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Kheer Bhawani Temple: Unveiling the Sacred Pond's Prophecy for Kashmir

In the Ganderbal district of Kashmir Valley, an annual fair takes place at the Kheer Bhawani Temple, which holds immense significance for Kashmiri Pandits. Each year, thousands of Kashmiri Pandits gather here to participate in the temple fair. This year, on June 14, the Kheer Bhawani Mahaparva is being celebrated, and more than 200 buses […]

In the Ganderbal district of Kashmir Valley, an annual fair takes place at the Kheer Bhawani Temple, which holds immense significance for Kashmiri Pandits. Each year, thousands of Kashmiri Pandits gather here to participate in the temple fair. This year, on June 14, the Kheer Bhawani Mahaparva is being celebrated, and more than 200 buses have transported Kashmiri Pandits to the temple. The Kheer Bhawani Temple is renowned for its reputed miracles, including the belief that the water in its sacred pond changes color, allegedly predicting impending disasters. Now, let’s delve into the history of this temple.

Located amidst a picturesque spring in the Ganderbal district, the Kheer Bhawani Temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga. According to legend, when Lankesh Ravana abducted Mata Sita, Goddess Durga became enraged and left her abode to settle at this spot in Kashmir. Since then, the primary offering to Goddess Durga here has been Kheer (rice pudding), leading to the temple being named Kheer Bhawani.

The construction of the Kheer Bhawani Temple was commissioned by Maharaja Pratap Singh in 1912, with subsequent renovations undertaken by Maharaja Hari Singh.

For local Hindus, this temple is a bastion of faith and is considered the ancestral deity of Kashmiri Pandits. Every year, a grand fair is held here on the Ashtami of the Jyeshtha month, where Kashmiri Pandits gather to pray for protection and offer Kheer as a sacred tribute to the goddess. The temple is also known by various names such as Maharajnya Devi Mandir, Rajnya Devi Mandir, Rajni Devi Mandir, and Rajnya Bhawani Mandir.

The temple features a sacred pond believed to possess miraculous properties. It is believed that the water in this pond changes color as a warning before major calamities strike Kashmir. Historical instances include the water turning black during the 1947 Kabaili invasion, the Kargil War, and the 1990 exodus of local Pandits due to atrocities. During the global COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the water reportedly turned red, and in 2014, during severe floods in Kashmir, it turned black again. Conversely, if the water remains light blue or white, it is considered a sign of prosperity. This year, the water in the pond appears light blue.

(Disclaimer: The information provided here is based on general beliefs and available information)

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Kheer Bhawani Temple:TDG TheDailyGuardian