Photographer's Note

The Kanwar yatra is an annual pilgrimage of devotees of Shiva, known as Kanwarias, to pilgrimage places of Haridwar, Gaumukh and Gangotri in Uttarakhand and Sultanganj in Bihar to fetch holy waters of Ganges river. Millions of participants gather sacred water from the Ganga and carry it across hundreds of miles to dispense as offerings in their local shiva shrines, or specific temples.  The festivals run during the monsoon month Shraawan (july — august). After taking water from the Ganges river (or other nearby river that wind up in the Ganges) the pilgrims are mandated to travel by foot and in saffron robes with their Kanwar (walking bamboo sticks used to hang the urns of water visible on the picture) by various routes and usually in groups made of family, friends and or neighbors. Once the pilgrims reach their hometown, the Ganges water is used to bathe the Shivalingam on the thirteenth day (Triyodashi) in Shravan month or on the Maha Shivratri day. Source : wiki

The number of Kanwarias who reached the holy city of Haridwar in 2019 to collect water was approximately 33 millions! Then they walked back home with the water in faraway states. Throughout the journey, the Kanwarias chant the slogan of 'Bol Bam' along with the religious bhajans of Lord Shiva. There are numbers of NGOs who offer free services like food, water, tea, or medical help to Kanwarias.

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Additional Photos by Gueguel Miguel (Miguel82) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 5158 W: 0 N: 4171] (34920)
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