Kanwar Yatra allowed by Uttar Pradesh government, guidelines to be released soon
From July 25, Uttar Pradesh government has decided to allow the annual Kanwar Yatra. Last year, the yatra was not allowed by the government. The government has directed officials to take care of the protocols of coronavirus in other states.
The Kanwar Yatra is an annual pilgrimage carried out by the devotees of Lord Shiva who collect water from River Ganga (usually at Haridwar in Uttarakhand) and offer that at Shiva temples in their respective states. These Kanwariyas come from far away places and cover hundreds of kilometres on foot. The kanwar yatra takes place during the Hindu month of Shrawan spread over July and August.
The detailed guidelines of the Yatra will be issued soon, Uttar Pradesh Additional chief secretary Navneet Sehgal said.
“Chief minister Yogi Adityanath has asked to coordinate with neighbouring Bihar and Uttarakhand and ensure Covid guidelines are following during the yatra,” he added.
These Kanwariyas visit many places along the River Ganga to take the holy water to the temples.
The Uttarakhand government is not in favour of conducting the Yatra this year amid the second wave of coronavirus pandemic.
It has made an appeal to the officers of neighbouring states to not allow the devotees to come to Haridwar this month for the annual pilgrimage to collect water from the Ganga.
The state administration has decided to cancel the Kanwar Yatra as a precautionary measure, Uttarakhand government spokesperson Subodh Uniyal said.
Apart from Haridwar, Kanwariyar visit Gaumukh, and Gangotri in Uttarakhand and Sultanganj in Bihar to fetch the waters of river Ganga.
The government is likely to put in restrictions on number of devotees allowed in temples at the same time.
An official gave an example and said that not more than five persons will be allowed inside the temples at one time. Social distancing, wearing of masks etc will also be compulsory.