New Delhi, July 21: The month-long Kanwar Yatra, which began on July 10, is turning out to be quite eventful this year. Dressed in orange attire, carrying kanwars on their shoulders, these kanwariyas walk to the Ganges from their states and return home carrying the Ganga water in bottles. This water is used to worship at their local Shiva temples.

Devotees of Lord Shiva will celebrate Sawan Shivaratri on July 21, 2017. The Shivaratri that falls during the Shravana month is known as Sawan Shivaratri while the Shivaratri that falls in the month of February or March which corresponds to the Phalguna month is called the Mahashivratri.

Meanwhile, a kanwar from Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur district has become a centre of attraction as it also denotes patriotism. It is the Tiranga Kanwar Yatra which consists of 131 feet long national flag. The Tiranga Kanwar will reach Bhuteshwar temple where Kanwariyas will offer the Ganga water to Lord Shiva. It is being said that the Tiranga Kanwar will take at least 12 hours to reach the temple. Around 80 Kanwariyas have brought Kanwar from Haridwar to Saharanpur.

Even though there has been no traffic diversions because of the yatra, the food choices is certainly affected by it. The Uttar Pradesh Police has asked local roadside vendors and restaurant owners in Greater Noida (Dadri) not to serve or prepare non-vegetarian food. The reason is believed to be kanwar yatra as kanwariyas prefer only pure vegetarian food.

The police has justified the order saying that there has been an increase in number of pilgrims returning from Haridwar to Greater Noida. “We have also removed vendors serving non-vegetarian food. They will be off the road till the religious season of kanwar yatra is on,” Ram Sen Singh, SHO, Dadri police station, told Times of India.

The police even went on inspection of roadside dhabas and asked dhabas serving non-vegetarian particularly to shut down for one week. Shops and dhabas serving egg, fish, chicken and mutton have been shut down.

Also read: Kanwar Yatra 2017 Begins From July 10; Route Diversions, Traffic Rule & Plan in UP

And two years ago, 50-year-old Mohammad Akhlaq was dragged out of him and killed by a mob of at least 100 in Dadri’s Bisara village over rumours of consuming beef. The move can also be seen as an attempt to avoid any untoward incident.

Meanwhile, most biryani outlets on Gurgaon-Alwar highway in the Muslim-majority Mewat region have shut down for the kanwar yatra. While some shop owners claim that they have done it voluntarily, some fear that miscreants would try to stoke tension over sale of meat during pilgrimage, the Times of India reported.