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Kanwar Yatra

6th July, 2023 History

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  • Millions of Kanwariyas, devotees of Shiva, started their Kanwar yatra on 4th
  • The journey is also known as kriyas and will continue toll July 15.

Kanwar Yatra

  • This is an annual Hindu pilgrimage which is undertaken in the Hindu month of Sawan, generally falls in July-August.
  • A symbol of faith, Kanwar yatra shows the devotion of the devotees to lord Shiva.
  • It also symbolizes a strong bond between a devotee and Lord Shiva.

Mythological story

Story 1

  • As per Hindu mythological texts during war between gods and devils, sometimes referred to as Samudra Manthan, Lord shiva consumed poison to save the world.
  • Water from the river Ganga was poured on Shiva to pacify the effects of poison.
  • This journey to offer water is believed to be originated from this story.

Story 2

  • However some believes that the journey or ritual to offer Ganga water to lord Shiva started when Lord Rama offered Ganga water to the shivalinga, statue of Shiva.

Story 3

  • Some associate this pilgrimage to the legend of Shrawan kumar, who carried his parents for pilgrimage in baskets hanging around a bamboo sling.

Process and activities during Kanwar Yatra

  • Lakhs of devotees from various parts of India wear saffron attire.
  • They travel to Gomukh, Haridwar and Gangotri, on foot, to collect holy water of river ganga.
  • This water is carried in two earthern pot which are Hung on a decorated bamboo stick, which is known as Kanwar.
  • The bamboo stick along with earthen pot is balanced on the soldiers of devotees, Kanwarias.
  • They believe that dust can impure the water hence they keep the earthen pot hung all the time and do not put them on ground.
  • Various Kanwar camps to ease the travel of devotees are set up across the travel routes where they can hang their Kanwars, take rest, get free meals and medical assistance.
  • Finally this water is brought to their native place and offered to Lord Shiva.

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Consider the following statements about Kanwar Yatra:

1. It is a pilgrimage dedicated to lord Rama.

2. It starts in the month of Hindu month Sawan, which generally falls in July and August.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

A. 1 only

B. 2 only

C. Both 1 and 2

D. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (B)