Patna: Nine Hindu pilgrims (Kanwariyas) were killed and nearly a dozen injured in two separate road accidents on Tuesday in Bihar`s Jamui and Saran districts, police said.
In Jamui, five pilgrims belonging to a family, were killed when a speeding truck hit their vehicle near Sikandra.
"Five pilgrims were killed on the spot. Four others, injured seriously, were admitted to a hospital in Patna," a district police official said.
The incident took place when the pilgrims were returning to their native village in Nalanda district after offering prayers.
In the second accident in Saran, four pilgrims died and eight others received grievous injuries when their vehicle collided with a truck near Taraiya. They were returning to their village.
In the month of "Shravan" (July-August), thousands of Hindu pilgrims visit a temple in Deoghar in Jharkhand where they offer holy Ganga water to Lord Shiva at an ancient temple.
"Kanwariya" pilgrims in Bihar collect water from the river Ganga in Sultanganj of Bhagalpur district. They carry this holy water in "kanwars" (a single pole, usually of bamboo, with two water pots dangling from opposite ends) and cover 105 km on foot to reach the temple.
After offering the holy water, they return to their native places in private vehicles, trains or buses.