Location: At Tullamula of Srinagar district, in Jammu & Kashmir
Built by: Maharana Pratap Singh
Built in: 1912
Dedicated to: Ragnya Devi (a Hindu Goddess)
Attraction: Natural Spring
How to reach: One can easily reach Kheer Bhavani Temple by taking regular Buses or by hiring Taxis from Srinagar
Kheer Bhavani Temple is special, not for the reason of its architecture, but for the unusual tradition of offering Kheer to the presiding deity. Located in Tullamula of Srinagar district, Kheer Bhavani Temple is a highly revered shrine amongst the Hindus. The temple can be reached easily from Srinagar by regular tourist buses and taxis. Khir Bhawani Mandir is set amidst the picturesque surroundings covered with the trees of Chinar.
Kheer Bhavani Temple is dedicated to Ragnya Devi (form of Goddess Durga). As per the legends, Lord Rama worshipped the Goddess Ragnya, for the period of his exile. When the exile period was completed, Lord Rama asked Lord Hanuman to relocate the shrine of the Goddess. Lord Hanuman relocated the shrine of the Goddess to Shadipora.
According to another legend, Ragnya Devi appeared in the dream of a priest by the name of Raghunath Gadroo and asked him to shift her shrine to the present place. Subsequently, the shrine was shifted in the village of TullaMulla. The original temple was constructed by Maharana Pratap Singh in 1912. Later, it was renovated by Maharaja Hari Singh. In the temple complex, an image of Ragnya Devi is placed in small shrine made in white marble.
The Goddess Ragnya is depicted in the form of a natural hexagonal spring that is adored by the devotees. The temple of Ragnya Devi is popularly known as Kheer Bhavani Temple, due to the fact that devotees offer 'Kheer' (Sweet dish made of milk) to the consecrated spring. It is alleged that 'kheer' turns black in color, presaging about the approaching disaster.
An annual festival is celebrated by the temple on the occasion of Shukla Paksha Ashtami. On the particular day, devotees observe a fast and gather at the temple to pay their homage to the Goddess. Likewise, Jesht Ashtami (May-June) is another occasion, when people come from and near to have a glimpse of the Goddess. It is said that on this day, the spring changes its color with the blessings of the Goddess. The festival is concluded with 'Maha Yagna' to please Ragnya Devi.