Known by many names such as Ragnya Devi, Rajni, Maharagya Devi, Ragnya Bhagwati and sometimes just Bhawani, Goddess Kheer Bhawani is enshrined in Village Tul Mul of Srinagar district in the northern most Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir. Amongst all the Gods and Goddesses, Ragnya Devi deity is the most revered in the hearts of Hindu Kashmiris. Kheer Bhawani Temple – Tullamula, Srinagar
There are several temples in Kashmir dedicated to the Kheer Bhawani Devi but this one situated on the holy spring is the most important of all. Kheer is the Hindi word for a traditional pudding prepared with milk and rice being offered to the Goddess since ancient ages to impress her and seek her blessings. And that is how she came to be known as Devi Kheer Bhawani from earlier being known as just Devi Bhawani. This particular practice of offering Kheer to the Goddess is what makes Kheer Bhawani Temple all the more unique and special.
The temple is situated at an extremely picturesque location. It is surrounded by beautiful stones and ancient Chinar trees. Also there is a water spring that flows near the temple. It is said that the hexagonal stream changes its color by the blessings of Goddess Kheer Bhawani. The water is observed to be turning into colors such as blue, white, pink, red, orange, purple etc. Further it is held that the water turns black when something inauspicious is about to happen. The Goddess was also worshipped by Lord Rama during his exile period.
Mythological and historical connections
As per mythology, Ravana impressed Maharagya with his devotion who then appeared before him. Thereafter, Ravana got her image enshrined in Lanka. But the Goddess was displeased with the lifestyle of this devotee of her’s and did not want to stay in Lanka anymore. So she instructed Lord Hanuman to fetch that image from Lanka and sanctify it in Tul Mull at that very holy spot where the temple today stands. Though there are many shrines in Kashmir dedicated to Devi Ragniya but the one in Tul Mull is the most popular and revered of all. She is considered as an incarnation of Devi Durga. It is held that Ravana offered kheer, a traditional dessert to her after prayers, hence she came to be known as kheer bhawani.
From ancient to medieval era, the temple got abandoned. After this, Devi Ragniya appeared in dreams of a Kashmiri Pandit as snake and took the pandit to the spot. Later the Ragnya Devi Temple was constructed at the place where it stands today by Maharana Pratap Singh in 1912. A few years later to that, it was renovated by Maharaja Hari Singh.
Festivals and Fairs
Ashtami of the month of Jeshth, which falls in the month of June or July is the prominent festival celebrated at the Kheer Bhawani Temple. Large number of people including numerous pundits from all over Kashmir and other parts of the country visit the temple on this to offer their prayers and kheer to the deity and have her darshan. It is believed that on this day, the water spring also changes its color and this happens because of the blessing of the Goddess.
Temple prayers and timingsThe temple opens for prayers at 6 O’clock in the morning and remains open till 9p.m.
- Location → Tullamula, Srinagar district, Jammu And Kashmir State.
- Dedicated to → Ragnya Devi
- Main Attraction → Natural Spring
- Best time to visit → March to October
How to reach
- By Air →The nearest airport is at Srinagar. From here onwards the distance to Kheer Bhawani is around 25 km and one can easily find public or private transport options to get there.
- By Rail→ In order to travel to this place by train, the easiest way is to first reach Jammu Railway Station, thereafter take a conveyance to Srinagar and lastly to Tullamula.
- By Road → National Highways connect this town very well to all the neighboring states as well as the national capital. Even state transport and private transport buses are also available from all the nearby towns and major cities of northern India.