Muslims lend helping hand to KPs
Scores of Kashmiri Pandits (KPs) from different parts of India thronged the temple here at Khrew village of South Kashmir's Pulwama district to celebrate their annual festival marking the birthday of local Hindu deity.
KPs paid obeisance on the occasion of their annual festival known as Haar Tshodah. Eyewitnesses said that apart from non-migrant Pandits, scores of Pandits who are residing in Jammu, Mumbai, Delhi and other states arrived in Khrew village of Pampore area to participate in the annual festival ,which is observed to celebrate birthday of Mata Jawala Ji.
Mahraj Krishan, a migrant Kashmiri Pandit who is presently living in Jammu said that it is mandatory for them to visit this temple once in a year.
"Since today is the birth day of our goddess Jawala Mata Ji , all of us pay our obeisance at the temple," he said.
He said on this occasion they offer prayers and also distribute free rice to the devotees. “ I feel proud that this festival revives the centuries old composite culture of Kashmir and strengthens the bonds of Hindu -Muslim unity . The members from Muslim community help us in making all arrangements, they also take part in the festival. They also invite us to their home," he said. He added that many Kashmiri Muslims even visit them at Jammu before the festival.
Chandar Mohan Bhat, a Kashmiri Pandit who work as assistant director in Postal Service department, said that local deity Jawala Mata was popularly known as Zaala Bhagwati and the temple at Khrew is one of the ancient shrines of Kashmir.
Steps made from stone lead up to the shrine which sits on a hillside and remained thronged by the devotees. The main sanctum sanctorum is 12 feet by 12 feet square shaped structure and the ancient wood work has been preserved as the ceiling of the dome is decorated with wood carved design.
It is believed that Raja Daya Krishan Koul has built this temple during Dogra rule.
"The birthday of goddess Jwalaji is being celebrated on Ashad Shukla Chaturdashi, fourteen bright fortnight of July also called Jwala Chaturdashi, every year and a grand festival is being held at the temple," Chander Mohan said.