Uttar Pradesh latest to cancel Kanwar Yatra: List of other states
The annual Kanwar Yatra, which was scheduled to start on July 25, was cancelled by the Uttar Pradesh government on Saturday. The state government said that the associations of pilgrims which organise the pilgrimage, decided to call it off in view of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic on government's appeal.
The development came a day after a nudge from the Supreme Court, which asked the UP government to reconsider the decision to hold the yatra despite Covid-19 concerns.
With this, Uttar Pradesh joined the list of states which have cancelled the annual event due to Covid-19. Here is a list of such states:
Uttarakhand: The Uttarakhand government had already announced the suspension of the yatra for second consecutive year due to the coronavirus disease pandemic. The concerns flagged by experts about a possible third wave of the disease triggered the state government's decision. Haridwar, the holy city where Kanwariyas visit to collect the water of holy river Ganga, has sealed the borders of the city.
Jharkhand: The state government too has shown reluctance to hold the Kanwar Yatra to check Covid-19 from spreading. There has been no preparations from the Deoghar district administration where Kanwariyas gather at the famous Baba Baidyanath temple, considered one of the 12 Jyotirlingas, to offer the Ganga water collected from the river. The Jharkhand government had earlier withheld permission for the Ratha Yatra festival at the Jagannath temple in Ranchi.
Bihar: The Nitish Kumar government has closed all the religious places till August 6 this year, so there won't be any Kanwar Yatra to Deoghar. The Kanwarariyas carry Ganga water from Sultanganj in Bihar to offer it to Lord Shiva in Deoghar.
The Kanwar Yatra goes on till the first week of August and sees thousands of Shiva devotees called Kanwariyas travelling mostly on foot from states like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi to collect water from the Ganges in Haridwar, Gangotri and other places.
The yatra is held in the Shravan month of the Hindu calendar.