For Usha Devi and her family it is a homecoming.
Twenty-seven years ago the family split up, some migrated from Srinagar to Jammu, others to Delhi, when militancy erupted in the valley. Today, the family has reunited at the Kheer Bhawani mela at Ganderbal, 27 km from Srinagar.
They are praying for peace in the valley and the safe return of Kashmiri Pandits.
"We have homes in Delhi and Jammu, but we don't have peace of mind there. I was doing a government job here, living with my colleagues and friends but life is not so peaceful outside Kashmir," said Usha Devi.
Although there has been a significant drop in the number of devotees arriving this year due to the rising tension in the state, the communal harmony one can witness here is unique, visitors say.
"We are praying to God that the day comes soon when Kashmiri Pandits can return to their homes with dignity, with children. There are so many children who have not seen Kashmir," said the state's Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who also joined the celebrations at Kheer Bhawani shrine in Tulmulla.
"We benefit a lot, we earn a living through this, it is a great opportunity for the poor people to earn," said Mumtaz, a puja material seller.
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