The Holy month of Hindus, Sawan, will mark the start of annual pilgrimage for devotees of Lord Shiva. Lakhs of devotees go on the Kanwar Pilgrimage to seek blessings of the Lord. These devotees even fast on all the four Mondays of the month to please Lord Shiva. This year the holy month of Sawan starts on July 25, 2021 and ends on August 22, 2021.
‘Kanwariyas’ (devotees of Lord Shiva) collect water from River Ganga to offer at Shiva temples in their areas as part of the yatra. Devotees visit Haridwar, Gaumukh and Gangotri in Uttarakhand and Sultanganj in Bihar to fetch water of the river Ganga. Kanwar Yatra was suspended last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
SAWAN MONTH 2021: 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 2021
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.
KANWAR YATRA 2021: RULES FOR DEVOTEES
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.
SAWAN SOMWAR 2021: FASTING DATES
First Monday of Sawan: July 26
Second Monday: August 2
Third Monday: August 9
Fourth Monday: August 16.