Field notes

Mixed blessings on India's biggest pilgrimage

Numbers on the 220km-long Kanwar Yatra annual procession can swell to millions of devotees, but there are now questions over incidents of violence involving pilgrims and overzealous state support.

NEW DELHI • A large blue idol of Shiva - complete with hipster sunglasses and his right arm raised in blessing - overlooks Shubham Chauhan and his companions.

They have been pulling a cart topped with a glitzy canopied tableau in which sits the idol, along with smaller statues of other Hindu gods and goddesses. A profusion of artificial flowers adorns the display.

Please or to continue reading the full article. Learn more about ST PREMIUM.

Enjoy unlimited access to ST's best work

  • Exclusive stories and features on multiple devices
  • In-depth analyses and opinion pieces
  • ePaper and award-winning multimedia content
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 24, 2019, with the headline 'Mixed blessings on India's biggest pilgrimage '. Print Edition | Subscribe