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Age no bar: 68-year-old woman joins Kanwar Yatra

The Kanwar Yatra, an annual pilgrimage undertaken by devotees of Lord Shiva, known as Kanvarias in underway in Northern India these days. The pilgrims travel long distances on foot to fetch the holy waters of river Ganga, which is later offered at Shiva temples as part of the yatra.

Though the pilgrimage is generally undertaken by young men owing to the difficulties and hardships that accompany the yatra, this year an old woman’s devotion and will power triumphed over obstacles that age often creates in human lives.

68-year-old Shanti Devi, who hails from the Tawadu village in Haryana, travelled around 215 kilometres from Haridwar in Uttarakhand to Iffco Chowk in Gurgaon as part of the Kanwar Yatra.  Shanti Devi was accompanied by her 28-year-old grandson Deendayal on the journey. Shanti Devi, however, claims that she desires nothing in return from God.  

‘When we saw her, we were flabbergasted to hear that this woman will be travelling with us from Haridwar in just five days. Shanti Devi, who took the entire pilgrimage barefoot, is physically very weak and cannot even hear properly but she was full of energy and very excited about her pilgrimage,’ said Dhanush, a Kanwar.

Talking about her experience, Shanit Devi said, ‘It was my dream from childhood to be part of this auspicious celebration of the month of Sawan. I am about to complete the journey as my village is only 35 km far and am very happy about it.’
‘This is my first Kanwar Yatra and I am planning to come along with my husband who is around 76-year-old next year and I know he will come along with me,’ she added.

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