- Said to be ‘world’s largest human gathering’
- Devotees bath in Ganga River seeking to wash away sins
- COVID guidelines not followed irrespective of Govt cautions
Haridwar: Start of Kumbh Mela, 2021, witnessed lakh of devotees taking dip in holy river Ganga on day one. The most auspicious event taking place in the year in India for Hindus, said to be one of the largest gatherings of humans.
Though officials say they are following pandemic guidelines, many were seen without masks and social distancing, which is not possible near bank of the river. Hindus strongly believe that bathing in River Ganga during this time gives them ’moksha’, which will set them free from cycle of birth and death. According to Information department of Uttarakhand government, nearly 7, 11,000 devotees took a holy dip and performed rituals at Har Ki Pairi, during the time of Aarti.
For violating Covid guidelines, 974 were fined. Uttarakhand State Government deployed Anti Terrorism Squad, Pradeshik Armed Constabulary and Central Paramilitary Forces along with bomb squad in Haridwar for the safety of devotees. Kumbha Mela will be held only for 48 days instead of three and a half months due to COVID pandemic.
Uttarakhand High Court directed State to follow corona virus safety protocol for devotees arriving from various place of India and world. UNESCO recognised Kumbh Mela as a piece of intangible cultural heritage in 2019 when it took place in Allahabad (now Prayagraj) in UP.