|Early Times Report|
SRINAGAR, Mar 18: The ancient temple of Bhadrakal village in Handwara wore a festive look today, as the original idol of the presiding deity, Maa Bhadrakali, was restored to its original abode in a simple ceremony at the temple.
The idol was stolen in 1981 and was subsequently recovered and kept in Jammu since 1999. In 1891, Sarwa Bayu, a resident of Handwara had a dream wherein 'Maa Bhadrakali' directed him to unearth her idol from a shrine located in Khanyar, Srinagar. His son, Pandit Keshavji Bayu, accordingly, retrieved the idol and placed it at Bhadrakali temple in village Bhadrakal.
The idol was stolen in 1981 in mysterious circumstances and subsequently recovered in 1983, During the exodus of Pandits from Handwara, the idol was left behind in the house of Pandit Jaggernath. It was recovered from Panditji's Handwara house and taken to Jammu in 1999 by Bhusan Lal Pandita, a staunch devotee of Maa Bhadrakali.
In a chance meeting with Brig DR Rai, Cdr Sect RR in October 2017, Bhusan Lal Pandita sought support and cooperation of Army for restoration of Mata's original idol at Bhadrakali temple. Accordingly, 21RR deployed for protection of the temple facilitated the re-establishment of the idol.
With the blessings of Maa Bhadrakali and cooperation of devotees and Bhadrakali Reconstruction Committee, the ancient idol of Maa Bhadrakali was restored today after a gap of 38 years at her original abode by Major General AK Singh, GOC CIF (K), in the presence of a large number of devotees some of whom had come from other parts of the Country.