The Kanwar Yatra which was scheduled to commence from July 6 this year has reportedly been postponed by the States of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarkhand, and Harayana, owing to the Coronavirus pandemic. The decision was made during a video conference meeting between the Chief Ministers of three States in ‘public interest’, following their consultation with religious leaders and Kanwar Sanghs.
As per the report, Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath has directed the police, administrative officials to communicate with Kanwar Sanghs, religious leaders, and peace committees. A government spokesperson has informed that not more than five people will be allowed in the ‘jal abishek rituals’ at the shivalayas.
The proposal to cancel the Yatra came from saint and religious leaders of the states and was accepted in the meeting between the CMs.
Other than the Kanwar Yatra, the UP CM has also ordered that more than five people cannot gather to celebrate Eid- ul-Adha (Bakri-Eid) in August.
What is Kanwar Yatra?
Kanwar yatra is an annual pilgrimage of devotees of Lord Shiva. The devotees are known as Kawariyas and carry a Kanwar, a bamboo pole. Kanwar has two pitchers that are hung on either side by ropes and are often decorated with colourful papers. Kawariyas carry the bamboo pole on their shoulders and balance the weight of the two pitchers.
The pilgrims head to religious cities, where the Holy river Ganga flows, such as Haridwar, Rishikesh, Gangotri, Kashi, etc. They fill their containers with the holy water and offer it to Lord Shiva.