Jammu, March 20: Years after the idol of Mata Bhadrakali was brought back from Jammu, it was reinstalled at a famous temple at Bhadrakali Village in Jammu and Kashmir's Kupwara district.
The ancient temple wore a festive look as the original idol of the presiding deity, Maa Bhadrakali, was restored to its original abode in a simple ceremony on Monday, a temple panel member, Bhushan Lal Pandita, said.
The idol was stolen in 1981 was subsequently recovered and kept in Jammu since 1999.
"In 1891, Shriman 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," Pandita said.
He added that during the exodus of Pandits from Handwara, the idol was left behind in the house of Pandit Jaggernath. It was recovered from the Panditji's Handwara house and taken to Jammu in 1999, he said.
In a chance meeting with Brig D R Rai of Rashtriya Rifles (RR) in October 2017, that Pandita sought support and cooperation of the Army for the restoration of the original idol at Bhadrakali temple.
Accordingly, the 21 RR deployed for protection of the temple facilitated the re-establishment of the idol, he said.