Uttarakhand’s holy cities flooded with kanwariyas
On the auspicius occasion of first somvar (Monday) of Sawan month, more than two lakhs of Kanwariyas (Lord Shiva devotees) across the country flocked to holy cities Haridwar and Rishikesh to pay obeisance to Lord Mahadev despite heavy rain. The streets were echoed with “Om Namay Shivay” and “Bol Bum”by mass enchanting where devotees of all colors and sizes add different colors to the usually calm cities.
A year after massive devastation in all pilgrim centers in Uttarakhand, this time pilgrimage fell to abysmal low. But the continous inflow of Shiva devotees from other states is giving indication that Kanwar fair is going to be bumber hit this time. The coming three weeks is going to be acid test for district administration and police officials to manage the gigantic tourists/pilgrims to the holy cities.
Babu Dimri, a resident of Rishikesh told that all the main markets are flooded with saffron-clad Shiva devotees carrying Ganga water. There is too much pressure on two famous hanging bridges – Ram Jhula and Lakshman Jhula which are the lifeline of localites. The traffic is moving at the snail pace due to excessive over-crowding.
The most bustling was Neelakanth temple near Rishikesh which was inundated with Kanwariyas and Shiva devotees alike. It is the same place where Lord Shiva had poison to save world from destruction. Acccording to Shiv Purana, thousands of years ago, poison came out during Samundra Manthan (churning of the ocean ).