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Saturday, 25 July 2009

Shrawan Mela

The month of Shrawan is the most important for the devotees of Lord Shiva. During this period, lakhs of devotees go to Baba Baidyanath temple. The devotees cover this journey on foot, and they are called Kanwariyas.

Kanwariyas start their journey from a place called Sultanganj, where the Ganges flows. It is from this place that the devotees collect water in their kanwars and carry the holy Ganges water, with the kanwars on their shoulders. They walk 109 km up to Baba Baidyanath temple at Babadham reciting Bol Bam on the way.

On reaching Babadham, the kanwarias first take a dip in the Shivaganga to purify themselves, and then enter the Baba Baidyanath temple, where the Ganges water is offered to the Jyotirlingam.This pilgrimage continues during the whole of Shravan for 30 days, during July-August. People from foreign lands also visit Babadham not only during Shrawan month but also during the rest of the year.

Some kanwarias cover this distance in one day running from Sultanganj to Deoghar, they are called "Dak Bams".
The sight on the way from Sultanganj to Babadham is of a 109 km long human chain of saffron clad pilgrims. It is estimated that within this period of one month around 50 to 55 lakhs pilgrims visit Babadham.

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