Khir, Ksheer, Kshir Bhawani, Ragnya Devi temple, Tulmul temple
|Festival||Mela Kheer Bhawani, Jyeshtha Ashtami|
|Elevation||1,592 m (5,223 ft)|
|Part of a series on|
Kheer Bhawani, Ksheer Bhawani or the Ragnya Devi temple[a] is a Hindu temple situated at a distance of 25 kilometres (16 mi) north-east of Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India, in the village of Tulmul[b] in Ganderbal. It is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Kheer Bhavani constructed over a sacred spring. As is the custom with Hindu deities, the goddess has many names including Ragnya or Rajna,[c] along with variations in honorifics such as Devi, Mata or Bhagavati. The term kheer refers to a milk and rice pudding that is offered to propitiate the goddess. Kheer Bhawani is sometimes translated as 'Milk Goddess'. The worship of Kheer Bhawani is universal among the Hindus of Kashmir, most of them who worship her as their protective patron deity Kuladevi.
The sacred spring here has its own attached belief. An eponymously named mela is held annually here. It is one of the largest gatherings of Hindus in the region following the Amarnath pilgrimage. Maharaja Pratap Singh of Jammu and Kashmir and Maharaja Hari Singh contributed to building and renovating the temple.[better source needed]
There are other temples to Kheer Bhawani in the region, such as Mata Kheer Bhawani Temple at Tikker, Kupwara.
The temple is one of the most important temples for Kashmiri Hindus in Kashmir. The resident deity, Kheer Bhawani, is a favourite in this region. A heptagonal spring at the temple is situated around the goddess. The holy spring is known to change its colour with various hues of red, pink, orange, green, blue, and white. A black shade of the spring water is believed to be inauspicious. It was reported that the spring's colour turned black during the time of Kashmiri Pandit Exodus Most of the colours do not have any particular significance. In 1886, Walter Lawrence, the-then British settlement commissioner for land, during his visit to the spring, reported the water of the spring to have a violet tinge. Maharaja Ranbir Singh was the first to construct a dharmashala here. The current form of the spring, temple pond, and temple were built under Maharaja Pratap Singh of Jammu and Kashmir in the 1910s. Maharaja Hari Singh further renovated the temple. The temple area has old-growth chinar trees beneath which the pilgrims sit or sleep on mats of grass.
Kheer Bhawani mela
The Kheer Bhawani mela or festival sees the annual congregation of Kashmiri Hindus, and other pilgrims and tourists. The mela is during Jyeshtha Ashtami, also spelt as 'Zyeshta Astami'.The mela was threatened during terrorism and Hindu exodus of 1990. It was restored with dedicated efforts of Indian Army contingent placed at Ganderbal.Now contingent of 115 BN CRPF is deployed at temple complex for so many years.This place is one of the few exception where Hindu priests never left the Mandir despite serious terrorist threats.
The mention of Kheer Bhawani is found in Kalhana's Rajtarangini. Kalhana writes that the sacred spring of Tula Mula is situated in a marshy ground. Thousands of years ago, floods inundated the spring and temple. Kashmir's Yogi Krishna Pandit Taploo of Bohri Kadal, Srinagar had a dream in which the Goddess appeared to him and directed him to the location of the holy spring. It is also mentioned in the Bhrigu Samhita.
Abu'l-Fazl ibn Mubarak in his book Aini-Akbari mentions the area of Tula Mula extending over a region of hundred bighas (unit of land area) of land, which used to sink in the marshy lands during the summer season.[failed verification]
- Also spelt as Khir Bhawani, Kshir Bhawani. Also referred to as the Tula Mula shrine or mandir, the Ragnya Devi temple. and Mata Kheer Bhawani Temple (where mata is an honorific). The spring has been referred to as a Kund which translates to pond or temple tank.
- Also spelt Tul Mul, Tulmula, Tulamulla, Tulmulla, Tulla Mulla, Tullamula, and Tullamulla. Some people are of the opinion that there was a mulberry tree near holy spot of Kheer Bhawani which, in local language, is called tul mul. But tul mul is also derived from the Sanskrit word atulya mulya meaning great value.
- Maharagya Devi, Ragnya Devi, Rajni, Ragini, Ragniya, Ragnya Bhagwati, Maharagya, Maharagnya Bhagwati where 'devi', 'mata', maha, and 'bhagwati' are honorifics
- Dhar, Poshkar Nath (2019). Famous Shrines of Hindus in Jammu & Kashmir. Jammu and Kashmir: Poshkar Nath Dhar. pp. Page 3, 4, 5.
- "Zyeth Atham 2018: Why Jyeshtha Ashtami is important for Kashmiri Pandits". Zee News. 20 June 2018. Retrieved 9 January 2022.
- Majid, Zulfikar (18 June 2021). "Annual 'Kheer Bhawani Mela' observed in Kashmir amid Covid-19". Deccan Herald. Retrieved 9 January 2022.
- Wakhlu, Somnath (30 December 2021). Kashmir: Tul Mul. The Holy Shrine of Kheer Bhawani. Text reproduced from: The Rich Heritage of Jammu and Kashmir Studies in Art, Architecture, History and Culture of the Region By Prof. Somnath Wakhlu. ISBN 9788121205702. Retrieved 20 July 2015 – via Kashmir Pandit Network (ikashmir.net).
- Jameel, Yusuf (21 June 2018). "Thousands of Kashmiri Pandits converge at Kheer Bhawani". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 9 January 2022.
- Saqi, Pt. Moti Lal (June 2001), "Tul-Mul", Three Shrines of Khir Bhawani - Tul-Mul, Mani Gam and Raithan from Kosher Encyclopaedia-Vol. 1 & 2 Cultural Academy, vol. 1, translated by Bhat, R.L., Kashmir Herald
- Chauhan, Abha (2021). Understanding Culture and Society in India: A Study of Sufis, Saints and Deities in Jammu Region. Springer Nature. pp. xxv. ISBN 978-981-16-1598-6.
- Pandita, Sanjay (18 June 2021). "Tul Mula: Abode of Goddess Mata Ragyina". Greater Kashmir. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
- Dhar, Triloki Nath (1 January 2006). Kashmiri Pandit Community: A Profile. Mittal Publications. p. 102. ISBN 978-81-8324-177-9.
- Lawrence, Walter Roper (1895). The Valley of Kashmir. pp. 296, 297.
- Raina, Irfan (18 June 2021). "Mela Kheer Bhawani today". Greater Kashmir. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
- Hussain, Ashiq (30 May 2020). "After Kashmiri Pandits heartwarming wishes on Eid, Muslims reciprocate on Kheer Bhawani". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
- "Kheer Bhawani Temple in Kashmir". www.jktdc.co.in. Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation. Retrieved 9 January 2022.
Maharaja Pratap Singh built this temple in 1912, which was later renovated by Maharaja Hari Singh.
- Wani, Ashraf (18 December 2021). "Temple of Mata Kheer Bhawani renovated by Army on Minority Rights Day in J&K's Kupwara". India Today. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
- Ashiq, Peerzada (18 June 2021). "Kashmiri Pandits celebrate Valley's Kheer Bhawani temple festival". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 9 January 2022.
- Chatterjee, Debjani, ed. (18 June 2021). "PM Modi Wishes People On Jyeshtha Ashtami". NDTV. Retrieved 9 January 2022.
- "Full text of "Rajatarangini of Kalhana - English - Jogesh Chunder Dutt Volumes 1 & 2"". archive.org. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
- "Nirvan Divas of Pt Krishan Joo Taploo observed". Daily Excelsior. 17 August 2016. Retrieved 9 January 2022.