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Ganderbal 10 June (KNZ):Thousands of devotees today thronged revered temple of Goddess Ragnya Devi on the occasion of annual Kheer Bhawani festival a symbol of centuries old Hindu-Muslim unity at Tulmulla in Central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district.

Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik also visited the Kheer Bhawani shrine to take part in the mela

National conference president and Parliament member Dr Farooq Abdullah,Congress state president Ghulam Ahmed Mir,BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav, senior NC leader Dr Sameer Kaul were among top dignitaries who paid obeisance at temple and met devotees.

Thousands Hindu devotees majority of them from Pandit community assembled at Kheer Bhawani Shrine at Tulmulla. They were welcomed by their local Muslim brethren who like past had made arrangements for ‘Puja’ and other rituals. Amid chants of Vedic hymns and ringing of bells, pilgrims prayed for peace in State at the temple situated amid the majestic Chinar trees and the atmosphere was filled with fervour and brotherhood between Hindus and the Muslims.

The annual Mela Kheer Bhawani is symbol of centuries old brotherhood as local Muslims make all arrangements for devotees and even set up stalls selling flowers and other material for the devotees to offer at the temple.

Walking barefoot and carrying rose petals, the devotees, mostly Kashmiri Pandits, throng the temple every year and offer milk and “kheer” (pudding) to the sacred spring within the complex.

The devotees said that the festival holds very important significance for them and that is the reason why people from all corners of country arrive in Tulmulla.

A non-migrant said the devotees made special prayers for peace, prosperity and brotherhood in Jammu and Kashmir.KNZ