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Chanting hymns, Kawarias trek to temples

C K Chandramohan

Delhi-Hardwar-Dehra Dun traffic diverted to give free passage to pilgrims



BONHOMIE: Kawarias enjoying a splash of water on their way to collect Ganga water from Hardwar on Monday. PTI

HARDWAR: It was a spectacular sight as over 20 lakh saffron- clad Kawarias rushed to the Augharnath Temple in Meerut, Pura Mahadev in Baghpat or the Shivalayas in their villages with Ganga jal from Hardwar or Gomukh to perform Jalabhishek of the Lord on Shivratri that falls on August 3.

The trek is undertaken for or on fulfilment of a wish. The number of pilgrims has been swelling each year after the Ramjanmbhoomi controversy of the 1990s.

The pilgrims are from all over Western Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan and Haryana.

Chant hymns, they also break into a folk dance while walking with the beautifully- decorated Kawars on their shoulders.

Some of the Kawars are expensive and beautifully decorated.

Resting place

The entire route is dotted by tents put up by the local Kawar Sanghs and the Sangh Parivar to provide food, water, medicines and a resting place to the pilgrims.

The Delhi- Hardwar- Dehra Dun traffic has been diverted to give a free passage to the Kawarias who turn violent at the slightest provocation.

In Hardwar, the crowd is now of Dak Kawars- that is Kawars carried in vehicles.

"Even the additional parking lots are packed to capacity and the Government will have to consider making adequate facilities for this biggest religious trek of the country'', a senior police official said.

A lot of Kawarias are also trekking from Hardwar to Neelkanth Mahadev Temple beyond Rishikesh. The business community in Mussoorie is sore at the police for failing to take action against a group of Kawarias who brutally beat up the staff of a resort on Sunday.

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