Here comes good news for all the devotees of Lord Shiva as chief minister Yogi Adityanath has given nod for the Yatra. The decision is yet to be taken by Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami after consulting other states, including Delhi, Haryana, and UP. Last year yatra was suspended due to COVID-19. Sawan, the holy month of Hindus, marks the start of the annual pilgrimage. This year Sawan starts on July 25, 2021, and ends on August 22, 2021.
More About Kanwar Yatra
The ''Kanwar Yatra'' is an annual pilgrimage of Lord Shiva's devotees and is widely popular in the northeastern parts of India. Devotees or Kanwariyas collect water from River Ganga to offer at Shiva temples in their areas as part of the yatra. Shiv Bhakts visit Haridwar, Gaumukh, and Gangotri in Uttarakhand and Sultanganj in Bihar to fetch water from the river Ganga. Devotees dance and sing Shiv bhajans and aarti throughout the journey. Special arrangements are made by the local authorities and government for the Kanwar's like resting points, food points, and washrooms. Most devotees are men but few women also take part in this auspicious event.
Devotees also fast on all four Mondays to seek the blessings of Bholenath and are known as Shrawan Somwar. Scientifically, speaking fasting during Sawan month is considered healthy for the digestive system. The justification says during Shravan, there is rain and at the same time the sunlight is scarce, and hence it slows down the digestive system. So, it is better to eat light, easily digestible meal. It is, thus, better to keep a fast or follow a strict vegetarian diet during Shravan month.
Sawan Somwar Fasting Dates
First Monday of Sawan: July 26
Second Monday: August 2
Third Monday: August 9
Fourth Monday: August 16.
Rules to follow during the yatra
Devotees should not apply any kind of cosmetic throughout the journey.
Consumption of garlic, alcohol, and onion is strictly prohibited.
One has to take a bath before carrying Kanwar.
Keeping Kanwar on your head or beneath a tree is prohibited and one can not return home without offering water to Shiva.
Some Kanwariyas complete this journey barefoot.
Yatra is always done in groups (however this year covid-19 norms and social distancing need to be followed)
When to offer water?
The most preferable day to offer water to Lordshiva is Shivratri. This sacred day is considered auspicious, holy and is filled with positive vibes.
As per mythology, the Kanwar Yatra is related to the churning of the ocean. Lord Shiva consumed poison during the churning of the ocean, thereby suffering from negative energy.
However, Goddess Parvati quickly held his throat to stop the venom from moving further in his body. As a result, his throat became blue and he came to be known as Neelkantha.
Following the consumption of poison, Lord Shiva’s body started to burn. So to provide him relief from the burning, all the Gods and Goddess started offering water to him. This is where the practice of offering water to Shiva and Kanwar Yatra began.
However, there is another belief that says in Treta Yuga, Ravana meditated on Shiva and using a Kanwar, brought the holy water of the Ganges and offered it to Lord Shiva, thus removing the negative energy of the poison from Lord Shiva.
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