Mattan (JK), Feb 18 (PTI) A Muslim couple from Rajasthan were among the dozens of devotees who offered water to the Hindu god Shiva at Martand Sun Temple in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district on the occasion of Mahashivratri on Saturday.
“It’s an auspicious occasion for both Hindus (Mahashivratri) and Muslims (Shab-e-Me’raj) and it is not as if we Mohammedans (Muslims) cannot visit a temple, Zoya Khan, who hails from Kurukshetra in Haryana, told PTI.
“It is a day of prayers for us and today is Shivratri. We thought we will see how they celebrate it here,” Zoya, who is married to Faizan Khan from Rajasthan, said.
“I have offered water to Shivji. It is considered good for couples. My mother has also told me about it. We are Muslims but we like this tradition. So we follow it,” she added.
Zoya said before coming to Kashmir, she was under the impression that there is communal tension between Hindus and Muslims in the valley.
“Before we came here, we thought there might be Hindu-Muslim communal tension but there is nothing like that. There is no discrimination on the basis of religion. People would not come to know about this until they visit it,” she added.
The festival was also celebrated at the Shankaracharya temple at Dalgate in Srinagar city.
“I came here to take part in Shivratri Puja with my uncle as a Pandit. We started Puja at 3 am. This temple is important as Shakracharaya meditated here. He also carried Shivling on his shoulders and put it here,” Shubam from Jammu said.
Rakesh Raina, a Kashmiri pandit, was among the devotees who joined the puja in the middle of the night.
“We pray and wish that Lord Shiva bestow his blessings on all so that disasters, like what happened in Turkey recently, do not recur,” Raina said.
Jyoti, a tourist from Mumbai, was impressed with the arrangements made for the Puja.
“We had darshan here, the management here is very good,” she said.