After two years, the sacred Kanwar Yatra will begin. This used to be held every year, but due to the COVID-19 epidemic, it has been postponed for the past two years. The Kanwar Yatra would take place once more this year now that the bulk of the nation's residents has received their first immunization shot, and in many cases, their second as well. Here is everything you need to know about the Kanwar Yatra prior to it starting:
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Every year, followers of Lord Shiva participate in the auspicious pilgrimage known as Kanwar Yatra or Kawad Yatra. The reason this yatra is also known as a "Jal Yatra" is that it involves the carrying of a "Ganga Jal" to Shiva temples in one's hometown from Hindu pilgrimage sites including Sultanganj in Bihar, Gangotri and Gaumukh in Uttarakhand, and Haridwar.
This year, the Uttarakhand government is preparing to host a record-breaking number of pilgrims. Three to four crores are said to be the ballpark figure. This year, the Kanwar Yatra will start on July 14 and end on July 26.
Jal timing on July 19 is between 12:41 and 12:55 AM. Jal Abhishek happens on Sawan Shivaratri, which falls on July 18.
Hindus organize this pilgrimage when followers come together to collect the Ganges River's holy water from locations such as Haridwar and Gangotri in Uttarakhand. To get to Haridwar, devotees go through the western Uttar Pradesh districts of Saharanpur, Shamli, Meerut, Ghaziabad, and Baghpat.
The Kanwar Yatra dates back to the 1960s when only a small number of saints or followers undertook the trek. The holy journey did not become widely recognized by the public until the 1990s. The Yatra is currently thronged with countless devotees from all over the world. According to Hindu mythology, the origin of the Kanwar Yatra can be found in the Samudra Manthan incident, in which Lord Shiva was forced to consume poison in order to obtain Amrit (the nectar of life) for those other gods.
Shravan, the Hindu month that falls between July and August on the English calendar, is when the Kanwar Yatra takes place. According to the Purnimanta calendar, it begins on Pradipada tithi (the first day of Shravan month).
The Kanwariyas, however, travel the Kanwar Yatra from Sultanganj to Devghar throughout the year, in the states of Bihar and Jharkhand, respectively.
The pilgrims travel the entire 100 kilometers in bare feet and with great dedication.
According to the Hindu calendar, the Kanwar Yatra was first collected. the data of "Bhado," but once the meal (fair) began in the month of "Shravan" in 1960, the yatra began from this month till the time of Dussera. During this time, Kanwar Yatra is mostly observed, although, during important Hindu holidays like Maha Shivratri and Basant Panchami, the amount of Kanvarias multiplies. Nearly 2 crore people travel on this holy trek each year, according to statistics. This festival, also known as the "Shravan Mela," is one of the largest religious gatherings in North India. Women take part in the Kanwar Yatra in significant numbers, making it open to both genders.
On the trayodashi tithi of the Shravan month, Kanwariyas offer the Ganga Jal they brought back from the holy sites to wash the Shivalingam in their hometown.
A lot of followers make a point to walk the entire way barefoot. People who are unable to walk can, nevertheless, use personal vehicles. The devotees receive assistance and free services such as food, water, tea, and medical care from devotees and NGOs.
For worshippers to take a break, a variety of improvised accommodations are also set up along the route. Shiva devotees chant Bol Bam and other devotional bhajans and kirtans of Shiva while traveling.
The devotees carry the "Kanvar" on both of their shoulders during the Kanwar Yatra. The term "Kanvar" refers to a short bamboo pole to which two different-colored earthen pots are fastened. By holding the Kanvars on their shoulders during this pilgrimage, the Kanvarias refill the clay pots with magic water for the offerings at Lord Shiva's temple.
The Kanwar Yatra is a one-month ceremony wherein the Kanvarias go barefooted and dressed in saffron to gather holy water from the designated pilgrimage sites. The devotees then travel back to their hometown and carry out the sacred anointing of the Shivling at the neighborhood temple. It is regarded as an act of gratitude for all the blessings throughout their lives. The only thing to watch out for is that the earthen pots never contact the ground while being transported. Along the way, there are many improvised stands built where the Kanvarias can stop and relax for a while.
During this sacred yatra, the Kanvarias trek in groups. The majority of followers walk the route, but some also ride bikes, scooters, motorbikes, jeeps, or mini-trucks to make the trip. These Lord Shiva followers recite holy bhajans and the "Bol Bam" throughout the entire voyage.
Helping the Kanvarias is regarded as a fortunate deed. Several NGOs provide free services like providing food, water, tea, or medical assistance along various parts of the trek. Few NGOs, such as Bol Bum Sewa Samiti, operate year-round, however, the majority of these organizations only operate during the month of Shravan.
To go to Haridwar, Gomukh, and Gangotri in Uttarakhand during the Kanwar Yatra, the Kawariyas, or followers of Lord Shiva, travel through the Uttar Pradesh districts of Saharanpur, Shamli, Meerut, Ghaziabad, and Baghpat. Kanwariyas travel via National Highway 58 to get to Uttarakhand from Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, western UP, and Rajasthan.
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