Barefoot-Religious Fervor–Kavariyas carrying Ganga Water–Pit Stop



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Kanwariyas are here

August and the monsoons brings out the Kanwariyas on the roads of northern India. These are Shiva devotees who bathe in the Ganges and take holy water from this life sustaining river and carry the water barefoot to their hometowns in special pots and pot holders made of bamboo. Throughout their journey they cannot place the pots on the ground. They hang the potholders on trees and anything available to help them carry this water without grounding it.

In the last decades the Kanwariyas have gathered a big following all over the country and they are treated like holy people and offered food and water at well equipped stalls and tents by religious groups.

This halt near the Mansa Devi Temple refreshes the tired travelers; some have bandages on their feet for they walk barefoot. Songs singing the praises of Lord Shiva are blasted on loudspeakers at these pit stops. You cannot complain about noise in India. Religious effusions have to be taken with equanimity. I saw the owners of close by houses watching the proceedings with resignation. It certainly is religion with a lot of sound. Certainly no one complains.

A rest of perhaps twelve hours and these Kanwariyas are soon homeward bound singing the praise of Lord Shiva.

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