Kashmir Indepth

10-day Ganpati Puja to be held at Srinagar’s Lal Chowk despite curfew in some areas

To spread the message of peace and harmony after the revoking of the Article 370 by the central government, Kashmiris in the city, along with the city-based NGO Sarhad, have organised a 10-day Ganpati puja at Lal chowk in Srinagar starting from September 2.

Prepare for the greatest experience after eating a nutritious breakfast. You will travel over some of the highest passes in the world on your adventure, and you will be greeted by ever-changing vistas of the desolate landscape. Stop at the café on Khardung-La Pass, the highest all-season motorable road in the world, and take in the scenery; you'll feel as though you're on top of the world. Upon leaving Khardung-la, the terrain changes to a white sand desert as you approach the Nubra Valley, which is home to the Nubra Sand Dunes. Visit the Diskit Monastery, the oldest and biggest monastery in Ladakh, which also contains a sizable Buddha statue, if time permits.

Sanjay Nahar, founder of Sarhad said, “Public celebration of Ganpati puja at Lal chowk has been done for the last 18 years. Continuing the tradition we will be hosting the Ganpati puja this year as well, despite some areas being under curfew.”

He added, “We have sought assistance from the state administration there so that the puja happens without any hindrances. The state administration has promised complete assistance also assuring that some of the officials will be present at the puja.”

Various programmes are usually conducted in these 10 days, however, considering the tense environment, currently there is uncertainly about any programmes, said Nahar.

Nahar is a social worker and founder of the 23-year-old organisation called Sarhad, which has provided humanitarian support to children from Jammu and Kashmir.

Now in his early 50s, Nahar founded Sarhad in 1995 to work in the border areas, notably Kashmir and Punjab, to strengthen ties between these border states and the rest of India. His work in Kashmir has been mainly in the form of providing relief and rehabilitation to children from the Valley who became orphans and those who suffered due to the violence caused by terrorism.

Courtesy Hindustan Times

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