SRINAGAR, Nov 30: Over 25,000 pilgrims from twin South Indian states of Andhra Pradesh (AP) and Telangana visited the 12 -day long Pushkar Mela which is underway at Narayan Bagh the confluence of River Vitasta (Jehlum) and Sindhu near Shadipora in Ganderbal district of Central Kashmir.
The mela started on November 21 and it will conclude on December 2. The Pushkar mela, which falls after every 12 years has a lot of religious significance for the Hindus of these two states who perform the last rites of dead, take a holy dip in the river and perform prayers and other rituals.
As per reports till date 25,927 pilgrims from the twin states visited the holy place and performed the religious rituals there. Despite the sub zero temperature the people took a dip in the water at Prayag Raj before performing the rituals.
Bharat Raina president, Pushkar Committee which has made the arrangements for the pilgrims said that the mela is held after every 12 years as per Hindu Calendar. Earlier the mela was held in 2009. He said about 35,000 people cancelled their registration after the recent killings in Valley. He said earlier 57,000 people had made registration to visit the holy place which has a great religious significance for Hindus all over India in general and Kashmiri Pandits in particular.
Suchrita, general secretary of the Committee said that the Pushkar mela is held as per the Hindu calendar and in 2022 it will be held at Prana Nita river in Telangana.
Kishroe a pilgrim from Andhra Pradesh who had come along with his parents regretted that the place sans development saying that the Government is making tall claims about developing religious places for pilgrimage tourism but this holy place has been neglected. The thousands of years old Priyag Chinar which is in the middle of the river is in shambles as no steps were taken for its development.
BJP general secretary (Org), Ashok Kaul, senior party leader and ex MLC, Surinder Ambardar and another party leader Abhijeet Jasrotia visited Shadipora today and interacted with pilgrims. They enquired about the facilities provided to them. Kaul said pilgrims were pleased with the cooperation rendered by administration, police and local people.