Ragnya Devi Jayanti Festival in Ragnya Bhagwati Temple in Manzgam of Kashmir

Goddess Ragnya Devi Jayanti, the birth anniversary of Goddess Manzgam Ragnya Bhagawati, is one of the important festival for Kashmiri Pandits. In 2014, Ragnya Jayanti date is June 6. Thousands of Kashmiri Pandits to visit the temple during the festival season.

Kashmiri Pandits made a beeline to the ancient shrine of Goddess Rajnya Bhagwati, one of the three vaishnite goddesses whose birthday is being celebrated today in the valley. Amid tolling of bells and wafts of aroma sticks, devotees, mostly Kashmiri Pandits settled in various parts of the country, today thronged the shrine, situated in south Kashmir.

The birth anniversaries of three Vaishnite goddesses-Mata Khir Bhawani in Tul-Mula (Ganderbal district), Goddess Tripur Sundari in Devsar (Kulgam district) and Goddess Rajnya Bhagwati in Manzgam (Kulgam district) is being celebrated by Kashmiri Pandits in the valley amid hawans, organising community kitchens and mass prayers.

“This is the first time that hawans, community kitchens and mass prayers were conducted by Kashmiri Pandits in all the three ancient shrines on the same day as it existed 20 years ago before migration of Pandits in wake of eruption of militancy in the valley,” a former bureaucrat Vijay Kumar Koul said.

Manzgam, which was once a safe sanctuary and launching pad of foreign mercenaries, is now abuzz with the flow of pilgrims mostly Kashmiri Pandits. Headed by Kuldeep Raina, Manzgam Prabhandak Committee, which renovated the damaged temple and reconstructed a yatri niwas, today organised a mahayagya.

The temple, situated in the southern most part of Kashmir, was damaged after militants exploded a bomb and killed a temple priest by slitting his throat in 1990. Similar functions were organised in temple of Tripur Sundari in Devsar where 2,000 people thronged the shrine. Devsar Prabhandak Committee led by President T K Dhar organised a hawan, community kitchen and mass prayers at the shrine located in verdant woods.

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