Saints in Muzaffarnagar’s Shukteerth are spearheading a mission to bring a continuous stream of the holy Ganga to the pilgrimage town and merge it with Solani river here to facilitate pilgrims performing religious rituals.
The initiative is being undertaken under the leadership of Sukhdev Ashram Peethadheeshwar Swami Omanand Saraswati.
“This is a pending demand of seers, which was raised before dignitaries, chief ministers, governors and prime ministers either during their visit or through letters defining why the demand is significant,” Swami Omanand told HT over phone.
Shukteerth is situated 28 kms from Muzaffarnagar and is an important pilgrimage city associated with the Mahabharat.
Swami Omanand explained that Sukhdev Rishi narrated Srimad-Bhagwatam to Raja Parikshit, grandson of Arjuna and son of Abhimanyu under a banyan tree here almost 5,000 years ago.
He claimed that the banyan tree still exists at the teerth though river Ganga changed its course and shifted 4 to 5 kms away from here. Now, a tributary of river Ganges – Solani passes through the teerth and devotees perform their rituals on different occasions throughout the year.
Swami Omanand claimed that encroachments on the riverbed and scarcity of water in it during summers bring problems for pilgrims as they don’t get sufficient water for the holy dip. Thousands of fishes also died in the river a few years ago due of polluted water.
Seers had expressed concern over the problems faced by the pilgrims.
According to Swami Omanand, the only remedy to all these problems is to bring a continuous stream of the Ganges here and merge with Solani so that devotees get holy Ganges water throughout the year for the rituals.
Recently, the seer had called on chief Minister Yogi Adityanath during his Hardwar visit and raised the demand for bringing a stream of the Ganges in Shukteerth.
“That stream of Ganges will revive the old glory of the teerth and will attract more pilgrims to this place. That state government has already carried out development works of worth crores and hope that seers’ demand to bring Ganga here would be fulfilled soon,” he added.