Now ‘Shravan Kumar’ sets forth for Mathura

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Agra, April 26 (IANS) When ‘Shravan Kumar’ left the Taj city on foot for Mathura, his blind mother perched in a basket fastened to a sturdy rod, there were few onlookers who did not have misty eyes.

For some 20 years, Brahmachari Kailash Giri from Jabalpur has walked through India, responding to his mother’s wish to visit the ‘Chaar Dhaam’ pilgrimage circuit in the lower Himalayas.

Giri is following the footsteps of a bygone Shravan Kumar who is revered as a dutiful son for taking his aged parents in two baskets that were tied to two ends of a bamboo pole which he shouldered.

The Ramayana-era Shravan Kumar gets killed by mistake by King Dasratha of Ayodhya.

On Sunday evening, a crowd gathered near Akbar’s tomb here to bid an emotional farewell to Giri.

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His blind mother was seated in a basket-like seat, fastened to the rod, at the end of which was another basket, of almost equal weight, with basic necessities. Giri sang ‘bhajans’ as he walked.

Giri said his mother was keen to visit the Sri Krishna-Radha land in Vrindavan and Mathura.

He said he normally covers around five kilometres a day, walking slowly. People often come out in large numbers to welcome him and praise his devotion to his mother.

Now 50 years old, Giri lost his father 21 years ago. Since then he has been fulfilling his mother’s wish to visit major Hindu religious centres.

After staying in Vrindavan for a few days, Giri would ask his mother her next destination. Depending on the answer, he would resume his journey on foot.

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