J&K Dharmarth Trust conducted first-day rituals of the three-day ancient religious Bhadarwah fair “Mela Patt” here, abiding by the social distancing and other COVID-19 norms.
The Mela is devoted to Lord Vaskui Naag, the presiding deity of Bhaderwah Valley and is celebrated on Nag Panchmi every year. It is celebrated every year in the Mohalla Khakhal, Ganesh Mandir and Mohalla Vasak Dera compound on Naag Panchami. Members of both Hindu-Muslim communities were participate in the traditional festival which symbolises old customs, tradition and century-old culture of hospitality, fairs and festivals of Bhaderwah.
On the occasion, only few people were permitted to participate in the Mela to perform traditional rituals this year who are affiliated with Mela Patt. The administration has allowed a limited number of people to participate in the event in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Dharmarth Trust celebrates this Mela every year on the conclusion of the Kailash Yatra. This Mela was first initiated by Raja Nagpal in the 16th century as the ruler of that Bhaderkash principality which is now called as Bhadarwah. The Dharmarth Trust officials expressed gratitude to the District Administration for giving necessary permissions in performing the rituals amid COVID-19 precautions.
“This festival is not only the symbol of religion but also depicts the proud unique heritage and mutual brotherhood. Perhaps this is the only festival in India which is being celebrated for the last 600 years without any untoward or undesired incident, clearly evidencing communal harmony of the area,” an official of the Trust said.