Jammu & Kashmir Kheer Bhawani
A valued shrine amongst the Hindu devotees, the Kheer Bhawani temple is one of the noted attractions located close to Srinagar. Surrounded by Chinar trees and streams, this temple has been constructed using marble. The goddess Ragnya Devi is symbolized by a sacred hexagonal spring that houses the temple.
The temple was originally built by Maharana Pratap Singh, and later renovations were made by Maharaja Hari Singh. According to legendary evidences, Lord Rama used to worship the Goddess Ragnya during his exile period. Soon after his exile came to an end, he asked Hanuman to reposition the temple of the Goddess. As a result, Hanuman followed his instructions and shifted the shrine to Shadipora.
Another mythology indicates that the Goddess Ragnya Devi came in the dreams of Raghunath Gadroo (a priest) and asked him to relocate the shrine to its present location, i.e. in the village of Tulla Mulla.
Rituals in Kheer Bhawani Temple
The temple is referred to as Kheer Bhawani Temple, chiefly because the followers offer “kheer” to the sacred spring on their visit. It is believed that if the “kheer” changes its color to black, then it indicates the onset of an approaching disaster. The temple arranges for a festive occasion every year on the eve of Shukla Paksha Ashtami and Jesht Ashtami. On the former occasion, the followers observe a fast and assemble at the temple for paying their homage to the Goddess. During the latter occasion, people come from across the country to get a glimpse of the deity. Many people hold the opinion that spring changes its color on this day and the festival is successfully completed by performing a “Maha Yagna” to gratify Goddess Ragnya.
Projected New Look of The Kheer Bhawani Temple
Towards the first quarter of the 2008, there were some plans to transform the fundamental design of the temple. Captain Kapil Raina and his family had agreed to bear the entire expenses for the same. But then, the proposal came to a halt because Dr. Karan Singh (Dharmarth Trust’s trustee) and the other pandits of Kashmir were not in favor of this project.
How to Reach
The nearest airport from where you can reach the Kheer Bhawani Temple is the Srinagar domestic airport, which is well connected to the important cities of India including Delhi, Chandigarh and Mumbai. International tourists may opt for connecting flights from Delhi International Airport.
Jammu Railway Station is the nearest railway station from where you can reach Kheer Bhawani Temple. The station is well connected to the major cities of the country including Delhi and Chandigarh.
Tourists can take the National Highway NH1A that is connected to the Kashmir Valley so as to reach the Kheer Bhawani Temple.
Best Time to Visit
The summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir is noted for its chilled winters and pleasurable summers. The best time to plan a visit the Kheer Bhawani temple is between April and October.