Kanwad Mela: Jal Mandir Inauguration
Every year the Kanwad Yatra & Mela takes place during the Hindu month of Shrawan Mas, in which devotees and pilgrims, mostly young men, from all over Northern India, a majority from Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, offer their devotion and the holy waters of the River Ganga to Lord Shiva as a means to please Him so that He may fulfill their wishes.
This year, with Pujya Swamiji’s divine vision and inspiration, the Ganga Action Parivar and Parmarth Niketan, in association with Global Interfaith WASH Alliance, carried forth various interventions to ensure the Kanwad Yatra is a clean, green and serene one. Some of these interventions included signage and messaging that reminded yatris to keep the Mela grounds, the sacred banks of the River Ganga and the Rajaji National Forest, in which the sacred Lord Shiva temple is situated, the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple, clean and free from pollution. GAP and Parmarth Niketan has also created special Jal Mandir’s along the pad yatra marg so that thousands of yatris walking by foot have clean water to drink and can stay hydrated along the route.
The first Jal Mandir was inaugurated by the SDM of Rishikesh, local leaders along with volunteers and members of the Parmarth Family. Dustbins, free medical camps, educational Puppet and street theatre shows will also help ensure that yatris are inspired and engaged to make this Mela truly, as Pujya Swamiji says, a Mela with a Message.