Hundreds of Kashmiri Pandits visit Martand to perform ‘Pind Daan’

Kashmiri Pandits performing Pind Daan at Mattan during the Banmass Mela on Sunday. -Excelsior/Sajad Dar
Kashmiri Pandits performing Pind Daan at Mattan during the Banmass Mela on Sunday. -Excelsior/Sajad Dar

First time huge rush seen after 1990

Excelsior Correspondent
ANANTNAG, July 30: Hundreds of Kashmiri Pandits visited the Martand Sun temple here in Jammu and Kashmir today to perform “Pind Daan” as part of the Banmass Mela and prayed for peace for the souls of their departed ancestors.
Ashok Siddha, the president of the mela Management Committee, said he is thankful to the local Muslims and the Anantnag district administration for extending full support for the conduct of the event.
“I am thankful to the locals. The Muslim brethren has supported us. I have been engaged in this for the last four years and I am thankful to the Muslim community. I am also thankful to the district administration especially DC Anantnag Syed Fakrudin Hamid ,” Siddha said.
He said DC took personal interest in making arrangements and providing all support to the Management Committee.
He said the Kashmiri Hindu community also celebrates Krishna Jhoola at the temple every year, during which the Muslim community extends wholehearted support.”We also celebrate Krishna Jhoola and the Muslim community actively supports that festival as well. They distribute fruits here. This is an example of communal harmony and peace,” Siddha said.
He said, while the festival is observed every three years, he has not seen such a rush since 1990.
“We celebrate this every three years, but I have never seen so many people coming here since 1990. We have established a ghat (for pooja) and also constructed toilet facilities for the devotees,” Siddha added.
Meenakshi, one of the devotees who performed “Pind Daan”, was all praise for the locals.
“We do Pind Daan for our ancestors so that their souls are blessed. The locals are good, we have good relations with them,” she said.
Jawahar Lal Pandita, an elderly Kashmiri Pandit, said “the locals have extended cooperation” to the minority community. A local Muslim from Mattan said the South Kashmir town has been “an abode of peace and communal harmony and will continue to remain so”.
Martand Sun temple of Kashmir is one of the most sacred shrines of Hindus since Puranic period. The shrine is also linked to annual Amarnath pilgrimage and the Chhari Mubarak on way to holy cave of Lord Shiva visits this holy shrine twice for religious rituals. On the occasion the Sadhus led by Mahant Dependra Giri Ji perform Puja at the shrine and alter Sadhus and other devotees are served prashad by the Management Committee of the shrine.
Siddha said that this practice goes for centuries together. He said prior to mass exodus of pundits thousands of people visited the shrine to receive Chhari Mubarak besides thousands of devotees from different parts of the country thronged the shrine during Banmass.