March of Kanwariya or holy yatra start during the month of Shravan the wet season each year in India. A long human chain of saffron clad cab is visible everywhere in the country. They go to visit Lord Shiva temple in Babadham Jharkhand. This is the longest religious fair in the world, around 50-55 laks peoples visit babadham in one month.
The craze for becoming a Kanwariya has increased so much in India, Anyone can become a Kanwariya. These devotees usually travel in groups and even if they started their journey alone. If someone gets sick or too tired on the way that person is free to break his journey and give his Kanwar to another one from his group. Kanwariyas are not supposed to even think of any wrong doings during the yatra.
They walk 109 km up to Baba Baidyanath temple at Babadham reciting Bol Bam on the way. Meaning of that word is “Say Shiva” The word Bam is a short name for Lords Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh.
It generates energy and enthusiasm amongst the kanwarias and gives them the psychological strength to carry on walking and succeed in covering the long distance from Sultanganj to Babadham. The Road to Babadham is very difficult to cross, it’s full of stones and kanwarias never wear shoes throughout this holy journey. Babadham takes roughly three days to cover the distance.
From sultan ganj the kanwarias first take a dip in The Holy River Gange and holds the water of Ganga in Kanwar. On reaching Babadham the Ganges water is offered to the Jyotirlingam – one of the twelve ‘Jyotirlingas’ in India. People not only visit Babadham during the Shrawan month but also during the Shivaratri and Basant Panchami. People from foreign lands also visit Babadham in rest of the years.
In month of Shravan or wet season most the peoples exclude non veg,alcohol they even don’t cut hair and nails. They live like a Sadhu “The holy man of India” for complete one month.