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Reason For Kanwar Yatra - Story of Kawad Yatra In Shravan Month

Kavad Yatra, annually observed in Shravan month (July - August), is going to the Ganga River and bringing Ganga water back home to bathe the Shivling in house or nearby temple. There are numerous stories regarding the origin of Kanwar Yatra. The most important story is associated with Samudra Manthan.

Parashuram And Kawad Yatra

The popular belief is that Parashuram performed the first Kavad Yatra to perform Jalabhishek in Shravan month. Parashuram, the fifth avatar of Lord Vishnu, was a devotee of Shiva.

Shravan Kumar in Treta Yug Performed Kanwar Yatra

Shravan Kumar is the young man who exhibited unparalleled parental devotion in the epic Ramayan by carrying his blind parents on his shoulders. He carried his parents on a Kavad to Haridwar to have holy dip in the Ganga. The Kavad Yatra from interior village in North India to Haridwar started after this divine incident.

Samudra Manthan And Kavad Yatra

During the Samudra Manthan, churning of ocean episode in the Puranas, Halahala poison threatened to destroy the world. Shiva drank the poison to save the universe. Devas, demigods, and saints poured Ganga water on Shiva to cool him, and get rid of the effect of poison. This happened in the Shravan month. People continue this ritual to get the blessings of Shiva.

Yet another story associated with Samudra Manthan state that Shiva continued to emit negative energy after drinking the Halahala poison. To cure Him, Ravana, the demon king in Ramayana, carried holy water from Ganga and poured on him. The kavad yatra originated after this incident.