Lucknow: After discussions among chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Haryana, the annual Kavad yatra in holy Sawan month, has been deferred in order to avoid mass gathering in temples and highways amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

The Uttarakhand government said in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, devotees will have to follow guidelines during the Jalabhishek to God Shiva in the temple.

Chief minister of Uttarakhand Trivendra Singh Rawat discussed the issue with the CM of UP, Yogi Adityanath and Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar through video conferencing on Saturday and all three states agreed to suspend Kavad yatra this year.

Rawat said, even saints and sadhus had urged the state government stating the yatra should be avoided this year in view of the worsening situation of COVID-19 in the country as well as the state.

The three chief ministers felt that to stop the spread of COVID-19, it is very important to avoid gathering in large numbers.

However, CM Rawat said devotees could offer Jalabhishek in the temple but must follow guidelines.

He stated that he will also discuss the issue with the chief ministers of Rajasthan, Delhi, and Punjab. 

Every year 3 to 4 crores of Lord Shiva devotees travel to Uttarakhand, and bring Ganga Jal from the Ganga river from Gangotri, Haridwar, and different parts of the state to dedicate it to God Shiva in the form of Shivling.

During the yatra period, Uttarakhand highways, especially the Delhi link-state highway, is blocked for about a week.