Hindus, Muslims unite at Srinagar's Kheer Bhawani temple
Srinagar, May 30(ANI): The Kheer Bhawani Temple in Srinagar saw Hindus and Muslims praying under one roof on the occasion of Jesht Ashtami.
This shrine is situated 24 kilometers north of Srinagar and offers this amity of Hindu- Muslim every year.
Devotees prayed for peace and harmony in the region.
"If there is peace in the valley, it will foster stronger relations of brotherhood. During the tourist season, it is very profitable for us. We earn a good amount as well, we are very happy," said Mohammed Hussain, a bangle seller.
The marbled temple is dedicated to Goddess Ragnya Devi, a Hindu Goddess. Surrounded by streams and Chinar trees, the temple has a wonderful picturesque look.
The temple is popularly known as Kheer Bhawani because devotees offer milk and kheer (pudding) to the Goddess. There is a belief that the sacred spring turns black to warn of impending disaster.
The temple was built by Maharaja Pratap Singh in 1912 and renovated by his son Maharaja Hari Singh. The festival is held on the eighth day of lunar fortnight of Jaishtha month in Hindu calendar.
"The annual festival at Kheer Bhawani begins today that Kashmiri migrants would celebrate pre-1989 and we are still celebrating it. The best part is that after years, we can experience the same kind of happiness and the atmosphere is exactly what it used to be then. Our Muslim brothers are distributing sweets here, just the way they used to before 1989. This year, the atmosphere is great. Today, all of us have assembled here to pray for peace and we want an environment where there is love and harmony and where there are no regional boundaries, " said Mohan Sharma, a devotee.
The devotees keep a fast on this particular day and gather at the temple to seek blessings of the Goddess. It is a belief that the Goddess changes the color of the spring's waters. After the rebellion in 1989 at the Himalayan region, thousands of pundits flew from Kashmir and settled in the refugee homes in the Hindu majority province Jammu and also in New Delhi. (ANI)
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