Kanwar Yatra 2022: Date, significance, rules & more about pilgrimage of Lord Shiva devotees in Sawan


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Sawan 2022 Kanwar Yatra: The annual pilgrimage which had been halted for the past two years due to the pandemic has begun. Throughout the month of Sawan, devotees worship Lord Shiva and go on the Kanwar pilgrimage to please him. They even fast on all the four Mondays of the month to seek his blessings. The pilgrimage sees thousands of Lord Shiva devotees, travel by foot or via other means to collect sacred Ganga water from Haridwar, Gaumukh and Gangotri in Uttrakhand and Sultanganj in Bihar to offer at Shiva shrines in their respective regions.

Kanwar Yatra 2022 Date

Start date: July 14

End date: July 26

What is Kanwar Yatra?

In most of the Northern states, especially Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Bihar and Jharkhand, Kanwar Yatra is quite popular. Lakhs of devotees take part in the festivity- dancing and singing Shiva bhajans throughout the route. Traffic Police create special rules and routes to avoid any sort of congestion. Special measures are taken and security is beefed at the popular temples to avoid nuisance and untoward incidents. There are numerous resting and food points created by the government and volunteers along the route to serve people. 

Why is Kanwar Yatra held in Sawan? Know Significance

As per mythology, Lord Shiva consumed poison which came out during Samudra Manthan (churning of the ocean) in order to save the world. However, Goddess Parvati quickly held his throat to stop the venom from spreading further in his body. This resulted in his throat turning blue. Since then, he came to be known as Neelkantha as well.

Lord Shiva’s body started burning and hence all the Gods and Goddess offered him water. This is where the ritual of offering water to the Lord and Kanwar Yatra began.

Kanwar Yatra Rules

The pilgrimage sees thousands of Lord Shiva devotees, most of whom travel on foot and, more recently on trucks, to Haridwar in Uttarakhand to collect holy water from the Ganga river. The pilgrimage mostly begins in late July and goes on till the first week of August. A heavy rush of people is expected this year as the Yatra is being held after a gap of two years. 

In this annual pilgrimage which takes place during the month of Sawan, the saffron-clad devotees walk barefoot to collect the holy Ganga water. There are some rules which need to be followed by all devotees. The yatra is always done in groups and cosmetics are prohibited throughout the journey. Nights are always meant for rest. You can’t carry Kanwar without taking bath. Keeping it on your head or beneath a tree is not allowed. Consumption of alcohol, onions and garlic should be avoided during Kanwar Yatra.

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