Elderly woman walks 108 km to offer prayers at Jharkhand shrine

Ranchi, Aug 2 (IANS) Every year, 68-year-old Krishna Rani covers a distance of 108-km by foot to offer prayers to Lord Shiva at the Baba Baidyanath Temple in Jharkhand during the holy month of Shraavan.
A retired teacher hailing from Bihar, Rani starts from Muzaffarpur district and reaches Sultanganj from where she take water from the Ganga river and then reaches the temple situated in Deoghar district. She completes her journey in 15-18 hours.
During Shraavan, one of the most auspicious months in the Hindu calendar, more than 30 lakh people offer water to the Shiva Lingam at the Baba Baidynath Temple, also known as the ‘Manokamana Lingam’. This is one of the 12 ‘jyotirlingas’ of Lord Shiva.
During Shraavan, the number of devotees offering prayers at the Shiva Lingam everyday is over one lakh, while on Mondays, the number crosses two lakh.
The devotees or ‘kanwariyas’ take water from river Ganga in Sultanganj and walk on foot to reach the temple (a 108-km distance) amid chants of ‘Bol Bum’.
There are two types of pilgrimages a devotee can undertake: one in which there is no time limit to reach the temple and the other – known as ‘Dak Bum’ – in which a devotee has to cover the journey in 24 hours.
Rani started performing the ‘kanwar yatra’ in 1976 and since 1982 has been undertaking the Dak Bum yatra. She is now popular as Krishna Bum, and thousands of people turn up to watch her undertake the journey.
“I have been going to the temple every year since 1982. I take ‘Ganga Jal’ from Sultanganj on Sunday and offer water on the Shiva Lingam on Monday. I cover the distance in 15 to 18 hours. My husband and children also helped me in undertaking the ‘kanwar yatra’,” she told reporters.
“Once I did the ‘kanwar yatra’ from Haridwar to Deoghar and completed it in 30 days,” Rani said, adding that she once reached Vaishno Devi temple in Jammu and Kashmir from Bihar by cycle in 17 days.
“I seek nothing for myself. I only pray for the wellness of my country, state, society and the people,” she added.

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