The month of Sawan, in the Hindu calendar, is of huge significance to devotees of Lord Shiva who go on Kanwar Yatra to Haridwar every year. But this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Uttarakhand government has said, Kanwar Yatra will not be possible and Ganga water will be taken from Har ki Pauri and sent to all states for the devotees of Shiva.
"Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand have agreed that traditional Kanwar Yatra is not possible this year. So we have decided to send water from the Ganga, in large brass urns, to these states," Madan Kaushik, senior officer in Uttarakhand government told news agency PTI. The brass containers will be sent by road on trucks to locations across India
Every year Kanwariyas walk hundreds of kilometres from their respective states to Haridwar, where they take a holy dip and bring back waters from the Ganga to pour on Shivalingas in temples.
Kanwariyas usually walk in big groups and following COVID-19 guidelines may be difficult, authorities said. The Ganga water will be made available for the Kanwariyas at most temples in the country Mr Kaushik said, adding that this was a symbolic gesture of respecting faith of Kanwariyas and all devotees of Shiva amid the pandemic.
Kanwar Yatra normally starts from the first 'Sawan Somvar' considered to be auspicious. Throughout the month many devotees fast and offer prayers to Lord Shiva every Monday. Mythology says, it is in Sawan that Lord Shiva had chosen Parvati as his wife and the month is dedicated to Shiva and Parvati.