Mahakumbh Saw 91 Lakh Pilgrims Amid Raging Covid-19 Infections in the Country, 60 Lakh Gathered in April

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Event organisers of Mahakumbh said that 91 lakh pilgrims visited Haridwar.

According to a report by Hindustan Times, the Kumbh Mela Force, a government body, said 91 lakh pilgrims took the holy dip in the Ganga from January 14 to April 27. The bulk of this at least 60 lakh people, congregated in April.

The highest gathering of 35 lakh was reported on April 12. On March 11, for Maha Shivratri, 32 lakh pilgrims arrived for the bath.

A curfew was ordered in Haridwar from Wednesday after the completion of the whole of the mega Kumbh and the conclusion of the final ‘shahi snan’ (royal bath), which saw 25,000 Hindu devotees taking a dip in the Holy water, even as India registered a record number of fatalities across the country.

Wednesday onwards only essential services will be allowed during the curfew hours. The curfew will be imposed in Haridwar, Roorkee, Laksar and Bhagwanpur.

Till the conclusion of the royal bath, nearly 2,000 seers of 13 ‘akhadas’ (sects) had taken a dip in the Ganga at Har Ki Pairi ghat which was reserved exclusively for them, officials said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 17 had appealed to sadhus to observe the remaining duration of the Kumbh only in a “symbolic” manner. Following this different ‘akhadas’ had agreed to keep their participation symbolic.

Crowds at the ghats of the Ganga started thinning down drastically since last week after the key ‘akhadas’ of seers began pulling out of the Maha Kumbh, one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, citing the spike in the number of coronavirus cases. Many spots wore a deserted look on Tuesday at the Kumbh which will formally close only on April 30.

The Mahakumbh is held every 12 years between January and April. This year, the government curtailed it to one month and notified that the mela will begin on April 1. But millions congregated in Haridwar weeks before.

The announcement came a day after the Uttarakhand high court observed that organising the Mahakumbh made the state a laughing stock

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