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Kashmiri Pandits celebrate Navreh in Jammu

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JAMMU: Donning colourful robes and holding ‘thals’, displaced Kashmiri Pandits on Wednesday celebrated Navreh, the first day of the New Year as per the Kashmiri Hindu calendar, here and vowed to make concerted efforts to celebrate the festival in the valley next year.

Miles away from their homes in Kashmir left by them in 1990 in the wake of emergence of terrorism, they celebrated the 34th Navreh in exile.

Several temples in Kashmir also organised Navreh functions.

“The festival of Navreh or Navratra is celebrated as the first day of the year in our community. Today, we are celebrating it as ‘Sankalpa Divas’ with a vow to celebrate it in Kashmir next year. On the first day of the year, we worship ‘Mata’ so that the whole year passes with happiness,” Mata Badrikali Temple committee member Rajinder Pandita told PTI.

More than 100 Kashmiri Pandits thronged Mata Bhadrakali Temple at Phallian Mandal in the outskirts of Jammu to celebrate the three-day-long festival.

“Kashmiri Pandits across the world celebrate Navreh. I can still recall that in Kashmir, we use to have darshan of a ‘thali’ decorated with flowers and then would perform the puja. The same tradition we follow at Jammu,” former BJP legislator Ajay Bharti said.

Navreh falls on the first day of the bright half (Shukl Paksh) in the month of Chaitra (March-April) of the Kashmiri Hindu calendar.

“The day of Navreh has a lot of importance in our life. We continue to celebrate the festival in Jammu to inspire our new generations to follow the tradition,” said Sat Lal, an elderly Kashmiri Pandit.

Talking about the ‘Thaalburan’ ritual (decorating ‘thaal’), Vitasta Raina, a Kashmiri Pandit, said, “This is the first and foremost thing to be done on the Navreh. Thaalburan is heart and soul of this festival.”

The Kashmiri Pandits performed the Navreh puja at Mata Bhadrakali Temple near river Tawi. Former deputy chief minister Kavinder Gupta and former MLC Ajay Bharti were also present at the temple.

During the puja rituals, they took the ‘sankalp’ that they will celebrate the Navreh festival next year in Kashmir. (PTI)

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