Devotees on both sides of border pay respects to Hindu saintJune 25th, 2009 - 5:12 pm ICT by IANS
Chamliyal (India-Pakistan border), June 25 (IANS) Thousands of devotees gathered Thursday in this Jammu and Kashmir village, barely 200 metres from the India-Pakistan border, for the annual festival in the memory of a Hindu saint who devoted his life to preach peace and love to the people.
A fair is organised every last Thursday of June at Chamliyal, the village named after the saint, whose real name was Daleep Singh Manhas. The saint, who lived more than three centuries ago, was very popular among the local people and according to legend, had magical powers to cure diseases. However, this made a few people envious and they murdered him.
A shrine has been built where he was murdered and the soil - called shakkar (sugar) - where his blood flowed is believed to cure skin diseases when mixed with water (sharbat) from a well in the area, to make a paste.
While Indian pilgrims danced and sang folk songs in praise of the saint, several hundred Pakistanis, dressed in their festive best, gathered across the border to pay their respects to Baba Chamliyal from a distance. Their offerings were brought to the shrine by a column of Pakistani Rangers, and received by Border Security Force (BSF)personnel.
BSF trolleys later delivered them their share of sharbat and shakkar.
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