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Shrawani Mela begins: Bihar’s ‘Bol Bam’ month!

 

 

The Bol Bam route

The Bol Bam route

Sultanganj, Bhagalpur: after Chhath, Shrawani Mela is perhaps the biggest annual event in Bihar. The month-long Shrawani Mela was officially declared open by the revenue and land reforms minister Ramai Ram at Sirhighat in Sultanganj amidst huge gathering of kanwarias and chanting of ‘bol bum’ mantra on Tuesday. The participants called Kanwariya trek long distances carrying Ganges water and are often at the mercy of the elements as they move. The governments have over the years made efforts for safety and security, stay, health camps, drinking water, sanitation, lighting on streets besides uninterrupted power supply to the Sultanganj area during the month-long Shrawani Mela.

The major part of the trek route (nearly 85km) falls under Bihar (in Bhagalpur and Banka districts).  Construction of new trekking paths, culverts etc on trek routes have been constructed to make it easy for the pilgrims. Stressing on the importance of Sultanganj for Shrawani Mela, the minister said that each year there has been marked improvement in infrastructure and facilities ever since Nitish Kumar took over the state.

Young Kanwariyas on the road!

Young Kanwariyas on the road!

Shrawani Mela is held in July and continues for a month. More than a crore pilgrims from across the country and neighbouring countries like Nepal and Bhutan reach Sultanganj to pay obeisance to Lord Shiva. Devotees, on the first leg of journey, gather at Sultanganj to collect holy water from river Ganga at Sultanganj ghat, where the Ganga becomes Uttarvahini (river turns flowing towards north).

Devotees trek nearly 105 kilometers on foot carrying kanwars on their shoulder and holy water from Ganges. They chant ‘bolo bum’ mantra all through the trek route. Major part of the trek route falls under Bhagalpur and Banka districts while the temple is in Deoghar. On reaching Deoghar (Jharkhand), the devotees pay obeisance to Lord Shiva. With Sultanganj being the epicentre of the entire event, JD (U) MLA Subodh Rai demanded formation of ‘Sultanganj Shrawani Mela Authority’ (SSMA) for the development and management of Shrawani Mela in the area.

 

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