Jammu: The famous annual Jhiri Mela kicked off here on Saturday, with an overwhelming number of devotees attending the fair.
The mela is one of the largest fairs in North India and will go on for a week. This fair is celebrated in the memory of Baba Jitto, who gave up his life in protest against the oppressive demands of the zamindar at that time, along with his daughter Bua Kauri.
Speaking to ANI, Arvind Dutta, the priest of Jhiri Temple, said: “This temple is constructed in the memory of Baba Jitto and his daughter Bua Kauri. This temple is almost 700 years old. This was their final resting place.”
He further stated that most of the arrangements for this year’s Jhiri Mela have been made by the devotees themselves, rather than the government.
According to Dutta, all wishes asked by the devotees in the temple are fulfilled, which is why several people come and engage themselves in the services of Baba Jitto.
People from all over the country have come to visit the Jhiri Mela. Around 8-10 lakh devotees come to visit the Baba Jitto temple every year
According to legend, Baba Jitto was born in a village named Asgar Jitto, and was an ardent follower of Vaishno Devi. After being evicted from his village by his aunt, Baba Jitto started living in a blacksmith’s home in Kanachar.
Jitto was asked to cultivate a barren land, with the assurance that three-fourths of the crop would be given to him. Jitto then worked hard to convert the barren land into fertile land and yielded a good quality crop.
However, he was later cheated by the landlord, who refused to give him anything. Jitto then took his life while standing on his crops, following which his daughter jumped into the pyre of her father.