Kanwar Yatra happens during July (also known as Saavan) where crores of devotees of lord Shiva visit Haridwar and collect holy water according to rituals.
Coronavirus outbreak impacts Kanwar Yatra this year! With the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus, Kanwar Yatra which takes place every year is likely to be on hold this year. The surge in COVID-19 cases has impacted many religious activities that involve thousands of people. Therefore, Kanwar Yatra too cannot take place like it usually does. The Uttarakhand government, however, is deciding a plan that can allow holy water from river Ganga to be delivered to pilgrims. The water is likely to be sent to the native places of these pilgrims, thus, avoiding millions of people reaching Haridwar to collect water themselves, the IE reported.
It is to note that the annual Kanwar Yatra happens during July (also known as Saavan) where crores of devotees of lord Shiva visit Haridwar and collect holy water according to rituals. Usually many devotees, on foot or transport, start their journey from various states and reach the banks of river Ganga to collect water. However, this year, the fear of Coronavirus transmission has become an obstacle.
The report citing Uttarakhand government spokesperson Madan Kaushik said that it is quite difficult to ensure social distancing measures for devotees and therefore they are deliberating on how they can provide Ganga water to these pilgrims. The government cannot allow thousands of people coming together in Haridwar.
The Uttarakhand cabinet decided this yesterday and will soon be coming up with a final decision after it holds a video conference with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, the report said. To be sure, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand are the three states that witness a majority of kanwars (devotees) and therefore all three state governments have to decide on how it can be carried out this year.
Further, Kaushik, according to the report, highlighted that there were many suggestions that came of which included distributing Gangajal by trucks/ tankers to kanwars in their districts. The government may tap distribution through different social organizations.