HARIDWAR: After nearly 150 years, Juna Akhara, one of the biggest akharas of Naga Sanyasi, is going to restart ‘Chhadi Yatra’ which will commence from Maya Devi temple in Haridwar on Saturday. This yatra will cover all four revered shrines of Char Dham and then conclude in Bageshwar district .
Chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat will visit Haridwar on the auspicious occasion.
To participate in the yatra, seers of all 13 akharas reached Har Ki Pauri on Friday and performed Chhadi (stick) puja. During the yatra, seers heading the procession will hold a stick in hand and the rest will follow them on the entire route.
According to Juna Akhara seers, Chhadi Yatra was started by Adi Guru Shankaracharya, an 8th century philosopher and theologian, to promote Hinduism and Indian culture. Mahant Hari Giri, general secretary of Akhil Bhartiya Akhara Parishad ( ABAP ) and member of Juna Akhara, told TOI, “The yatra tradition was stopped during the British period as several restrictions were imposed on pilgrimage during that time. We have decided to start this tradition once again.”
On Friday, the holy chhadi was brought from Bageshwar to Maya Devi temple. Mahant Narendra Giri, ABAP president, told TOI, “The seer community had to stop the Chadi Yatra tradition as foreign rulers created hurdles for them. But we are restarting it now. CM Rawat will flag off the yatra. This tradition will also boost tourism in the state.” He added that the yatra would take around one month.