SRINAGAR — Amid war like situation in Kashmir, the Kashmiri Pandits on Sunday celebrated Maha Shivratri, locally known as Herath, with great fervor.
Muslims across the conflict ravaged Valley helped their Pandit brethren to decorate the temples at various places and joined the celebrations, reviving the age old mutual brotherhood and Kashmiriyat.
The festival holds an important place among Kashmiri Pandits who celebrate it to mark the wedding of Shiva and Parvati.
The biggest gathering took place at Shankaracharya Temple overlooking Dal Lake. Hundreds of devotees also thronged to Khir Bhawani temple at Tullamulla in Central Kashmir’s district Ganderbal.
In south Kashmir’s Mattan area of Anantnag, the Shivratri was celebrated with religious fervor and gaiety with Pandits – young and old – praying for peace and prosperity of Kashmir.
An age old Kashmiri Pandit Baskar Nath, who lives in Anantnag, said that Shivratri sends out a message of peace. “Today, we pray to God that this tamasha of bloodshed should end. We should live in unity the way we used to before this cycle of bloodshed,” he said.
He hoped that Kashmir, commonly known as “Pir Waer” and “Resh Waer”, restores that lost brotherhood and bring that lost peace and ‘mohabbat’ between the two communities.
“We are one from God’s home… We want to send the message of unity. We are thankful to our administration and our Muslim brethren for being with us,” said Baskar Nath. (KNS)