The practice of Kanwar Yatra has been going on in our country for over a hundred years. Some facts related to Kanwar Yatra are also found in Puranas and texts. In the Kanwar Yatra, devotees carry water on their shoulders and offer water to the famous temples of their favorite Lord Shiva. This Kannav Yatra performed by Lord Shiva devotees is performed in the month of Savan.
Essay on the importance of Kawad and Kawad Yatra in English
1400 word essay
Kanwar Yatra is one of the religious beliefs of Hindu Dharma performed by Shiva devotees in most parts of India. Millions of devotees throng this yatra in the month of Sawan. In the month of Sawan, we see devotees on the streets dressed in ocher robes with water jugs on their shoulders, announcing ball-bombs, traveling on foot to Shiva temples, these Kanavaryas or Kanwar pilgrims and following in their footsteps. The journey itself is called Kanwar Yatra.
Who are Kanwar? (What is Kawad?)
Kanwar is a bamboo stick with a light water container tied at both ends, in which Shiva devotees are filled with water from the Ganges. The kanwar is strong and light in weight so that devotees can carry the kanwar on their shoulders and travel long distances on foot. The kanwar is made in such a way that if the kanwar is placed on the shoulder in the middle, its completeness is the same on both sides. Shiva devotees decorate their kanwars with toys that symbolize Lord Shiva.
Kanwar Yatra (Kanwar Yatra)
Kanwar Yatra is an annual pilgrimage of Shiva devotees in India, a symbol of Hindu faith. Kanwar Yatra is performed by devotees every year in the seventh month of the Hindu calendar. During this month, there is a large crowd of Kanwar pilgrims in the special temples of Lord Shiva. Devotees travel long distances from major places like Haridwar, Gangotri, Gomukh, Prayagraj, Varanasi and Sultanganj to special temples of Lord Shiva in Kashi Vishwanath, Vaidyanath, Aughanathnath, Taraknath and Pura Mahadev temples. Some Shiva devotees offer water in the pagoda in their native village.
Thus, devotees perform the anointing of Lord Shiva in the month of Savar in the Kanvar Yatra, but the Kanvar travelers consider Triodashi and mainly Chaturdashi in the Krishna Paksha of the month of Savan as auspicious days for the anointing of Lord Shiva. Many devotees travel on foot and many are transported by motor vehicle, bus and bicycle. Kanwar pilgrims do not place the kanwar on the ground once picked up during the journey. The Kanwar travelers travel in groups and move forward helping each other. A Kanwar traveler puts the Kanwar on his shoulders until he takes a bath after performing his ritual.
Types of Kanwar Yatra (Types of Kawd Yatra)
Kanwar Yatra is very unique and amazing. There are mainly 4 types of Kanwar Yatra, which have their own rules-
1) General Kanwar Yatra – Devotees rest in the ordinary kanwar and proceed to rest in the yatra. Where ordinary Kanwar pilgrims stay and rest, there is a pandal and arrangement of rest and meals for the devotees.
2) Khadi Kanwar Yatra – The Kanwar Yatra is a long journey and the Kanwaris who travel on foot travel in groups with their companions. Kanwar does not stop in this Kanwar Yatra.
3) Dak Kanwar Yatra – In Dak Kanwar, the Kanwar passenger keeps walking without stopping. People clear the road in temples for Dak Kanwar pilgrims. Special arrangements are also made by the temple administration for postal virgins.
4) Dandi Kanwar Yatra – This is the most difficult form of Kanwar Yatra in which Shiva devotees complete the punishment by measuring their body length while lying on the bank of the river up to the temple. Very few people make this journey. Sometimes this journey takes even 1 month to complete.
History of Kanwar Yatra (History of Kawad Yatra)
Evidence of the Kanwar Yatra can also be found in the 1st century when the British soldiers informed the devotees from the place where Kanwar was being taken.
When does the yoke start? There are many folk tales related to this which are as follows-
According to Hindu mythology, when the sea churned, a poison called “halahal” came out before the nectar, which no deity or demon wanted to consume. The earth began to burn because of the heat of the halal poison. Seeing that the earth was burning in this way, Lord Shiva decided to drink the poison and while drinking it, he stopped the poison in his throat. As soon as Lord Shiva ingested the poison, his body started burning and the temperature of Lord Shiva started rising.
Two stories are told to cool the temperature of Lord Shiva, one is that all the deities started anointing him with water after drinking poison and Lord Indra showered his powers and started the practice of Kanwar. Another story is that after consuming poison, Lord Shiva’s body started burning, then he remembered his great devotee Ravana, then Ravana brought Ganga water in Kanwar and offered it to Lord Shiva and started this practice.
Legend has it that the first Kanwar Yatra was started by Lord Parshuram. Shri Parashuram, a great devotee of Lord Shiva, started this Kanwar tradition by anointing Lord Shiva with water in the temple of “Pura Mahadev” in today’s Baghpat district and taking water from the Ganges from Garmukteshwar.
It is also heard somewhere that Shravankumar carried his parents on a pilgrimage on his shoulders and on his way he brought Gangajal offered to Lord Shiva and this practice has been going on ever since.
Of all these beliefs, the most popular is the folklore of Lord Parashurama.
Importance of Kanwar Yatra (Importance of Kawad Yatra)
This pilgrimage taken by Shiva devotees in the holy month of Savan is very important. It is believed that the Kannav Yatra bears the same fruit as the Ashwamedha Yajna. Those travelers who walk barefoot for the anointing of Lord Shiva are freed from the bondage of birth and death and all their sins are removed. With the blessings of Lord Shiva, devotees attain Shivlok after death. Kanwar Yatra further strengthens the spirit of devotion among the people. Faith in God teaches us to differentiate between right and wrong on the way of life.
Because of Kovid Kanwar Travel ban (Restrictions on Kavad Yatra due to Kovid)
In the year 2020, the whole country was engulfed by the terrible corona, which forced people to stay at home for months. Considering the prevention of this epidemic, the Kanwar Yatra was completely postponed in 2020. This effect of Corona continued in 2021, which led the Uttarakhand government to completely suspend the Kanwar Yatra in its state in 2021 due to the influx of Kanwaris in Haridwar. Even in Uttar Pradesh, there has been no Kanwar Yatra this year, though a select few have been seen going to nearby temples for anointing.
Kanwar Yatra is a part of Hindu tradition, to which the religious faith of Hindus is associated. Many Hindu organizations like Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Swayamsevak Sangh, local Kanwar Sangh and some local people also provide rest, food, medicine etc. services to the Kanwar pilgrims. It also reflects the religious culture of our country. The Kanwar Yatra also connects strangers to each other. On such occasions, some people also show solidarity in religious diversity and arrange water for these travelers.
Frequently Asked Questions: Frequently Asked Questions
Answer – About 25 lakh passengers participate in the Kanwar Yatra.
Answer – Kanwar passengers travel about 150 to 200 km.
Answer – Kanwar Yatra is performed in the month of Sawan.
Answer – After Kumbh Mela, Kanwar Yatra is the second occasion in which people gather.