Ground Report | New Delhi: What is the Pushkar festival; As the minimum temperature in the Kashmir Valley has dipped below the freezing point, pilgrims from all over India can be seen taking a dip in Shadipora, located at the confluence of the Jhelum river and the Sindh stream in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district these days.
Pilgrims are allowed to take a dip in the river only till 3 pm. Apart from praying for the dead, devotees believe that taking a dip at the confluence of the Jhelum River and Sindh Dhara provides many health benefits.
“We feel very fortunate to be here by taking a dip in the holy water. I am here with my family for the first time and we are all excited. We do not feel cold here as we are engrossed in prayer. Taking a dip in the rivers. This confluence is good for health and protects us from many diseases,” says Sunanda Sharma, a female devotee from Delhi.
Pilgrims mostly from South India have gathered at Shadipora to celebrate the Pushkar festival held after a gap of 12 years in Kashmir.
As per reports, 20,000 pilgrims, including women from Andhra Pradesh and Hyderabad, have so far participated in the festivities and took a holy dip in the waters at Shadipora amid cold and cold wave conditions in the Kashmir Valley.
The 12-day long Pushkar festival was held in the Kashmir Valley after a gap of 12 years and will end on December 2. The police have also kept raft boats for rescue operations and the authorities have also provided medical facilities for the pilgrims in case of any emergency. A free “Langar” set up by Shri Mata Kheer Bhavani for the devotees engaged in the service. Took
Amid cold and cold wave conditions, locals are providing hot water to the pilgrims at a rate higher than the fixed price after the pilgrims take a holy dip.