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Kumbh Mela: Over 25,000 devotees and 1,000 seers participate in Shahi Snan

Covid-19 rules were also washed away, and even though the numbers of participants were said to have been restricted, the crowds were packed thick

Sabrangindia 28 Apr 2021

Shahi snan


On Tuesday, over  25,000 devotees and 1,000 seers participated in the final Shahi Snan (royal or most holy dip) of the Kumbh Mela 2021. These are said to be some sort of restricted crowds after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal on April 18 that Kumbh celebrations be only "symbolic".

The mela will soon end officially, and most of the visitors will begin leaving for their home states via various modes of transport. It is not yet known if all these visitors to the massively crowded Kumbh Mela would have tested negative for Covid-19 before they leave, or if all other states will ensure they are quarantined and tested as a precaution on arrival. 

Meanwhile, hours after the Shahi Snan concluded on April 27, Haridwar’s district administration announced a ‘corona curfew’ from April 28 to the morning of May 3.  According to The Indian Express, IG Kumbh Mela, Sanjay Gunjyal, said, “Following appeal from the Prime Minister and constant review by the Chief Minister, akharas cooperated in keeping the crowd low today. There were meetings with akharas daily over the last three days on crowd management. They followed social distancing too. Even Naga sadhus wore masks.”

According to the IE police personnel also took part in the shahi snan said it was “symbolic”. Police, told the media that around around 85 seers from Niranjani and Anand akhadas, 250 from Juna, Agni and Ahvaham; 80 from Mahanirvani and Atal; around 600 from Nirmohi, Nirvani and Diganmbar, around 230 from Bada Udaseen and Naya Udaseen and 100 from Nirmal akhara took part in the Shahi Snan Tuesday. Add to that the devotees who had come from across the country to take part in the kumbh mela. 

According to the news report, the footfall of devotees at the first shahi snan on March 11 was around 32 lakh, and was the same on the second shahi snan on April 14, 13 lakh took part in  the third Shahi Snan on April 14. The news report quoted Juna Akhara spokesperson Mahant Narayan Giri who said, “In view of appeals from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, we kept the shahi snan symbolic today. Around 5,000 seers and followers with 150 chariots had taken part in each of the past three shahi snans… Around 90 per cent seers and followers who had come from other states have already returned."

However, The New Indian Express reported there has been an “explosive 1,800% spike in active cases in Uttarakhand between March 31 and April 24, a period coinciding with the Haridwar Mahakumbh”. This clearly indicates that the Kumbh Mela may have turned into a super spreader event. Before the Kumbh, the state had 1,863 active cases as on March 31, it reached 33,330 cases on April 24. According to the government’s data, it has been reported that over 35 lakh people gathered at Haridwar on April 12, over 13.51 lakh on April 14. 

 

 

Those who have already left Haridwar may have already carried the Covid-19 infection with them and are all potential super spreaders. A celebrity example is that of Nepal’s former royals, King Gyanendra Shah (73) and Queen Komal Shah (70), who tested positive for Covid-19 days after their return home from the Mahakumbh Mela in Uttarakhand reported Hindustan Times. The Himalayan Times reported that the couple’s RT-PCR tests were confirmed positive, and authorities were tracing others who have been in contact with the couple. The couple had taken a holy bath at Har Ki Pauri in Haridwar during the Mahakumbh. Hundreds of people had gathered at the airport in Kathmandu to welcome the couple on their return, stated news reports. Indian music composer Shravan Rathod who had also gone to the Kumbh, succumbed earlier this week to Covid-19 complications.

 

Related:

Don’t compare Kumbh Mela to Markaz event: Uttarakhand CM Tirath Singh Rawat

Muslim advocacy group’s tweet comparing Kumbh Mela with Tablighi Jamaat blocked

Can’t let Char Dham yatra become hotspot, Uttarakhand HC takes stock of Covid 

 

Kumbh Mela: Over 25,000 devotees and 1,000 seers participate in Shahi Snan

Covid-19 rules were also washed away, and even though the numbers of participants were said to have been restricted, the crowds were packed thick

Shahi snan


On Tuesday, over  25,000 devotees and 1,000 seers participated in the final Shahi Snan (royal or most holy dip) of the Kumbh Mela 2021. These are said to be some sort of restricted crowds after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal on April 18 that Kumbh celebrations be only "symbolic".

The mela will soon end officially, and most of the visitors will begin leaving for their home states via various modes of transport. It is not yet known if all these visitors to the massively crowded Kumbh Mela would have tested negative for Covid-19 before they leave, or if all other states will ensure they are quarantined and tested as a precaution on arrival. 

Meanwhile, hours after the Shahi Snan concluded on April 27, Haridwar’s district administration announced a ‘corona curfew’ from April 28 to the morning of May 3.  According to The Indian Express, IG Kumbh Mela, Sanjay Gunjyal, said, “Following appeal from the Prime Minister and constant review by the Chief Minister, akharas cooperated in keeping the crowd low today. There were meetings with akharas daily over the last three days on crowd management. They followed social distancing too. Even Naga sadhus wore masks.”

According to the IE police personnel also took part in the shahi snan said it was “symbolic”. Police, told the media that around around 85 seers from Niranjani and Anand akhadas, 250 from Juna, Agni and Ahvaham; 80 from Mahanirvani and Atal; around 600 from Nirmohi, Nirvani and Diganmbar, around 230 from Bada Udaseen and Naya Udaseen and 100 from Nirmal akhara took part in the Shahi Snan Tuesday. Add to that the devotees who had come from across the country to take part in the kumbh mela. 

According to the news report, the footfall of devotees at the first shahi snan on March 11 was around 32 lakh, and was the same on the second shahi snan on April 14, 13 lakh took part in  the third Shahi Snan on April 14. The news report quoted Juna Akhara spokesperson Mahant Narayan Giri who said, “In view of appeals from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, we kept the shahi snan symbolic today. Around 5,000 seers and followers with 150 chariots had taken part in each of the past three shahi snans… Around 90 per cent seers and followers who had come from other states have already returned."

However, The New Indian Express reported there has been an “explosive 1,800% spike in active cases in Uttarakhand between March 31 and April 24, a period coinciding with the Haridwar Mahakumbh”. This clearly indicates that the Kumbh Mela may have turned into a super spreader event. Before the Kumbh, the state had 1,863 active cases as on March 31, it reached 33,330 cases on April 24. According to the government’s data, it has been reported that over 35 lakh people gathered at Haridwar on April 12, over 13.51 lakh on April 14. 

 

 

Those who have already left Haridwar may have already carried the Covid-19 infection with them and are all potential super spreaders. A celebrity example is that of Nepal’s former royals, King Gyanendra Shah (73) and Queen Komal Shah (70), who tested positive for Covid-19 days after their return home from the Mahakumbh Mela in Uttarakhand reported Hindustan Times. The Himalayan Times reported that the couple’s RT-PCR tests were confirmed positive, and authorities were tracing others who have been in contact with the couple. The couple had taken a holy bath at Har Ki Pauri in Haridwar during the Mahakumbh. Hundreds of people had gathered at the airport in Kathmandu to welcome the couple on their return, stated news reports. Indian music composer Shravan Rathod who had also gone to the Kumbh, succumbed earlier this week to Covid-19 complications.

 

Related:

Don’t compare Kumbh Mela to Markaz event: Uttarakhand CM Tirath Singh Rawat

Muslim advocacy group’s tweet comparing Kumbh Mela with Tablighi Jamaat blocked

Can’t let Char Dham yatra become hotspot, Uttarakhand HC takes stock of Covid 

 

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