Haridwar Kumbh Mela 2021

By: Lavanya Rautela

Kumbh Mela is the largest religious gathering anywhere in the world. Millions of Pilgrimages visit Kumbh Mela from all over the world and the Haridwar Kumbh Mela is the most visited one. Kumbh Mela is held in every 12 years in rotation at the four holy places, Haridwar, Allahabad, Ujjain and Nasik. According to Hindu mythology Haridwar is termed as the gateway of heaven.

About Kumbh Mela?

A Great Kumbh Mela festival is held in every144 years at Prayaraj the 2001 festival attracted some 60 million people. The attendees at the Kumbh Mela come from all sections of society from Sadhus who remain naked year-round and leave their isolation only for these pilgrimages. Massive crowds of disciples, friends, and spectators join the individual ascetics and organizations. The Hindu devotees come to wash their sins away by taking a holy dip in the sacred waters of the rivers.

(Source: PTI) Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi takes a holy dip at Sangam during Kumbh Mela, in Prayagraj 2019.

Kumbh Mela in the time of Covid.

The Kumbh was earlier scheduled to be a two-month affair instead of the usual four months. This year the Haridwar Kumbh Mela will be held for a shorter span compared to previous years because of the ongoing situation of COVID-19 pandemic. It will be held for 30 days this time from April 1st to April 30th. The decision was taken based on the fear that the city might become the hotspot. The government will release the guidelines for the Kumbh in the last week of March.

The Haridwar district administration has demanded 70,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines for the personnel posted on duty. The administration has made elaborate arrangements for the Mela amidst the pandemic.

The important dates for the ‘snan’ are:

12 April 2021: Somwati Amavasya (second Shahi Snan)

14 April 2021: Baisakhi (third Shahi Snan)

27 April 2021: Chaitra Purnima (fourth Shahi Snan)

Pilgrimages taking holy dip on the days of the Shahi snan will have to make online booking in advance. The pilgrimages will be allowed to take the dip in the holy water for just few minutes.

C Ravishankar the Haridwar District Magistrate said that the pilgrims will need passes to attend Kumbh Mela 2021. Every person accommodating in Ashram or Dharamshala must get an RTPCR COVID-19 negative test report, done 72 hours ahead of reaching Haridwar.