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kanwar yatra or kavad yadra (कांवड़ यात्रा)

2015-08-09 20:21:10, comments: 0

he Kānvar Yatrā or Kavad Yatra(Devanagari: काँवर यात्रा or कांवड़ यात्रा) is annual pilgrimage of devotees ofShiva, known as Kānvarias, to Hindu pilgrimage places of Haridwar,Gaumukh and Gangotri in Uttarakhandand Sultanganj in Bihar to fetch holy waters of Ganges River, Ganga Jal, which is later offered at their local Shiva temples (specific temples include Kashi Vishwanath, Baidyanath, and Devghar). Ganga Jal taken from Sultanganj is poured on Baba Baidyanath at Devghar by Kanwariyas. The Yatra takes place during the sacred month of Shravan (Saawan) (July -August), according to the Hindu calendar. The Kanwar Yatra is performed by Shiva Devotees called Kanwariyas from Sultanganj to Devghar round the year. Earlier this yatra was performed in the month of Bhado, from 1960 the mela started from the month of Shavan and exted up to Dashara. Now round the year Kanwariyas take Ganga Jal from Sultangaj and travel a distance of 100 km bare footed and reach Devghar in Jharkhand. During the Basant Panchmi, Maha Shivratri and other important Hindu occasions, the number of Kanwariyas increase many fold. During a calendar year approx. 2 Crores Kanwariyas perform this holy journey.

The Yatra used to be a small affair undertaken by a few saints and older devotees until the 1990s, when it started gaining popularity.[1] Today, hundreds of thousands of devotees from surrounding states of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab,Bihar and some from Jharkhand,Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradeshreach these places to participate in Kanwar Mela. In 2003, 75.5 million pilgrims reached Haridwar,[2] with traffic growing each year. Heavy security measures are undertaken by the government and the traffic on Delhi-Haridwar national highway(National Highway 58) is diverted for the period.[3][4]

Etymology

Kanwar Yatra is named after thekānvar (काँवर), a single pole (usually made of bamboo) with two roughly equal loads fastened or dangling from opposite ends. The kānvar is carried by balancing the middle of the pole on one or both shoulders.[5] The Hindiword kānvar is derived from theSanskrit kānvānrathi (काँवाँरथी).[5]Kānvar-carrying pilgrims, calledKānvariās, carry covered water-pots inkānvars slung across their shoulders. This practice of carrying Kavad as a part of religious pilgrimage, especially by devotees of Lord Shiva, is widely followed throughout India (seeKavadi). Yatra means a journey or procession.[3]

History

Kanwar yatra is related to the churning of the ocean of milk in the HinduPuranas. When the poison came out before Amrita and the world started burning from its heat then lord Shiva accepted to inhale poison. But, after inhaling it he started suffering from negative energy of poison. In Treta Yuga Lord Shiva's devout followerRavana did meditation. He brought holy water of Ganga by using kanwar and poured it on Lord Shivas temple in Puramahadev. Thus releasing Lord Shiva from the negative energy of the poison.

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