One of the holiest months of the Hindu calendar, Saavan, which is dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva, is here and with that the onset of the sacred pilgrimage, Kanwar Yatra. You could not have missed the saffron-clad devotees in the streets of Dehradun.
During Kanwar Yatra, devotees of Lord Shiva, known as “Kanwariya” or “Kanvadias”, make a journey to Haridwar, Gaumukh and Gangotri in Uttarakhand and Sultanganj in Bihar while chanting “Bol Bum’, to gather holy water from the River Ganga. While some devotees travel on their personal vehicles, other walk the distance barefoot. A heavily decorated pole, known as Kanwar, is balanced on the shoulder where two pitchers of holy water from River Ganga is carried.
The holy water is carried back to their hometown, which is used for bathing the Shivalinga on the New Moon day(Amavasya) in Saavan month or on the Maha Shivratri day. Shravani Mela is held at Deoghar in Jharkhand, where thousands of pilgrims bringing holy water from the Ganges at Sultanganj offer it to lord Baidyanath(Shiva).
The kanwariyas come from all parts of the world, however, yatris from the northern part of India are the most common. There are numerous NGOs on the journey route which offer free service(Sewa) like food, water, medical aid, and tea, to the kanwariyas. The yatra holds a special significance as Saavan month is considered the most auspicious month for carrying out any religious activities and it also falls during the chaturmas period, which has traditionally been set aside for religious pilgrimages, bathing in holy water and penance.
If you want to be a part of the yatra or want to visit Haridwar or any other religious place, do not forget to book your tickets (from MakeMyTrip, ClearTrip, Expedia etc) through WhiteCashback and avail discounts and cashback offers.