Kanwar Yatra Guidelines 2024

The Kanwar Yatra is the annual pilgrimage of the devotees of Shiva known as Kanvaria; to Hindu pilgrimage places like Haridwar, Gaumukh and Gangotri in Uttarakhand and Sultanganj in Bihar to fetch the holy waters of the Ganges River to pour it on various Shiva temples in India. The Kanwar Yatra (Kawad Yatra) takes place in the holy Hindu month of ‘Shravan’ also known as ‘Saavan’.

The Saavan Yatra of Kanwar is usually held in the month of July to August in the Gregorian calendar. However, the Kanwar Yatra from Sultanganj to Devghar in the state of Bihar is undertaken by the Kanvarias all year round. The 100 km Kanwar Yatra in Saavan is done barefooted by the devotees with utmost devotion and thrill. 

During the Kanwar Yatra, the devotees store the holy water of Ganga River in pitchers and carry it on their shoulders on a small pole made from bamboo known as “Kanwar” from which the Kanvarias derive their name.

Kanwar Yatra 2023

The Kanwar Yatra will take place from 4 July to 15 July 2023.

Saawan Shivratri Date: 15 July 2023

The holy Kanwar Yatra will resume after two years, thus Uttarakhand government is preparing to attend to a record breaking footfall of devotees this year. It is expected that 30 million (3 to 4 crores) pilgrims may visit Haridwar this year for Kanwar yatra.

Kanwar Yatra Guidelines

  • No one will be allowed for Kanwar Yatra without a valid identity card in the Kanwar Yatra.
  • The height of Kanwar more than 12 feet will be banned.
  • Sticks (laathi-dande), Trishul, Spears or any other weapon is no allowed carry by Kanwariyas.
  • Strict action will be taken against playing songs that incite religious sentiments.
  • DJ Kanwar are not banned but volume should be controlled. 

Steps Taken by Uttarakhand Government for Kanwar Yatra

  • About 10000 security personnels will be deployed
  • Haridwar and the nearby areas are divided into 12 super zones, 31 zones and 133 sectors for the yatra
  • Drones and CCTV camera will be used while social media will be monitored to ensure tight security arrangement.

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About Kanwar Yatra

The Kanwar Yatra in Monsoon is the time when the journey to various Shiva temples like Neelkanth Mahadev Temple in Rishikesh, Pura Mahadeva and Augharnath temple in Meerut and Kashi Vishwanath, Baidyanath and Deoghar. The devotees in Kanwar Yatra head to Haridwar, Gangotri, and Gaumukh. Kanwar yatra in Haridwar is a massive event; there are large camps and gatherings that are seen of the Ghats of the Ganges during the Haridwar Kanwar Yatra. The devotees take a bath in the Holy water of river Ganga at Kanwar Yatra in Haridwar. The Yatra further moves to Rishikesh where the Kanwariyas pour water in the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple.

History of Kanwar Yatra/ Kawad Yatra

The Kanwar Mela was first observed in the month of ‘Bhaado’ as per the Hindu calendar, However, the Kanwad Yatra is been held in the Shravan month since 1960 till the month of Dusshera. This Yatra goes to various destinations in Uttarakhand. After the 1990’s the Kanwad Yatra to Neelkanth became really famous and a large number of devotees started participating in it. The Kanwar Mela is also known as The Shravan Mela and is one of the biggest religious congregations of North India. Not only men, but women also participate in the Kanwar Yatra.

The mythology behind Kanwar Yatra

The Kanwar Yatra of Saavan has a high holy significance in India. There are two Mythologies of Kanwar Yatra which make it of very high importance in Hindu Mythology.

The first one says that during the time of churning of the ocean of milk, known as Samudra Manthan in the month of Shravan according to the Hindu Puranas. The ocean spilled out poison before it gave out the elixir of life (Amrit. The world started burning from its heat and then Lord Shiva gulped it in and settled it in his throat which turned blue because of the poison, giving Lord Shiva the title of ‘Neelkanth’. The poison left a burning sensation in Lord Shiva’s throat and so the Gods poured the holy water of The Ganges on Lord Shiva to minimize its effects.

The second Mythology of Kanwad Yatra says that Ravana, an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva brought the holy water of Ganga by using a Kanwar and poured on Shiva’s Temple in Puramahadev during the month Aof Saavan, thus releasing Shiva from the negative energy of the poison. Since then Shiva’s devotees carry forward this ritual of pouring Ganga water on the Shiv Lingas around the world during Saavan.

Kanwar Yatra Route

The Kanwar Yatra to Neelkanth begins from the ancient Badrinath-Kedarnath route but now 'Kanwariyas' follow the national highways. Most of the Kanwarias from Delhi-NCR region, follow the NH-58 route from Ghaziabad to Rishikesh. The Kanwarias walk hundreds of kilometers to reach the Neelkanth Temple. The Kanwariyas fill-up the Kanwars at Ramkund or from the holy Ganga river, and then they move forward to the Neelkanth temple, for the Kanwar Yatra in Rishikesh to pour the holy water on the Shiv Linga.

The Route to Neelkanth Kanwar Yatra from Delhi is easy as there are a number of transport facilities available. You can board a bus, book a taxi or travel by train till Rishikesh as there are a number of bus cab and train facilities available till Rishikesh from New Delhi. The Neelkanth Temple is located at a distance of 32 km from Rishikesh.

Traffic Situation During Kanwar Yatra

The Kanwar walk in groups during this holy yatra, while most of the Kanwariyas cover the distance on foot, others also use bikes, auto, bicycle, scooters, jeep or mini trucks to cover this journey. The Kanwar Yatra invites crores of pilgrims from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana and other parts of India. Last year there were many policies that were made to control the traffic in Kanwar Yatra. There may be diversions for bus routes plying to/from Haridwar, Rishikesh & Dehradun during Kanwad Yatra. 

Kanwar Yatra 2023 News Updates

Kanwar Yatra will start from 14 July in 2022

Uttarakhand Govt is prepared for Kanwar Yatra this year, where more than 3 crore pilgrims are expected to visit Haridwar.

Date: 30 June 2022

1000 cops deployed at Uttarakhand borders to stop kanwarias

The Har-Ki-Pauri ghat in Haridwar, from where the kanwarias collect holy water every year, has been "sealed for the pilgrims" with barricades to remain till August 6.

Date: 25 July 2021

Kanwar Yatra News Update 2022

After Uttarakhand, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh also cancels Kanwar Yatra

Date: 18 July 2021

Uttarakhand Govt has finally Cancelled Kanwar Yatra Owing to Third Wave Threat

Date: 13 July 2021

Kanwar Yatra is likely to be cancelled this year also

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said that the kanwar yatra is a matter of Shraddha and Aastha and “God would not like anyone to die”. So, its more likely that Kanwar will be cancelled this year also.

Each year devotees from Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh take part in the annual kanwar yatra by visiting Haridwar and Rishikesh to collect Gangajal.

Date: 12 July 2021

Kanwar Yatra may be allowed this year with some guidelines

Date: 9 July 2021

Chances are there to conduct Kanwar Yatra this year

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