Mathura, Jun 24 (PTI) The annual Mudiya Poono fair, also known as mini-kumbh, which was supposed to begin from July 1 this year has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, officials said on Wednesday.
'Requests for cancellation of the fair were received from pradhans, temple priests, noted saints and prominent social workers of the area owing to the COVID-19 pandemic,' Mathura District Magistrate Sarvagya Ram Mishra said.
He said a high-power committee led by Mela Officer ADM (administration) S K Tripathi was formed to assess the feasibility of organising the fair.
The committee recommended that the fair be cancelled this year due to heavy influx of pilgrims, the DM said, adding it would have become extremely difficult to ensure social distancing at the fair.
According to the official, over 12 million pilgrims had participated in the five-day fair last year.
Fearing heavy influx of pilgrims, the management of different temples of Goverdhan including renowned Daan Ghati temple, Mukut Mukharbind temple Manasi Ganga , Mukharbind temple Jatipura, Sangam temple Radha Kund had earlier, decided to continue with the closure of the temples till the pandemic is controlled, Ramakant Goswami, the receiver of Mukut Mukharbind temple said.
He said the decision of cancellation of annual fair, and continuing closure of temples of Goverdhan is also painful for temple authorities.
However, both the decisions have been taken in the interests of the pilgrims, Goswami added.
Legend has it that Mudiya Poono fair was started about five hundred years ago by the disciples of saint Sanatan Goswami. The fair got momentum about three decades ago.
In the fair, the pilgrims take a holy dip in the Manasi Ganga Kund and perform parikrama (circumambulation) of the Govardhan hillock barefoot, Mathura Prasad Kaushik, the priest of Daan Ghati temple said. PTI COR CK