Rishikesh: A group of Kanwar pilgrims in Rishikesh protested against the local administration for not permitting them to travel via decades-old Ram Jhula bridge.
Police resorted to baton charge after the pilgrims blocked the roads and roughed up a car driver and a scooter rider near the Nilkanth Mahadev Temple.
The ancient temple at the Manikut Parvat in Rishikesh witnessed a huge influx of devotees on the first Monday of the holy Shravan month.
Anticipating heavy rush, the district administration has deployed heavy security along the route of Kanwariyas in Dehradun, Tehri and Pauri.
Every year in the Shravan month, devotees brave the inhospitable 17 km path to the temple to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva. Recently, a 25 km motorable road was also constructed for better access to the temple.
Kanwar pilgrims or Kanwariyas are the devotees of Hindu God, Shiva.
Around this time of the year, scores of these devotees from across India, often wearing orange-coloured clothes with decorated pots on their shoulders, undertake the pilgrimage, called Kanwar Yatra, on foot during Saavan- a month in the Hindu calendar.
These pilgrims, majority of who are young men, visit Haridwar, Gaumukh and Gangotri in Uttarakhand and Sultanganj in Bihar to fetch waters of River Ganga.
Later, the holy water is dispensed as offerings to Lord Shiva in temples....