The Holy Month of Shravan


Shravan, also known as Sawan, is the fifth month of the Hindu calendar and is considered one of the most auspicious months. This month is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is marked by various religious observances and rituals. Shravan typically falls between July and August in the Gregorian calendar.


The month of Shravan holds immense religious significance, particularly for devotees of Lord Shiva. According to Hindu mythology, it is believed that during this month, Lord Shiva drank the poison that emerged from the churning of the ocean (Samudra Manthan) to save the universe. This act of selflessness and protection is commemorated by devotees through fasting, prayers, and other spiritual activities.

Rituals and Observances

  1. **Fasting (Vrat)**

   – Devotees observe fasts on Mondays, known as Shravan Somvar Vrat, as Mondays are considered especially auspicious for worshipping Lord Shiva.

   – Some people observe fasts for the entire month, consuming only specific types of food and avoiding non-vegetarian food, alcohol, and other prohibited items.

  1. **Worship and Offerings**

   – Devotees visit Shiva temples, offer milk, water, bilva leaves, fruits, and flowers to the Shiva Linga, and chant mantras and prayers such as the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra.

   – Special prayers and aarti are conducted, and devotees participate in abhishekam (ritual bathing of the deity).

  1. **Kanwar Yatra**

   – A significant pilgrimage undertaken by Shiva devotees, known as Kanwariyas, involves collecting sacred water from the Ganges River and offering it to the deity in Shiva temples, particularly in Haridwar, Gaumukh, and Sultanganj.

   – The Kanwariyas carry decorated pots of water (kanwars) and undertake this journey on foot, which can span several days.

  1. **Mangala Gauri Vrat**

   – This is a special observance for married women, who fast and pray for the well-being and longevity of their husbands. It is observed on Tuesdays during the Shravan month.

  1. **Rudra Abhishekam**

   – A special form of worship, Rudra Abhishekam, involves bathing the Shiva Linga with a mixture of milk, curd, honey, ghee, sugar, and water while chanting Vedic hymns and mantras. This ritual is believed to invoke the blessings of Lord Shiva and bring prosperity and peace.

Festivals During Shravan

  1. **Nag Panchami**

   – Celebrated on the fifth day of the Shravan month, Nag Panchami is dedicated to the worship of serpents. Devotees offer milk and prayers to snake idols and images, seeking protection from snakebites and blessings for the family.

  1. **Raksha Bandhan**

   – This festival symbolizes the bond between brothers and sisters. Sisters tie a protective thread (rakhi) around their brothers’ wrists, and in return, brothers promise to protect their sisters and offer gifts.

  1. **Krishna Janmashtami**

   – Celebrating the birth of Lord Krishna, Janmashtami is observed with fasting, night-long vigils, and re-enactments of episodes from Krishna’s childhood.


The holy month of Shravan is a time of deep spiritual reflection and devotion for Hindus. Through various rituals, fasts, and observances, devotees seek to purify their minds and souls, seeking the blessings of Lord Shiva. The month is marked by a heightened sense of community and shared religious fervor, making it a spiritually enriching time for all who participate.