Synopsis: Most awaited Kanwar yatra is scheduled to begin on July 14. During this time millions of shiv devotees visit the holy land of Haridwar, Uttarakhand to carry sacred Ganga Jal to their homes.
The Uttarakhand state government has set a target of four crores kanwariyas this year on the occasion of Shivratri. Every Sawan season, Uttarakhand witnesses millions of pilgrims. However, after the spread of Covid-19 in the country, the pilgrimage was canceled in 2020 and 2021. But in 2022, the Uttarakhand government has decided to continue the Kanwar yatra after a long gap of two years. This year again Uttarakhand is expecting to see a huge influx of over 30 million devotees of lord Shiva in 2022, which will likely break all earlier records.
Sawan is a holy month in Hindu mythology and millions of pilgrims visit Uttarakhand during this month to carry sacred Ganga Jal to their homes. Kanwariyas arrive in Uttarakhand on public transport to fetch sacred Ganga Jal and return back to their home barefoot. Devotees use this sacred Ganga Jal to worship Shiva’s Lingas in Shiva temples in their respective areas.
In 2019, around 3 crore kanwariyas arrived at Uttarakhand for the Kanwar yatra. But yatra was discontinued for the next two years 2020 and 2021 due to the sudden surge of Covid pandemic cases. Hence, this year the state is expecting to welcome over 4 crore kanwariyas which is a quite large number.
The colossal Kanwar yatra is even more enormous than the famous Char Dham yatra in which pilgrims complete the tour of four Himalayan shrines of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Yamunotri, and Gangotri. Char Dham yatra hosts around 24.3 lakh pilgrims in 60 days whereas during the Kanwar yatra a whopping 36 million pilgrims arrive in Uttarakhand in 15 days.
During the yatra, a large number of kanwariyas from UP, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, and Himachal Pradesh arrive in Uttarakhand through public transport and carry sacred Ganga Jal back to their homes on foot. NH-58 and NH-72 routing to Haridwar-Delhi and Haridwar-Najibabad respectively will remain closed to provide utmost convenience to the Kanwariyas. Besides, Bhandara and temporary shelter will be arranged on the way to provide free food, and drinks to the kanwariyas along with the facility to take rest during the journey.
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