Mata Kheer-bhawani Temple In Kashmir

   The Actual Divine-stones laid centuries back-the main attraction. 

MATA KHEER BHAWANI TEMPLE IN KASHMIR.

Updated on 18.05.2024

The first time when I started going to this magical holy place for Hindus-I was just 12. I along with my maternal grandparents had gone to Kheer Bhawani first time from Srinagar-Kashmir in 1973. That time we had stayed there for around a week. My grandfather-whom we used to call “Papaji”, was a very staunch devotee of Mata Kheer Bhawani. I remember while on our way around a couple of kilometres still to be covered-there was a big long row of huge and quite old thick trunked Chinar trees in a real symmetrical fashion. Papaji got out of the car and went near to one of those Chinar trees and bowed in front of it. He remained there for almost 10 minutes with hands folded and eyes closed, praying to the Mata-showing thereby the holiness of these Chinar trees as well. Once we reached the Temple, there was a huge rush of people and we came to know that immediately after a couple of days there was the festival of Mata Kheer Bhawani falling. It was on the Jyeshta Ashtami day as per the Vikramisamwat-calendar (Hindu Calendar).

The moment we reached the gate of the temple all my elders accompanying me fell on their knees and some of them even offered their prayers through prostrations. We checked in the room which was already booked from Srinagar. It was of the “Dharmartha-Trust”-which was running the show there in the temple. After an hour or so we came towards the gate again -there was the “Ghat” where the small stream of the river was flowing and we took a holy bath there which everyone who ever came there, had to take before entering into the temple premises. It was a very nice experience and very cold too since the water was ice cold.

Green trees surrounding
 Clean bluish-green spring around the pious temple    

I remember I along with my sister used to go to Kashmir every summer-vacations when in Jammu, our schools got closed for almost two and a half months. 

Kheer-Bhawani Temple

This time again it was during this vacation time only we had gone there. Then towards the evening my grandfather and grandmother went to the temple and remained there for more than three hours doing their pooja and even the rounds around the temple.

Different colored waters in the temple spring
The different views of the temple with different coloured water in the spring around.

The temple is situated in the centre of a spring-where there is the continued gushing of cold water around the central structure of the temple. This water is considered to be very pious and magical too. “They say whenever there was any untoward incident happening in and around the Kashmir valley-may it is even a natural calamity-the colour of the water used to get changed naturally

Kheer bhawani

giving the signal of such an unfortunate happening to befall very shortly”. I remember -Papaji saying that he had himself seen the colour of this water changing to red or maroon colour during the “Kabbali-raids” during partition and even after that whenever there was unrest in Kashmir especially during agitation of Kashmiri Hindus in the sixty-seven, the colour at that time also had changed. 

devotees performing pooja
Kashmiri-Pundits performing the pooja on Kheer Bhawani Day in June.  
   
After exactly two days of our stay, there was that Kheer-Bhawani Festival and I still cannot forget the number of Kashmiri Hindus attending that and performing their respective pooja. It was in multiple of thousands of people and there was hardly any space left out in the temple premises. The scene was so good and bubbling with humanity that one would love to continue seeing that for longer durations. Kashmiri Hindus take this as “Mata-Sharika” to be their “Ashta-Mata,”-the Mata of their Kul/ Dynasty. They feel that they are all her devotees and she is only for their well-being and prosperity.
temple with chinars around
 The Chinar Trees surrounding the whole time. Devotees sit under them.

The whole temple is surrounded by several Chinar trees in the compound around it. People come and sit below these big trees on “Chattais” / jute carpets for hours together and enjoy the peace and solace of the place. They normally take the speciality of that place-“Kahwa & Lichi” as their favourite“Khana-Peena”.    

1850 image of temple

centuries old pic

                         Centuries-old picture of Kheer Bhawani-devotees-1850 AD                                    

Once you go there inside the temple compound, you would find a big board with the details of the Mata’s origin- written as to how she came here and the stone depicting her could not be moved to any place afterwards such was the gravitational pull of this powerful stone. People have a lot of faith in her and even Kashmiris and other Hindu followers who so ever know about the temple, come from far off places and even from foreign countries to pay their obeisance and prayers to her.

The beauty is that people living permanently around this temple, who are mainly Muslims of “Tulla-Mulla” the name of the area around, also have great faith in this temple and they too come and pay their homage and respect to her.

Now after giving the details, what I wanted to tell you is very important. I while being very young in early seventies and seeing my people having such a blind faith in the temple-was greatly influenced by this Goddess. I must not have missed even once-whenever I had gone to Srinagar, to go to Kheer Bhawani and pay my prostrations & obeisance and do my pooja there. I must have gone many a times, I don’t remember even the number which is very high-but going to Kheer Bhawani has been a must for me. Even after my marriage, my wife too has been going there quite often and believed in the Goddess and her “Chamatkars”. She was well before marriage, a fond devotee of Kheer Bhawani.

We couple of years back, had gone there and remained there for more than a week. We even performed a very big function there in Mata Kheer Bhawani . It was the big solemnization of my son’s “Yagneopavit-ceremony”-what we call “MEKHAL”. We had our very close blood relations who had gathered there and the big “Havana” was done in the special “Havana-Kund” of Mata Kheer Bhawani. The number of people who came during this function to take “Prasada” for two days was in hundreds, they were all from Mata’s surrounding compound area-whereas from our side, we were hardly around 20 people. The whole function was performed with great satisfaction and with the blessings of Mata Kheer Bhawani, everything went on well despite the disturbing situation around in the Kashmir valley. Now I realise that the power of that Goddess -since what we had decided-this Goddess made all that possible even when there was turmoil around. I am deeply indebted to “Her” magical powers and her blessings and whenever in future too I go there -my priority would remain to at least spend a couple of days there in Mata Kheer Bhawani.

Raplica of Mata Kheerbhawani-Jammu
Replica of Mata Kheer Bhawani at Janipur Jammu

People are so much devoted to Her, that they have made the replica of the same at different places like in Jammu at “Janipur-area”. Kashmiri Pandits have made the Kheer Bhawani duplicate on the higher mountain reach of Janipur, I have been to that place and it looks quite enchanting. Recently I had gone to Faridabad on the western side -there is again the replica of the same made along-with the Replica of “Hari Parbat”, however, we could not find anyone present there.  On enquiring, came to know that during the special festival days, people gather there and perform Havana etc. I would always remember- my first holy trip to “Mata Kheer Bhawani” with my grandparents-because this was the occasion which imbibed in me the real belief of the power of this great Goddess- “Mata Kheer Bhawani”.

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