People in Kashmir organised the Zool Festival and burned Mashals (also known as Zool in local language) at the Aishmuqam Dargah Shrine of Sufi saint Baba Zaina-ud-din Wali in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Tuesday.
The festival, which is held in April, marks the beginning of agricultural activities of the farmers in the district. It is a regular affair that portrays the state's rich culture and heritage. Devotees come from far off places to celebrate the festival in the shrine.
Delicious food stalls and delicacies adorn the streets outside the shrine.
The festival is held after the evening prayers, and a torchlight procession is the main highlight of festival. The procession involves holding torch lights, locally called leshi in a peculiar way, which depicts the public seeking blessings of the saint.
People from all religions are believed to come and pay homage to the saint.
Locals claim that the festival continues to be celebrated from pre-Islamic times and dates back to about 2,000 years.
The shrine is situated on a hill lock, which is about 86 km away from Srinagar, en route to Pahalgam.