Tulmulla (Ganderbal), June 9: Authorities have made all arrangements for annual Mela Kheer Bhawani, the most important festival of Kashmiri pandits, associated with the Hindu Goddess Ragnya Devi, in Ganderbal while the local Muslims have set up stalls to provide flowers, milk and other articles for 'pooja'.
Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Security/Law and Order (L&O)/Home guards/Civil Defence Muneer Ahmad Khan on Saturday reviewed security arrangements made for Mela Kheer Bhawani to be celebrated on Monday.
Traffic Police Office, Rural Kashmir, has issued a route plan for vehicles carrying devotees to the shrine at Kheer Bhawani Temple, Tulmulla Ganderbal.
For the second successive year, the state government has announced free transport service for devotees from Delhi to the temple and back to attract more pandits to the mela, to be celebrated on June 10.
It is said that a holy spring in Kheer Bhawani Temple at Tullamula changes its colours from time to time. It takes on various hues like red, pink, orange, green, blue, light green, red rosy and milky white shades. Any shade of black colour is considered to be inauspicious for the inhabitants of the valley, Kashmir pandit priests, looking after the shrine, said.
Thousands of devotees from different parts of the country and within the state visit the shrine on the occasion every year. The number of devotees, which declined after the migration of the pandit community from here in early 90s due to eruption of militancy, coming to the mela has increased manifold. The annual mela provides an opportunity for pandits to reunite with their Muslim brethren separated due to turmoil.
Expecting record number of devotees this time, the government has made all arrangements for their stay and security. A number of top bureaucrats and police officials visited the shrine to review the arrangements for the mela.