J&K: Kheer Bhawani Yatra Resumes in Jammu Amid Tight Security Forces

The annual Kheer Bhawani Mela, celebrated on Zeisht Ashtami, is scheduled to take place on June 14 at the shrines of Tulmulla in Ganderbal, Tikker in Kupwara, Laktipora Aishmuqam in Anantnag etc.

The annual Kheer Bhawani Yatra commenced today in Jammu with a significant turnout of pilgrims, predominantly Kashmiri Pandits, under stringent security measures.

The four-day pilgrimage was inaugurated from the Nagrota area by Divisional Commissioner Jammu Ramesh Kumar, Relief Commissioner Dr Arvind Karwani, and other officials of the divisional administration.

A considerable number of Kashmiri Pandit devotees have registered for this year’s Kheer Bhawani mela. The administration has arranged nearly 200 buses to facilitate transportation for the pilgrims, with destinations including Ganderbal (135 buses), Tikar Kupwara, Manzgam, Devsar, and Lagipura in Anantnag.

Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner Arvind Kirwani, speaking to ANI, stated, “The yatra is commencing today… Transportation arrangements have been organized by us… Pilgrims will take a brief halt during the journey, and we have arranged a ‘langar’ for them… We have prepared 200 vehicles for the pilgrims.”

Excited pilgrims like Aarushi Tikoo expressed their enthusiasm for the journey, emphasizing the heightened excitement of travelling with fellow devotees. Tikoo also commended the security arrangements and expressed gratitude to the authorities for their efforts.

Kashmiri Pandits, eager to return to their religious sites since their exodus in 1990 due to terrorism, eagerly anticipate the annual Kheer Bhawani Yatra, held on Zyesht Ashtami, accompanied by a grand mela.

Given recent terror incidents in the Jammu region, security measures for the Yatra have been significantly heightened. Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner Arvind Kirwani reiterated, “The yatra is commencing today. We have arranged transportation and a ‘langar’ for the pilgrims, with 200 vehicles ready for their journey.”

Pilgrims will pause briefly before proceeding to their destinations, where they will partake in the annual mela and engage in religious observances.

Kheer Bhawani Festival

The Kheer Bhawani festival holds a special place in Kashmir’s heart, bringing together devotees to honour the revered goddess Ragnya Devi. The annual Kheer Bhawani Mela celebrated on Zeisht Ashtami, is scheduled to take place on June 14 at the shrines of Tulmulla in Ganderbal, Tikker in Kupwara, Laktipora Aishmuqam in Anantnag, Mata Tripursundri Devsar in Kulgam, and Mata Kheerbhawani Manzgam also in Kulgam.

This year, an estimated 80,000 migrant Kashmiri Pandits from various parts of India and abroad are anticipated to visit the five renowned temples in the Valley during the annual fair.

Date and Timing of Kheer Bhawani Mela

The festival typically falls on the eighth day of the bright half of the lunar month of Jyeshtha, which usually corresponds to May or June.

Devotees gather at the Kheer Bhawani Temple on this day to offer prayers and seek blessings.

Significance of Kheer Bhawani Mela

The festival honours and worships the goddess Ragnya Devi, also known as Kheer Bhawani.

She is considered the guardian goddess of the Kashmir Valley, blessing devotees with peace, prosperity, and protection.

Rituals and Celebrations during Kheer Bhawani Mela

Devotees visit the Kheer Bhawani Temple in Tulla Mulla village near Srinagar.

Offerings of milk, rice pudding, flowers, and prasad are made to the goddess.

The temple is decorated with flowers and lights, creating a festive atmosphere.

Many devotees observe fasts and perform special rituals seeking the goddess’s blessings.

The colour of the spring water adjacent to the temple is believed to change based on the region’s state of affairs.

Historical and Cultural Significance of Kheer Bhawani Mela

The festival holds historical and cultural significance for the Kashmiri Pandit community.

Legend has it that the goddess protected the Kashmir Valley during troubled times.

It serves as a reminder of the community’s rich cultural heritage and religious traditions.


In summary, the Kheer Bhawani festival is an important religious observance for the Kashmiri Pandit community, honouring the goddess Ragnya Devi and seeking her blessings for peace, prosperity, and protection. It is celebrated with rituals, prayers, and offerings at the Kheer Bhawani Temple, reflecting the cultural heritage and religious traditions of Kashmir.


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