Kanwariyas throng river ghats to fetch holy water ahead of Shravan Somvar

Cuttack: River ghats across the state have been crowded with Kanwariyas or Bol bom devotees clad in saffron and carrying colourful slings who have been walking barefoot for miles to offer water at different Shiva shrines on occasion of Shravan Somvar on Monday.

As per the belief, men and women from all walks of life travel long distances carrying water to different Shiva shrines and fulfil their wishes.

The Gadagadia ghat is already reverberating with Bol bom chants by Kanwariyas. However the number of Kanwariyas have fallen this year due to complete lunar eclipse, said sources.

“For the past six years, I have been taking water from the Gadagadia ghat and pouring water at Lingaraj temple,” said a devotee.  As it was a complete lunar eclipse this year, there is not much crowd at the ghat, pointed out a priest.

On the other hand, Shiva shrines have made special arrangements keeping in view the Shravan Somvar. The district administration too has deployed two platoon of police and installed 21 CCTV cameras to maintain law and order.

Lingaraj temple Supervisor, Raj Kishore Mohapatra, said, “At 4 am the Sahanamela will open at the Lingaraj temple. It will remain open for devotees as long as devotees are present.” Similarly, the Lokanath temple in Puri will be thrown open for Kanwariya after 12 am.

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“Kanwariyas will be allowed to enter from ‘Rosa’ side and come out at the Singha Dwara,” said Damodar Mohapatra, senior priest of the temple.At Akhandalamani temple in Bhadrak, the pahada will open at 4 am tomorrow. To help devotees, a number of boats have been arranged at Muna, Tintara and Dhanakhania ghats.

“Barricades have been set up with proper light arrangements. At ghats, boat rate charts have been put up for benefit of the devotees,” said Bidyadhara Palai, an official of the Aaradi temple administration.

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