Kumbh Mela 2021: Lakhs Ignore Covid Rules For Shahi Snan In Haridwar
Throwing caution to the wind amid rising cases of coronavirus, thousands of seers gathered on Wednesday at Har ki Pairi in Haridwar to take a dip in the Ganga during the third Shahi Snan of the Kumbh Mela. The Shahi Snan marked Mesh Sankranti and Baisakhi. With large number of devotees taking the holy dip, Covid protocols like social distancing appeared almost impossible. By noon between eight to 10 lakh people had taken a bath in the Ganga, Uttarakhand police chief, Ashok Kumar, who was supervising the arrangements at Haridwar, said.
According to the senior officer, crowds at the Ganga ghats were much smaller than expected at the third shahi snan - considered the most important. He attributed this to the Covid restrictions in place. Police personnel were seen distributing masks among people in the Kumbh Mela area.
Social distancing norms were violated openly by the seers and their followers at Har ki Pairi. No masks were worn by a large number of them. The seers from the akhadas took the dip along with their revered deities in palanquins at the Har Ki Pairi. Lakhs of common devotees bathed at the other ghats in Haridwar and Rishikesh.