The Rope in the Water: a Pilgrimage to India

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  • Book review: Sylvia Fraser's 'The Rope in the Water: A Pilgrimage to India'?
  • What is the Kanwar pilgrimage of Sawan?.
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  • The Rope in the Water: A Pilgrimage to India | Quill and Quire;

The motivations to undertake the arduous journey could range from anything from personal devotion to unfulfilled wishes to seeking penitence. The legend of the ritual goes back to samudra manthan or churning of the ocean of Milk, which is one of the best known episodes in Hindu mythology.

What is the Kanwar pilgrimage of Sawan? | The Indian Express

All entities approached Lord Shiva to consume it for protection of the living worlds. As Shiva drank the poison, Parvati grabbed his throat in an effort to contain the poison and prevent it from affecting the worlds inside him. The poison still had an impact and his body was inflamed. To decrease the effects of that poison, the practice of giving water to Shiva began. Another origin story of the Kanwar yatra is intimately connected with Lord Parshuram, the renowned, loyal devotee of Shiva. The first Kanwar yatra was believed to have been undertaken by Parshuram. Like other religious processions such as Durga Puja, Ganesh Visarjan and Muharram, Kanwar yatra also has exerts tremendous pressure on law and order, often intermittently resulting in its breakdown.

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Fatal road accidents and stampede deaths among pilgrims are in the news year after year. While some pilgrims take part in the procession peacefully, a number of others annually have been guilty of causing a ruckus with their booming DJs and screeching loudspeakers, flouting the time rules and disturbing whole neighborhoods in process of their passing through towns and cities.

Many so-called pilgrims part ways from the prescribed barefoot tradition by mounting on to motorbikes and other means to transport in large numbers which disrupts the traffic, resulting in jams. This year too, extra vigil has been arranged along previously earmarked Kanwariya routes and directions issued to pilgrims to stick to them. DJs are completely banned and permissions and time limits enforced on noise making.

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The Rope in the Water: A Pilgrimage to India

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