Ksheer Bhawani Temple at
Tula-Mul is also known
as Ragniya Asthapan and Kshir-Bhawani both in and outside Kashmir. The tirtha, lies 22 km to the South of
Srinagar. Kshir-Bhawani asthapan is
among the tirthas of Kashmir, well-known outside Kashmir too. Non Kashmir
yatris flock there for Darshanas.
The historical antecedents of Kshir-Bhawani, go
back to very ancient times, as per the traditions. It is said that Ragniya
Devi came to Kashmir from (Sri) Lanka in the era of Ramayana. Though Ragniya
is a rupa of Durga, this one is a Vaishnav rupa in Kashmir Ragniya is also
known as Tripura, while in (Sri) Lanka, the Mother Goddess was called Shayama.
Sita too, is believed to have been an incarnation of Ragniya. Ragniya Mahatmya
has it that those who meditate on Panch Dashi Mantra during Nav-reh, Mother
Ragniya grants their wish.
It is said that the night during which Mother
Goddess came from (Sri) Lanka to Kashmir was Christened Ragniya Ratri In
Kashmir a number of shrines are deciated to Mother Goddess at Tiker, Bhuvaneshvar,
Manzgam (Noor-abad) Bheda, Lo-qraer-pur, Mani-gam, Rai-than and Baed-pur,
but the Shrine at Tul-Mul is the most famous one and hence the focus of
yatris. 360 springs (nagas) are said to have gathered there. Ragniya is
a Sattavie form of Mother Goddess, i.e. the form of tranquility and bliss.
The first mention of Tula-Mula in Raj-Tarangni
comes in Jaya Peda’s reign when the Brahmins of Tula-Mula agitated against
him. The protest of Brahmin fraternity indicates that Tula-Mula commanded
much importance in Jaya Peda’s time, because of which many Brahmins congregated
there. The river on whose bank, Tula-Mul stands, has been called Chandra-Bhaga
in Nilamat Purana. This Chandra-Bhaga is the branch of Indus which flows
by Tula-Mula and finally merges in Veth (Jehlum).