The Holy month of Hindus, Shravan, is here and so is the annual pilgrimage of devotees of Shiva. During this auspicious occasion, lakhs of devotees go on the Kanwar Pilgrimage to seek blessings and offer Lord Shiva. These devotees even fast on all the four Mondays of the month to please Lord Shiva. This year the holy month starts on July 17, 2019 and ends on August 15.
Importance of the Holy month
As per mythology, during the churning of the ocean, Lord Shiva consumed poison to save the world. However, Goddess Parvati quickly held his throat to stop the poison from moving further in his body. As a result, his throat blue and he came to be known as Neelkantha.
Following the consumption of venom, 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.
Kanwar Yatra Celebrations
Kanwar Yatra is widely popular in the northeastern part of India. Lakh of devotees come in huge groups and take part in dancing and singing Shiva bhajans throughout the route. Special rules are also created by the traffic police to prevent any sort of congestion. Besides these, numerous resting and foods points are also created by the government.
Rules of Kanwar Yatra
Some of the rules that every devotee needs to follow are:
No use of cosmetics throughout the journey
Yatra is always done in groups
Consumption of alcohol, onion and garlic is to be avoided.
One has to take bath before carrying kanwar
Keeping Kanwar on your head or beneath a tree is prohibited.