Monday, November 29, 1999

Kashmiri Pandits perform ``havan`` in Kashmir

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Srinagar, May 16 (PTI) For the first time in 20 years, a ''Hawan'' was organised at the historical Vicharnag temple near here by a group of Kashmiri Pandits who sought to revive their 5000-year old culture by restoring ancient temples in the valley. Hundreds of devotees from various parts of the country participated in the ''havan'' which was solemnised by M L Dhar from New Delhi along with other priests, Chairman of All Parties Migrant Coordination Committee (APMCC) Vinod Pandit told reporters. Vicharnag is considered to be an important place for religious activities and today''s havan is considered to be a step towards its revival as a meeting place for the community in future", Pandit said. Rise of militancy in the valley triggered a mass exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the valley in the 1990s. In the past five years, APMCC has reopened a number of temples, including Mata Umanagri, Mata Tripur Sundari, Suntemple, Martand, Naran Nag, Gosain Gund Ashram and Harmukt Ganga.

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