Kanwar Yatra is one of the significant events in India. It takes place in the month of Sawan where devotees offer holy Ganga water to Lord Shiva. People, who travel and offer water, are referred to as Kanwariyas. They carry a long bamboo with 2 loads dangling on each side. The loads carry the water which is to be offered to Lord Shiva.
Long Essay on Significance of Kanwar and Kanwar Yatra
The below-mentioned essay will tell about Kanwar Yatra and the history behind it.
Significance of Kanwar and Kanwar Yatra Essay - 950 Words
Kanwar Yatra is a pilgrimage of devotees, called Kanwariyas or sometimes Bhole. The devotees from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Delhi perform the rituals. The water offering is called Abhishek. The pilgrimage is meant to offer Lord Shiva the holy Ganga water as he drank the Halahala during the Samudra Manthan. The devotees take bath in the Ganges in the month of Sawan. The pilgrims call each other Bam or Bol Bam. The number of people taking part in this pilgrimage is higher than some country’s population.
They travel mostly on foot and sometimes go on bicycles and other modes of transportation. Majorly devotees wear saffron clothes and men and women both can be seen in this pilgrimage.
Why Kanwar Yatra is celebrated?
The episode of Samudra Manthan mentions that how in search of Amrit, the Dev and Asuras found Halahala, the poisonous element. When the Halahala was produced, there was a sudden rise in temperature. To save the world, Lord Shiva consumed it and stopped it in his neck. Later, in the Treta Yug, Ravana, who was a great devotee of Lord Shiva used a Kanwar to bring the holy Ganga water and poured it on Lord Shiva’s temple. By this, Ravana removed the negative energy that was left there because of the poison.
The Yatra was not so popular in the late 20th century. Many monks and saints use to travel on foot and sometimes barefoot to cover a long distance to offer water. After that, it started gaining popularity and many devotees started becoming a part of it. Now, it is one of the huge gatherings that take place in India.
Why Kanwar Yatra is celebrated in Sawan?
It has been a keen question for all of us that why this event is celebrated in the month of Sawan. The Hindu Puranas explain the incident of Samudra Manthan which took place in the 4th month of the Hindu calendar that is Sawan. Also, when Lord Shiva had Halahala and his crescent moon started to get affected it was also Sawan.
It is believed that offering Gangajal to Shivlings will lower the effect of the poison. This was first done by Ravana and Lord Vishnu’s incarnation Lord Parshuram is also known to do this in Haridwar.
The Journey (Yatra)
The Kanwar Yatra is an important part of the whole pilgrimage. This holds a significant image. This is important as the whole story revolves around it. The devotees take baths in holy rivers and carry waters from Ganga, Gaumukh, and Gangotri to offer Shivlings including the 12 Jyotirlingas in India and Nepal.
They carry the holy water in containers that are tied to long bamboos known as kanwars. These kanwars are supposed to be carried on the shoulders. The cities where these places belong to are Meerut, Varanasi, Deoghar, etc. Those who cannot travel a large distance can perform this ritual in the near temples of Lord Shiva. Earlier, the Yatra had only a few Saints traveling barefoot to perform this ritual. But, nowadays millions of Indians take participation in this pilgrimage. The men and women both take participation in this event with full joy and chant Bol Bam. The Yatra mainly conducted mainly in the Gangetic plains. It is now mandatory to complete this pilgrimage on foot. However, much of the distance is covered by foot and some use public transport.
Many helpful organizations show their volunteer actions by providing the pilgrimage needful things. They provide medical, food, and shelter facility on the way of the journey of Kanwariyas. Some of them are Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Vishwa Hindu Parishad.
Kanwar and Kanwariyas
Kanwar is the most important element in the whole event, as the Yatra begins the devotees need to carry the kanwars on their Shoulders. A kanwar is basically a long bamboo that has 2 containers attached to its ends. The containers can be earthen pots or plastic pots which hold the holy water. The devotees decorate their kanwars according to their ideas and thoughts and try to make it attractive.
The devotees who carry Kanwars or perform Kanwar Yatra are known as Kanwariyas. They wear saffron clothes and carry their kanwars. They chant Bol Bum and calls everyone with the name Bum.
The Kanwar Yatra holds a very special place in the Hindu religion. It is performed to show the love and eternity towards Lord Shiva. Millions of people witness Kanwar Yatra and gather as per their beliefs and faiths. The kanwar Yatra is one of the fascinating events and pilgrimages in India and holds significant value. Devotees performing the Yatra forget their tensions and stress and dedicate their whole body to Lord Shiva. The people feel blessed after completing the Yatra and it gives them happiness and spiritual healing to get rid of pains and problems.
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
Ans. A Kanwar Yatra is a pilgrimage where people travel a long distance to offer holy water to Lord Shiva.
Ans. The states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi witness the Kanwar Yatra.
Ans. Kanwar Yatra is celebrated in the month of Sawan.
Ans. Lord Shiva is worshipped in the Kanwar Yatra.
Ans. Kanwariyas are the devotees who carry the holy water to offer to Lord Shiva.