New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday said over 25,000 devotees attended the Kheer Bhawani mela held on Jyeshtha Ashtami on Sunday in Kashmir and complimented the Jammu and Kashmir administration as well as the security forces for its successful completion.
The Kheer Bhawani mela began on May 26 and concluded on May 28 on the occasion of Jyeshtha Ashtami for which devotees came to the temple in 107 buses from Jammu.
“The Kheer Bhawani Mela held on Jyeshtha Ashtami in Kashmir occupies a sacred place in the spiritual realm of the Kashmiri Pandit sisters and brothers. More than 25,000 devotees attended the Mela.
“I congratulate LG Manoj Sinha, CAPFs, Jammu and Kashmir Police and the local administration on the successful completion of the Kheer Bhawani Mela. May the divine grace of Maa Kheer Bhawani always be with us,” Shah tweeted along with a few pictures of the devotees.
According to an official statement, every year on the day of Jyeshtha Ashtami Kashmiri Pandits pay their obeisance at Mata Ragneya Devi temple also known as Kheer Bhawani temple.
This year, the fair was celebrated on May 28 with great fervour and enthusiasm by not only Kashmiri Pandits but also by the locals of the Kashmir valley. The temple is located in Ganderbal district, about 25 kilometres from Srinagar.
Comprehensive and elaborate arrangements were made by the Ganderbal district administration to ensure devotees have a comfortable stay, the statement said.
The Ganderbal district police had made elaborate security arrangements with 20 companies of the Central Armed Police Forces along with the Jammu and Kashmir Police, escort vehicles, road opening parties, counter-terror quick reaction teams, and law and order components, while additional naka points were part of the overall deployment plan.
Ten community kitchens (lungars) were set up to take care of the meals of the devotees.
With the evening aarti and puja on May 28, the mela concluded peacefully. Kashmiri Pandits and other local communities prayed for the peace, prosperity and happiness of their beloved ones and the society, the statement said.
Last year, around 18,000 Kashmiri Pandits and devotees visited the Mata Kheer Bhavani temple on Jyeshtha Ashtami.
Kheer Bhavani is considered to be the deity of Kashmiri Pandits. Over the years, the Kheer Bhawani Mela has become a symbol of communal harmony and brotherhood in Kashmir.