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Vicharnag Temple Draws Devotees – Caste No Bar

By Cara

A number of Kashmiri Pandits performed rituals at the historic 'Vicharnag temple" when it re-opened after 20 years in Srinagar. The Vicharnag temple had closed down in the 90s when the Kashmiri Pandits migrated from the Kashmir valley, following turbulence.

Located in Soura district in Kashmir, the temple was once the centre of religious discourse and was a seat of learning for both, Muslims and Hindus.

As the temple re-opened after a long period of time, waves of devotees from different parts of the state gathered to take part in the rituals.

"Every year, during the nine-day of Navaratri, a grand fair used to take place. Hundreds of devotees of all age groups used to gather here but the area has remained deserted for the last 20 years. Now the temple has reopened and people have started coming," said Avtar Kishan Koul, a devotee.

The All Parties Migrants Coordination Committee in the state started the drive to open all Hindu temples and shrines in the Valley to restore their glory.

"I feel very happy to meet the Hindus from Kashmir. They are our guests. Twenty-thirty years ago, we used to eat from the same platter, and help each other during weddings," said Abdul Samadh, a Muslim devotees.

Read more about: caste temple heritage kashmir religion
Story first published: Monday, May 17, 2010, 12:41 [IST]
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