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Seasonal Traffic Jams: Brought to You By Rains...and the Kawariyas

The Kanwar Yatra is annual pilgrimage of Shiva devotees to Hindu pilgrimage places to fetch holy water from Ganga.

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India
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Seasonal Traffic Jams: Brought to You By Rains...and the Kawariyas
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On Thursday the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway was choked with cars after a heavy downpour. There was a massive traffic jam as all kinds of vehicles – from cars, to two-wheelers, to buses, and other modes of public transport – were stuck for over four hours, especially on the Delhi-Jaipur stretch.

It hasn’t even been a week since the notorious Gurujam, and already another jam is expected – this time due to the Kanwar Yatra. The problems because of the yatra have been going on for a week and will reach their peak on Monday, when hundreds of people will gather on the streets, playing loud music and singing Shiva’s hymns.

Chaos created by the Kawariyas on the roads. (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@ProbasiBangali)
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The Kanwar Yatra is annual pilgrimage of devotees of Shiva to Hindu pilgrimage sites. There, they fetch the holy water of the Ganga River, which is later offered at their local Shiva temples. The Kanwar Yatra is performed by Shiva Devotees called Kawariyas. The number of Kawariyas increase manyfold each calendar year, and the number of Kawariyas this year has gone into the crores.

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Each year, this yatra creates a lot of inconvenience for the general public as the devotees play loud music in their processions. The increasing number of Kawariyas also lead to road blocks and jams. Heavy security measures have to be undertaken by the government to manage the situation on highways.

This time, people took to social media to express their frustration over the issue.

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In spite of efforts by the authorities to maintain law and order, a few unruly devotees create a ruckus on the roads each year.

Recently, a devotee was killed by a truck. In another case, a group of Kawariyas in Basti, Uttar Pradesh, attacked the car of a district judge, leaving him injured.

Senior journalist Shekhar Gupta also spoke against the yatra, but faced criticism for not showing ‘respect’ towards Hindu traditions.

Everyone is allowed to follow their traditions, but where does one draw the line?

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Topics:  Kanwariya   Kanwar Yatra 

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