Kawad Yatra - Kanwar Mela - Haridwar Kawad Yatra 2018
Event Name : Kanwar Yatra 2018
Venue : Haridwar Uttarakhand
Start Date : Saturday, 28-Jul-2018
End Date : Saturday, 28-Jul-2018
Kawad or Kanwar Yatra, is a yearly pilgrimage journey of Lord Shiva’s Devotes, which start from Gomukh or Gangotri, from where devotes bring the holy water of Ganges in small pots and bring it, to Neelkanth. There it is served to lord Shiva. This yatra takes place in the month of shravan (saavan) which waterfall in, July-August, in Hindu calendar.
Kanwar yatra was taken by the saints and sacred sages in early days, which later got an addition of aged people, who used to pilgrim each year, but now hundreds and thousands of people, from Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, of young to old age, as well as woman and sometimes kids, has started participating in Yatra, and kanwar mela. On their way, the kanwariyas chant ‘BOL BAM, BAM BAM’, ‘BAM BAM BHOLE or HAR HAR MAHADEV’ together.
Kanwar or Kavad
The kavad or kanwar is a pole or cane with two water pots joined on both side. This is kept on the shoulder as the devotees walk near their destination. In these blessed places, the devotees get sacred bath in the Ganga River. The water when carried back to their hometowns is used for bathing the Shivalingam on the Amavasya (New Moon) day in Shravan month or on the Maha Shivratri day. Large camps and gatherings can be seen in Haridwar and Gangotri during the Kanwar Yatra which is a month-long blessed trip. In fact, the congregation on the ghats of Ganga in Haridwar has been recorded as one of the main human gatherings in India. These devotees because of carrying this kanvars on their shoulders are called Kanvariyas. The festival run during the monsoon month shraawan (July – august ).
Story Behind Kaanwar
According to Puranas, during ocean churning, samundra manthan, which took place in the month of Shravan or Saawan, fourteen kinds of rubies came out of it, which were distributed among gods and demons, leaving the halahal (poison) behind, which was inspired by Lord Shiva, and stored in his throat, giving him name of Neelkanth ( meaning blue throat). It is believed that the king of demons Raavan, offered Shiva holy water of Ganges, which lessen the effect of poison, and similarly, it is offered by the gods as well.
Things to See of Kanwar Yatra
• through the Kanwar Yatra, the devotees of Lord Shiva carry the ‘Kanwar’ on together of their shoulders.
• The Yatra happens from mid-July to August. Thus, it is almost a month pilgrim journey in which the devot ees wear saffron painted clothes and walk barefoot from the chosen destination to collect the holy water of Ganges in Haridwar, Gangotri or Gaumukh.
• Numbers of provisional accommodations are constructed across the journey where the Kanwarias can take rest for a while.
• Some devotees tour the distance on foot while others on their personal vehicle.
• During the journey, the Kanwarias chant the slogan of ‘Bol Bam’ along with the religious bhajans of Lord Shiva.
• There are numbers of NGOs who offer free services like food, water, tea, or medical help to Kanwarias.