar Ganie

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When Kashmiri Pandits returned to the Valley

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Many families used the opportunity of having a look at their abandoned homes and meeting neighbours as also the relatives who stayed back in the Valley.

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Image: A sadhu blesses devotees at Khir Bhawani temple in Kashmir
Photographs: Umar Ganie

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When Kashmiri Pandits returned to the Valley

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Some Pandit families also found time to visit their Muslim friends in Tullamulla and adjoining areas.

Muslims of Tullamulla had made arrangements for reception of the arriving Pandit families and other logistics. The union was spectacular.

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Image: Kashmiri Pandits offer prayers at Khir Bhawani temple in Tullamulla
Photographs: Umar Ganie

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When Kashmiri Pandits returned to the Valley

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"I came here after 20 years. I am happy to be back in the Valley. I pray the situation improves further so that it becomes conducive for our return to our homeland," said Ajay Pandit.

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Image: Kashmiri Pandits offer prayers at Khir Bhawani temple on Monday
Photographs: Umar Ganie

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When Kashmiri Pandits returned to the Valley

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Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah visited Tullamulla and interacted with the Pandits at the temple.  

Omar said that his "government is keen to see smooth and peaceful return of Kashmiri Pandits to their native land and live in harmony and brotherhood with Muslim brethren so that the tradition of communal amity, Jammu and Kashmir state is known for, is strengthened and nurtured".

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Image: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah greets Kashmiri Pandits at Khir Bhawani temple
Photographs: Umar Ganie

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When Kashmiri Pandits returned to the Valley

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The chief minister wished well-being to the people and peace and prosperity to the country and the state.

Union minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Yasin Malik also met the visiting Pandit families at the temple town.


Image: Union minister Ghulam Nabi Azad speaking to devotees at the Khir Bhawani temple
Photographs: Umar Ganie

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