The Bold Voice of J&K

Herath celebrated with religious fervour across Kashmir

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MASROOR AHMAD

SRINAGAR: The festival of Maha Shivratri, locally known as Herath, was celebrated with religious fervour in Kashmir with devotees thronging religious places across the Valley .
The festival marked with hundreds of devotees from the Kashmir Pandit community paying obeisance at various temples and offering Puja on the occasion. The biggest gathering was held at Shankaracharya Temple, overlooking the Dal Lake in Srinagar. Puja and other religious activities started at 4 am followed by Hawan and other religious activities. The festival holds an important place among the Pandits, who celebrate it to mark the wedding of lord Shiva with Parvati.
Special prayers were also held at Ganpatyar and Hanuman Temple at Amira Kadal in Srinagar throughout the day. Large number of devotees thronged Mata Kheer Bhawani Temple at Tullamulla in district Ganderbal and other temples across Kashmir.
Hundreds of devotees were seen thronging the temple early in the morning and participated in special prayers which were held there on the occasion. The atmosphere was filled with the recitation of devotional bhajans and the fragrance of incense as devotees performed traditional rituals and offered holy water, milk, and flowers to the sacred Lingam.
Meanwhile, many tourists thronged the temples in Srinagar like Shankaracharya to celebrate the festival.
“All arrangements were good, and we loved interacting with locals across faiths. Everyone should visit the place at least once in their life,” said a tourist from Mumbai.
Many local Pandits had gathered at the temple to celebrate the event.They said that it was the most important festival of Kashmiri Pandits and was uniquely observed for more than a day in Kashmiri Pandit homes.
“We offer special prayers, meet family and friends, and visit our holy sites. Many Kashmir Pandits cook traditional Kashmiri food and dishes, especially fish. We also distribute walnuts as a mark of respect to the deities. We pray that the festival brings peace and prosperity to Kashmir and across the entire world,” said Rajinder, a local Kashmiri Pandit.
Many locals from Muslim, Sikh, and other religious communities in Kashmir took to social media to wish their Kashmiri Pandit brothers on the festival.
Meanwhile, district administration Srinagar had made special arrangements for the celebration of the festival and senior officials had taken stock of the arrangement days before the festival.

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