Expecting a footfall of more than 5 crore pilgrims during the holy month of Shravan, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Thursday assured that all arrangements for a safe Kanwar Yatra have been made by the state administration. “We have made all the arrangements regarding the smooth conduct and safety during the Kanwar Yatra. We appeal to them to follow the rules made by the administration,” Dhami said.
“This time, we expect more than 5 crore in Kanwar Yatra. No matter how many Lord Shiva devotees come, everyone is welcome.” Uttarakhand administration on Wednesday announced that pilgrims with swords, tridents and other such harmful objects will not be allowed during the Kanwar Yatra.
The administration also gave instructions to the police station and outposts in-charges to seize these materials at the district border. “There will be a ban on bringing swords, tridents, and sticks in the Kanwar Yatra starting from tomorrow. All the station and outpost in-charges have been instructed to seize them at the district borders,” Janmejay Khanduri, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Dehradun said.
The ‘Kanwar Yatra’ is an annual pilgrimage of Lord Shiva’s devotees that started Thursday. The Kanwariyas (pilgrims) visit places like Haridwar, Gaumukh and Gangotri in Uttarakhand and Sultanganj in Bihar to fetch the holy water of River Ganga. They then worship God with the same water. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the Kanwar Yatra in 2021 was cancelled in Uttarakhand and entry at ‘Har ki Pauri’ was also restricted.
Thursday also marks the onset of the holy month of ‘Sawan’ (Shravan), which is considered to be the most auspicious month of the year. The month holds great significance for devotees of Lord Shiva, who considered the Supreme Lord, the creator, protector, and destroyer of the universe, according to Hindu religious beliefs.
During the month of Shravan, the devotees observe fasts on Mondays which are considered to be particularly auspicious days of the month. Lord Shiva is worshipped on Mondays throughout the year and the Mondays of this month are especially significant with the whole month being dedicated to the lord. The festival is celebrated predominantly in north India. This year Sawan started on July 14 and will end on August 12. Four Mondays fall during this period- July 18, July 25, August 1, and August 8.