2019 edition of Mela Kheer Bhawani
The ‘Mela Kheer Bhawani’ is one of the biggest religious festivals of the displaced community of Kashmiri pundits, and is associated with Hindu Goddess Ragnya Devi. It is recently celebrated with religious fervor and gaiety at Tulmulla area of central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district and Kupwara with thousands of Pandith devotees participated in the function. The annual festival is held on Jesht Ashtami (May-June) when Kashmiri pandits visit the place in large number to offer prayers to seek the blessings of the deity. The devotees carry rose petals, walk barefoot and offer tribute to the goddess, and also offer milk and kheer (pudding) at the sacred spring. It is believed that the colour of the water in the spring, which flows below the temple, is an indication of the valley’s well-being. Black or darkish colour of the water is believed to be a sign of inauspicious times for Kashmir. However, the water in the spring this time was clean and milky white. The mela has become a symbol of communal harmony as Muslims in the locality make all the arrangements for the devotees, including setting up of stalls for flowers and other offerings.