Kanwariya refers to a group of Hindu pilgrims who undertake a sacred journey, known as the Kanwar Yatra or Kanwar Pilgrimage. The Kanwar Yatra is a significant religious event in Hinduism, primarily observed in India.
During the Kanwar Yatra, devotees, known as Kanwariyas, travel on foot to pilgrimage sites, particularly to the banks of holy rivers such as the Ganges, Yamuna, or Shiva temples. They carry a kanwar, which is a decorative pole or bamboo stick with two pitchers attached to its ends. These pitchers are usually filled with holy water from the river or temple, and the Kanwariyas carry them on their shoulders throughout the pilgrimage.
The Kanwar Yatra typically takes place during the Hindu month of Shravana (July to August) and attracts millions of devotees from various parts of India. It is believed that by participating in this pilgrimage and carrying the sacred water, the Kanwariyas express their devotion to Lord Shiva and seek his blessings.
The journey itself is considered a rigorous and austere practice, with many Kanwariyas observing strict disciplines such as walking barefoot, fasting, and performing religious rituals along the way. The Kanwariyas often travel in large groups, singing devotional songs and chanting hymns dedicated to Lord Shiva.