What is Kanwar Yatra?

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Millions of devotees called Kanwariyas or kriyas started their journey for the Kanwar Yatra 2023 which commenced recently.

About Kanwar Yatra:


  • It is an annual Hindu pilgrimage observed every year by Lord Shiva devotees.
  • It usually starts in the month of July or August, commonly known as the month of Sawan, according to the Hindu calendar. 
  • What happens at Kanwar Yatra? 
    • The yatra derives its name from the word ‘kanwar’, meaning a bamboo pole to which containers of holy water are tied at opposite ends.
    • Millions of devotees called Kanwariyas or kriyas travel to pilgrimage places like Haridwar, Gaumukh, Gangotri in Uttarakhand, Sultanganj in Bihar, Prayagraj, Ayodhya and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, and return by carrying Ganga water in kanwars to seek the blessings of Shiva.
    • The water is then offered to Shiva temples, including the 13 Jyotirlingas across India. The ritual is known as Jal Abhishek.
    • During the whole journey, Kanwars have to make sure that the earthen pots do not touch the ground.
    • While carrying the water, devotees walk barefoot, and some complete the pilgrimage by lying flat on the ground.
    • They are clad in saffron clothing while undertaking the journey. Many observe fasts during the pilgrimage and restrict consumption of food, water and salt.


Q1) What are Jyotirlingas?

A Jyotirlinga is a shrine where Lord Shiva is worshiped in the form of a Jyotirlingam. The Jyotirlinga temples in India take the name of the presiding deity. Each considered a different manifestation of Lord Shiva.

Source: Kanwar Yatra 2023: Lakhs Of Devotees Undertake Pilgrimage - What Is It?