SRINAGAR : Emphasizing the rich tradition of the State to celebrate different festivals with amity, the Minister for Tourism GA Mir has called for strengthening the diverse culture of Jammu and Kashmir.
Interacting with Kashmiri Migrant Pundits today on the birth celebrations of Vitasta or Jhelum near its place of origin Veth-Vitru, Veerinag, the Minister expressed the hope that the Yatra will strengthen the trust between majority and minority community and called the Yatra “a step in the right direction”. He said that celebrating festivals together with amity is the hallmark of our glorious cultural ethos.
The Minister said that Vitasta celebration symbolizes the virtue of piety and devotion adding that the tradition of celebrating Vitasta here together by Kashmiri Panduit’s and Muslims symbolizes the strong bond of harmony and brotherhood.
The Minister said that communal harmony had been the “substratum” of the pluralistic culture and heritage of Jammu and Kashmir. He assured Kashmiri migrants, especially those belonging from Doru constituency that their genuine demands would be taken up with the concerned quarter on priority.
Mir said that due care is being given to protect the properties of migrants and their pilgrim sites. He said development of pilgrim sites in the State received focused attention of the Government adding that beautification of Temple at Khobugh ( Veth-Vitru) besides construction of required infrastructure would be taken up soon. He said directions in this regard have been issued already to the concerned authorities for formulation of DPRs.
Hundreds of displaced Kashmiri Pundits who arrived here from Jammu took part in the Yatra and offered prayers at Veth-Vitru on Veth Truwahy near Verinag in south Kashmir.
The main feature of the festival and Yatra were Puja Archana held at the shrine complex. The local Administration and Vetasta Devasthan Prabandak Committee (VDPC) had made arrangements for the smooth conduct of Yatra and the festival and taken initiative to bring the Muslim brethren and Kashmiri Pandits closer during the two days festival.
Large number of local residents from the area thronged the place to have a glimpse of the festivities and utilized the occasion to reunite with their old friends presently living in other areas. “We are incomplete without each other,” the members from both the communities said on meeting each other.
The General Secretary of Vetasta Devasthan Prabandak Committee (VDPC) Veerinag, R K Bhat, said that the Vitasta is the holy source of the river of Kashmir, Vitasta, which is also alternately called as Jehlum. The Hindus believe the holy twin springs at Vitasta to be the virgin Roopa (Kumari Roopa) of Mata Parvati and the Hindus also believe that the Parvati after her marriage with Shiva came in the form of a water sprout at Verinag which is at one kilometer distance from the Veth-Vitru springs, he added.
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