New Delhi: On the occasion of the second royal bath of the Maha Kumbh, several devotees took a holy bath in the Ganga river at Har Ki Pauri in Haridwar on Monday (April 12, 2021).
The holy dip comes amid the COVID-19 scare as the general public has been allowed at the Bramha Kund only till 7 am, post which, the area will be reserved for akharas. Devotees, however, have been allowed to take the holy dip on other ghats.
"General public will be allowed here till 7 am. After that, this area will be reserved for akharas. A stampede-like situation may arise if we would try to enforce social distancing at ghats, so we are unable to enforce social distancing here," Kumbh Mela IG Sanjay Gunjyal told ANI.
— Zee News English (@ZeeNewsEnglish) April 12, 2021
Uttarakhand: People take a holy dip in Ganga river at Har Ki Pauri in Haridwar.
Kumbh Mela IG Sanjay Gunjyal says, "General public will be allowed here till 7 am. After that, this area will be reserved for akharas". pic.twitter.com/9PtcP9WwwG
— ANI (@ANI) April 11, 2021
While the first bath was held on March 11 on the occasion of Mahashivratri, the third will now take place on April 14.
Meanwhile, Nepal's last King Gyanendra Veer Vikram Singh has also arrived in Haridwar to participate in the ongoing Kumbh festivities.
During his visit, King Gyanendra met Acharya Mahamandaleshwar Kailashanand Giri Maharaj of Niranjani Akhara at Dakshin Kali Temple and took his blessings.
King Gyanendra has reportedly arrived in Haridwar for the first time on the occasion of Kumbh.
Notably, there are six auspicious days during the fair: Magh Purnima (February 27, 2021), Mahashivratri (March 11, 2021), Somvati Amavasya (April 12, 2021), Baisakhi (April 14, 2021), Ram Navmi (April 21, 2021), and Chaitra Purnima (April 27, 2021).
Take a look at some of the latest pictures from the occasion:
Niranjani Akhada saints during second 'Shahi Snan' of Maha Kumbh, at Har ki Pauri in Haridwar.
Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav offers prayers along with saints during Maha Kumbh
Paramilitary personnel deployed on the occasion of 'Shahi Snan' during Maha Kumbh
Niranjani Akhada saints take part in the procession of the second 'Shahi Snan' of Maha Kumbh
Devotees gather for an evening prayer on the banks of Ganges river during Kumbh Mela, or the Pitcher Festival, amidst the spread of the COVID-19.
However, this time, it's not the same as it used to be due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The central and state governments have brought in several guidelines to ensure that the coronavirus safety protocols are followed. This year, the fair will be organised for a shorter span and will take place between April 1 and 30. Usually, the Kumbh continues for nearly four months.
Uttarakhand has so far recorded 1,08,812 COVID-19 cases, of which, 7,323 are still active.