The famous Shital Nath Temple in Kashmir is now opened for devotees. The temple was reopened on the auspicious occasion of Basant Panchami on Tuesday. The temple was closed for devotees 31 years ago due to militancy and exodus of Hindus from the Valley.
Shital Nath Temple is located in the Habba Kadal area of Srinagar. The temple was reopened on the Hindu festival of Basant Panchami and a special pooja was performed. Locals mostly belonging to the Muslim community brought pooja items. Baba Sheetal Nath Bhairao’s birth anniversary falls on Basant Panchmi day and this day is celebrated with fervour. The terrorism-ridden state had seen mass exodus of the Kashmiri Pundit community with rise of Jihadism in the 1990s. Several acts of violence were committed against the Hindus in the valley. Reports note that several ancient temples including Martand Sun temple, Sharda Peeth were destroyed.
Srinagar witnessed the highest number of acts of vandalism with 57 temples being damaged. Anantnag district came a close second with 56 temples having suffered the damage. According to the figures released by the Jammu and Kashmir government in 2012, around half of the temples in the state in the Valley were damaged in two decades.