Kumbh Mela 2021 Begins in Haridwar

He Kumbh Mela has formally begun in Haridwar on 1st April, with several restrictions amid rising cases of Covid-19 infections in various states including Uttarakhand.

The Kumbh Mela is held approximately every 12 years at four river-bank sites: the Allahabad (Ganges-Yamuna Saraswati rivers confluence), Haridwar (Ganges), Nashik (Godavari) 

and Ujjain (Shipra). It is considered as the largest religious gathering anywhere around the world. Lakhs of people attend. During the festival, people perform the ritual of dipping themselves in water. People  believe that bathing in these rivers is a means atonement for past mistakes and that it cleanses them of their sins. It is also a celebration with numerous fairs, religious lectures by saints, mass feedings of monks or the poor, and entertainment spectacle. Despite the rising cases of COVID-19, this year the Kumbh Mela will be held in Haridwar, Uttarakhand. It started on 1st April. However the festival will end on 30th April in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. Normally it is held for 4 months, For the first time in history it will be held for 30 days. Several Guidelines have been put in place for devotees. 

Only those with negative RT-PCR COVID test reports which are not older than 72 hours, will be allowed to attend. Even those who have received the first dose of the corona vaccine, will require a negative COVID test report to enter. Devotees who have taken the 2 shots of the anti-Covid vaccination will have to show their certificates and follow the Covid-linked guidelines like wearing masks, maintaining social distance and frequently sanitizing hands. There will be three major bathing dates on April 12, April 14, and April 27. Total 12,000 police and 400 paramilitary force personnel will keep an eye on the Kumbh Mela which is spread over an area of 670 hectares and ensure that the COVID-19 protocols are followed strictly. Total 38 temporary hospitals with the deployment of 200 doctors and 1,500 paramedical staff have been operationalized for devotees in the Mela area.