Mata Kheer Bhawani Festival: Security Measures Stepped Up After Multiple Terror Attacks In J&K

A three-tier security arrangement has been put in place for the annual festival at the Mata Kheer Bhawani temple in Ganderbal. The 5-km area around the temple will be under the surveillance of security forces, aerial surveillance will be done by drones and every activity will be monitored through CCTVs.

After terrorists targeted the bus of pilgrims in Reasi district, it seems that terrorists have changed their modus operandi to disturb peace in Jammu and Kashmir. The festival season has begun in Kashmir with the first celebration of Mata Kheer Bhawani festival, the authorities have decided not to take any risk regarding this festival, as thousands of Kashmiri Pandits from different parts of the country and the world started arriving at the temple a week in advance.

This time the authorities have decided to bring the devotees from Jammu to the temple located in Tullamulla town of Ganderbal district in a protected convey. The convoy will be escorted from Jammu to the temple and the same security exercise will be carried out after the festival is over.

Security forces have been deployed in and around the temple complex a week before the festival. Every devotee entering the premises is thoroughly checked and has to undergo an X-ray, also all items of worship are checked by the police before entering the temple.

Jammu Kashmir Police, CRPF and Army are providing security in and around the temple. An area of ​​about 5 km has been cordoned off and is being guarded by security forces. Apart from manual security, technology is also used to prevent any kind of threat or untoward incident.

SSP Ganderbal Sandeep Gupta said, “We have made all the necessary arrangements so that no incident happens during this festival. Apart from the Jammu Kashmir Police, we have also taken help from CRPF and the Army. Gupta said that if the terrorists change their strategy, then we also keep that in mind and make our preparations.”

Devotees who have already reached the temple are praising the arrangements made by the district administration and Darmath trusts. Special tents in the temple premises and rooms outside the temple have been kept open for the devotees with free langar services. 

Pushpa Devi, who came to the festival, said, “There was a little fear but seeing the arrangements here, that fear has also gone. This time better arrangements have been made compared to previous years. And we hope that double of devotees will come to the temple this year as compared to previous years.”

Mata Kheer Bhawani temple is very famous among Kashmiri Pandits. Most of them worship her as their Kuldevi. There is a popular belief that the colour of the spring of the goddess inside the temple predicts the events happening for the rest of the year. 

Pandits say that in 1990, when the local Pandits left the valley, the colour of the spring was black. Similarly, the elders say that when there was a tribal invasion of Kashmir in 1947, that year also the water of the holy spring turned black and during the Kargil war it turned black and during Covid it turned red and if the colour of this holy spring turns red or black then something bad is going to happen to humanity all over the world but if the colour is light blue or white then it predicts that that year will be full of happiness and good events. And this year its colour is light blue.

“When the Kargil war happened the colour of this spring was black and when Covid came the water turned red. Mata gives indications in advance of what the future holds,” a female devotee, Goga Kalu said.

Kheer Bhawani temple festival also remains a great example of Hindu-Muslim brotherhood in Kashmir. Local Muslims living around the temple serve milk, flowers and other things used for worship to the devotees visiting the temple.

Kheer Bhawani Mandir temple is dedicated to Mata Maharagya Bhagwati which was built over a holy spring. The temple is associated with Goddess Ragyana Devi who is also worshipped as Raginya or Kheer Bhawani and is an incarnation of Maa Durga.