Kumbh Mela 2021: Shahi Snan today with Covid-19 norms in place

The event comes in the backdrop of the state recording its highest single-day spike this year on Sunday with 1,333 cases.
Devotees take holy dips in the river Ganges during Shahi snan or a Royal bath at Kumbh mela, in Haridwar in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, Monday, April 12, 2021. As states across India are declaring some version of a lockdown to battle rising Covid cases as part of a nationwide second-wave, thousands of pilgrims are gathering on the banks of the river Ganga for the Hindu festival Kumbh Mela. The faithful believe that a dip in the waters of the Ganga will absolve them of their sins and deliver them from the cycle of birth and death. (AP Photo/Karma Sonam)(AP)
Devotees take holy dips in the river Ganges during Shahi snan or a Royal bath at Kumbh mela, in Haridwar in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, Monday, April 12, 2021. As states across India are declaring some version of a lockdown to battle rising Covid cases as part of a nationwide second-wave, thousands of pilgrims are gathering on the banks of the river Ganga for the Hindu festival Kumbh Mela. The faithful believe that a dip in the waters of the Ganga will absolve them of their sins and deliver them from the cycle of birth and death. (AP Photo/Karma Sonam)(AP)
Published on Apr 12, 2021 11:52 AM IST
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Written by Prashasti Singh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Thousands of devotees gathered in Haridwar to take part in Kumbh Mela's Shahi Snan ritual amid the resurgence of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the country. The royal holy baths will take place on Monday and Wednesday.

The event comes in the backdrop of the state recording its highest single-day spike this year on Sunday with 1,333 cases. To ensure that the infection is not spread among devotees, authorities responsible for organising the Kumbh Mela said they would emphasise on the strict adherence to the Covid-19 protocol.

The Uttarakhand high court has mandated everyone to carry their RT-PCR negative test report and a medical certificate on the lines of Amarnath Yatra and Kailash Yatra and officials said they will make sure the court order is implemented.

Kumbh Mela officer-in-charge Deepak Rawat also directed the Haridwar administration officials to ensure that Covid-appropriate behaviour is followed.

“As far as facilities are concerned for the pilgrims they are at par with any other fair. Owing to Covid-19 pandemic, strict implementation of Covid-19 norms is being ensured for the Kumbh. RT-PCR negative report is mandatory for all outside people entering the Kumbh Mela zone and strict checking is being done at border check post,” Rawat said.

The month-long event, which is expected to be attended by 30-50 million people, has also mandated all devotees to wear masks, maintain social distance and frequently sanitize hands in the Kumbh Kshetra.

According to the state police, “adequate arrangements” have been made for the Shahi Snan. 

“Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will witness three major Snans in the Mahakumbh including two Shahi Snans on Monday and Wednesday respectively. Tuesday will have one significant Snan day to mark the occasion of Navsampat. However, of all the three, the biggest one would be on Wednesday on the occasion of Baisakhi when all 13 akhadas will take the holy dip in Ganga,” Inspector general, Mahakumbh, Sanjay Gunjyal, said.

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Sunday, May 22, 2022