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Kashmiri Pandits celebrate Veth Truvaha
The Vitasta is the source of the river of the Kashmir valley, Vitasta, which is also called Jehlum. The Vitasta, which is a kilometre away from the famous Verinag spring in Anantnag district of the valley, is also called the Nile of Kashmir.
VITASTA IS the holy source of the river of the Kashmir valley, Vitasta, which is also called Jehlum. Vitasta, about a kilometre away from the famous Verinag spring in Anantnag district of the valley, is also called the Nile of Kashmir. It is this river, Jhelum, which traverses the Kashmir valley, covering hundreds of miles, before it joins the sea. Vitasta is mentioned in the Nilamata Purana and finds a mention in the Mahabharata too.


Today is the birthday of this Vitasta or Jhelum River. It is celebrated as ‘Veth Truvaha’. The birthday of Vitasta or Jhelum is celebrated every year by Kashmiri Pandits. They have been celebrating it even after they migrated from the valley. This year, this auspicious day falls on Saturday, September 13 (today) and is rightly called the birthday of Vitasta or ‘Veth Truvaha’. The community of Kashmiri Pandits has been celebrating the birthday of the river for thousands of years, on the 13th day of the bright fortnight of Bhadon. On this auspicious day, garlands and eatables are offered to Goddess Vitasta.


It is worth mentioning here that on September 25, 2007, for the first time after migration, the Pandit community, particularly the community from the Dooru –Verinag area celebrated the birthday of the river Vitasta at its original spot, viz, Vitasta on the Vith Thruv. A large number of Kashmiri Pandits from Jammu, Delhi and other parts of India attended the havan. It was welcomed by the local majority community.


“This year, the birthday of river Jhelum will be celebrated in every Kashmiri Pandit’s house wherever they are in the world - particularly by the Pandits of Dooru Verinag area, as ‘Veth Thruvesh’ and hence it has been decided to arrange a get-together at Kailash Pati temple, Durga Nagar, Jammu, according to a press note from R.K. Bhat, a social activist, who was one of the main organizers of the function held at Vitasta Verinag last year.


“The Hindus believe the holy twin springs at Vitasta to be the Virgin Roopa (Kumari Roopa) of Mata Parvati . The Hindus also believe that Parvati, after her marriage to Lord Shiva, came in the form of a water-sprout at Verinag which is a kilometre away from the Veth-Vitru springs,” said the well known scholar and advocate, Sh.Badri Nath Pandita ,who originally belongs to Chinigund -Verinag and lives now in Jammu. He said, “It is shocking that some anti-social elements have sold away the immovable property of Lord Shiva at Omoh-Verinag of Geeta Bhavan at Verinag and of Mata Vitasta at village Vith Vethruve and pocketed the proceeds. He has sought a high-level probe into the misuse of the Vitasta and Omoh property and the recovery of the said property from those who have grabbed it with the help of anti-social elements. The latter have no dharma or conscience; for them, dharma is just a way to pocket whatever they can. Advocates MK Raina and O.N. Bhat have called for the constitution of a trust for protecting the temple’s property in Tehsil Dooru, particularly at Omoh and Veth Vitru, so the culprits could be held accountable.
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