Baramulla Temple Thrown Open After Two Decades7 September 2011
Srinagar: After a gap of two decades, the Kashmiri pandits performed a Yagya at ‘Ganga Mata Asthapan’ temple at Venkuri Rafiabad in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district. The sound of bells reverberated in the temple since 1990 as hundreds of migrant Pandits performed religious rituals including ‘Havan’ for past three days. The Muslim locals arranged the accommodation and food for the pandits. According to locals, the temple was closed in 1990 after Pandits migrated and locals took care of the temple during two decades. Swami Poshkar Nathji and other prominent Pandits appreciated the contribution of local Muslims in performing the Yagya and stressed the need to strengthen the communal harmony and mutual brotherhood. He appreciated the administration for making elaborate arrangements for the function. Minister of State for R&B Javeed Ahmad Dar also visited the temple and interacted with the pandits. Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said that Kashmiriyat was incomplete without Kashmiri Pandits. He appealed them to return to the Valley, adding the government was committed to facilitate their safe and secure return. Congratulating the Pandits community and other devotees on the Maha Yagya, Dar hoped that the 'auspicious occasion would prove harbinger of peace and prosperity of the State. On the occasion, the devotees demanded renovation of temple, construction of its approach road, development of spring, provision of permanent water connection and electricity facilities. They also called for developing the Venkuri area as a tourist destination. Dar, according to an official communiqué assured that their demands would be solved in a phased manner. He said construction work of several mega and minor road projects in Rafiabad constituency was apace, adding that the survey for construction and development of Venkuri road including link road to Ganga Mata Asthapan under PMGSY was also under active consideration of the Government.