Thursday, 24 July 2014

Kanwad Yatra - कांवड़ यात्रा

Kanwad Yatra is undertaken by devotees of Lord Shiva during the month of Saavan in July-August. Devotees bring water from holy Ganges from Har Ki Pauri or Gaumukh or Gangotri in Uttaralkand & offer to Lord Shiva in the temples in their respective villages or houses.

It is said that Lord Parshuram was first to bring Kanwad from Garh Mukteshwar & offered water of holy Ganges to Shiva in Pura Mahadev temple in Baghpat.

Another version is that during the great churning - समुद्र मंथन, the poison first came out & was absorbed by Lord Shiva. Ganges water offered on Shivlings puts out the negativity generated by the poison.

Twenty years back it was a quiet affair limited to a few hundreds of Sadhus who walked for days to bring Ganges water. This has now spread far & wide & participation has reached a crore of people.

Now besides walking, devotees use cycles, motorbikes, cars, trucks & tractors. Free food stalls, night shelters, medical help is available all along the routes. Some photos taken on Delhi Road, Meerut on mobile:

A Kanwad - कांवड़ made of a bamboo pole & two containers. Once filled with Ganges water, the containers should not touch the ground. For this they use a contraption to keep it up  

Kanwadias with their decorated Kanwad. Water containers are inside the minarets 

Kanwaria balances the movement of his Kanwad with a thin rope tied to it & held in his left hand

Kanwads get bigger & more decorative
This Kanwad is bigger one - a Group Kanwad. Being pulled by members of group by rotation

Faithful devotee managing on his own 

Family from a village in Ghaziabad district. Their to & fro journey would cover a distance of nearly 250 km.

Number of ladies is increasing every year

Made for each other - Bhola & Bholi

Lot of masks are used by Kanwarias

Tough walk
The thundering DJs & huge tableau's create traffic problems. NH-58 remains closed for a week. Schools, colleges & businesses remain closed. Better management is needed.

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