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Mela Kheer Bhawani - An Annual Festival at Kheer Bhawani Temple in Kashmir
Kheer Bawani, the most revered Holy Temple Shrine of Kashmiri Brahmans
The Goddess Mata Ragnya Devi is symbolised as a sacred spring at Tula Mula village, near (27 kms) Srinagar, Kashmir in J&K India. The spring of Kheer Bhawani is quite large and has always been held in veneration by the Brahman population of Srinagar.
The Temple, dedicated to the Goddess Mata Kheer Bhawani (originally Bhawani Mata), has been constructed over a Sacred Spring. Within the spring is a marble Temple. The Temple-Spring complex is affectionately known as Kheer Bhawani as thousands of devotees offer milk and 'kheer' to the Sacred Spring.
Mela Kheer Bhawani - An Annual Festival: The devotees of the Goddess Mata Kheer Bhawani fast and gather here on the eighth day of the full moon in the month of May/ June (The Annual Festival, on 26th May 2015, is a public holiday in Kashmir, J&K) when, according to belief, the Goddess changes the colour of the spring's waters, which are ascribed to different manifestations of the Goddess Mata Kheer Bhawani. Turning of the colour into shades of black is supposed to signal approaching disaster.
Some people say that before the exodus of the Pandits (Kashmiri Brahmans) from Kashmir the colour had turned completely black in 1990!
According to the legend, there were 360 springs surrounding the main spring but all of these seem to have disappeared as the land has become marshy all around.
In the last half century, the pilgrimage has become the most important for Kashmiri Brahmans who come here from all over the Jammu & Kashmir State and even from outside.
Kheer Bhawani is considered to be the Presiding Deity of most of the Kashmiri Brahmans.