A River on Shoulders: Kanwar Pilgrimage

10 million+ participate in this annual pilgrimage that happens only in Haridwar India. Devotees from across central and northern India begin their journeys the day after sighting of the full moon (09 July) of Saawan, the 5th month of the Indian calendar. Arriving at the banks of holy Ganga (Ganges) river in Haridwar, they pray, make wishes, and atone. They carry Ganges water in pots balanced at the two opposite ends of a bamboo stick (called Kanwar in Hindi). They walk back to their homes before the next full moon (07 Aug). The holy water is offered at a local Shiva temple.

A whole new local art landscape has emerged – devotional music, dyeing and printing on cotton fabrics, and designing of a variety of water containers. AZIMVTH ashram is situated about 100 metres from Ganges . Walking just outside, they head to their Ganges which is 4 km away.

04 Jul Start of 4 holy months
09 Jul Kanwar Pilgrimage starts
10 Jul The Guru Student Traditions
16 Jul Sun enters Cancer Zodiac, 6 month southward journey
21 Jul Monsoon Shiva Night
26 Jul Green Swings

“Traveller or pilgrim of the inner world,
Fortunate art thou to reach our brilliant air
Flaming with thought’s supreme finality.
O aspirant to the perfect way of life,
Here find it; rest from search and live at peace.”


• Sanskrit / Hindi
• Calligraphy
• Photography
• Visual art
• Documentary
• Spirituality
• The Art of Life
• New media
• Linguistics
• Painting
• Music
• Writing
• Education
• Yoga
• Woodwork
• Everybody

• Visiting Ganges ghats,temples,ashrams
• Pilgrim interactions
• Local collaborations
• Exhibit
• Print media coverage
• Local music instruments
• Conditional access to a Braille printing press
• Conditional access to telescope / space orientation

• Personal room
• Shared studio
• Options to work at other cluster-locations
• 3 meals, 2 herbal tea + snacks
• Sachet tea/coffee 24hrs
• Daily small basket of fresh flowers
• Towels, bedding
• Laundry
• Travel within city
• Music guidance
• Ayurveda doctor visit every 3rd day

Grant of USD 500 liberally available.
28 days USD 1450
07 days USD 500
01 day USD 80

365 Arya Nagar Jwalapur
Haridwar 249407
Uttarakhand India

4 – 31 July 2017 (28 days)
Haridwar, Banks of Ganges, Foothills of Himalayas
One can apply to join for any 28 continuous days, either the dates mentioned above or earlier / later.


MAS gangessideImage: Photo of the fountain ‘Fountain of the Four Rivers’ Gian Lorenzo Bernini. 1651. Piazza Navona, Rome, Italy. Courtesy – Mary Ann Sullivan.

Gurukul KangriImage: “Gurukul Kangri University”. Courtesy – India Posts.


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