HARIDWAR: The sounds of ‘Har Har Mahadev’, ‘Jai Bholenath’, ‘Bum Bum Bhole’ resonate through the sky as devotees of Lord Shiva, clad in saffron, thronged Har ki Pauri and other Ganga ghats from across the country as Kanwar Yatra concluded on Sawan Shivratri on Tuesday.
Gagan Anand (45), a businessman from Meerut who took the holy dip in the river Ganga, told The New Indian, “I took the dip in the Ganga and paid my reverence to Lord Shiva. I am happy with the arrangements of the government here as I faced no hurdle as a pilgrim today despite so much rush at the ghats and in the city.”
Nikhil Sharma (18), who just finished his Class XII and has travelled to Haridwar from Palampur in Himachal Pradesh, said, “I travelled with my friends on the bike and our trip happens to be a combination of devotion as well as adventure. We are leaving now after performing rituals in a temple of Lord Shiva.”
Ghats filled with devotees; shops, hotels and restaurants abuzz with pilgrims and visitors, the mela area of Haridwar has witnessed a higher footfall than ever this year.
More than 8 million devotees visited Haridwar on the occasion of Saawan Shivratri taking a holy dip at Har ki Pauri and other Ganga Ghats, performing ‘Jalabhishek’ and offering prayers to Lord Shiva.
More than 3.5 crore Shiva devotees have visited Haridwar to date to collect the holy Ganga water, to be offered as ‘Jalabhishek’ to Lord Shiva.
Lokesh Kumar Sharma, another devotee who travelled on his motorbike from Delhi, said, “I have come here from Delhi to pay my respects to Lord Shiva. I submit my devotion to Lord Shiva and Maa Ganga. Also, my gratitude to the government for such wonderful arrangements for us.”
Kanwar Yatra is an annual pilgrimage undertaken by devotees of Lord Shiva in the month of Sawan which is considered auspicious and the month of Lord Shiva.
The devotees who carry ‘Kanwar’ known as ‘Kanwariyas’ visit Haridwar, Gaumukh and Gangotri in Uttarakhand to fetch the holy water of the Ganges to perform ‘Jalabhishek’ for Lord Shiva.
The Kanwar Yatra resumed this year after a gap of two years due to COVID-19 restrictions.