In view of the Covid-19 pandemic, the ‘Kumbh Mela’ which includes four ‘Shahi Snans’, would be held in Haridwar for a span of 28 days this year. The Uttarakhand government announced the decision after discussions with Hindu sages and sants.
‘Kumbh Mela 2021’ would be organised from April 1 to 28, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said. The Uttarakhand government would soon issue a notification regarding the dates of the ‘Kumbh Mela’.
In the past, the ‘Kumbh Mela’ in Haridwar has been held for a period of four months.
At the same time, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has also issued the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) regarding the ‘Kumbh Mela’. The devotees visiting the Kumbh would have to follow the SOP issued by the Ministry.
The Uttarakhand High Court had also asked the state government to limit the duration of the ‘Kumbh Mela’ in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. Significantly, this time in Haridwar, the ‘Kumbh Mela’ is taking place after 11 years instead of 12 years. Usually, the Kumbh Mela is held after every 12 years.
The first ‘Shahi Snan’ will take place on March 11 which is celebrated as ‘Mahashivaratri’. On March 11, seven akharas of the sants would be taking the first ‘Shahi Snan’ and on April 27 during the occasion of Vaishakh Purnima, three akharas of ‘Bairagi Sadhus’ would take bath in the Kumbh. All the 13 akharas would take bath in the Kumbh at Haridwar on April 12 which is observed as ‘Somvati Amavasya’ and on April 14, the main ‘Shahi Snan’ would be observed on ‘Mesha Sankranti’.
The ‘Kumbh Mela 2021’ will be quite different from the past Kumbh Melas. During this year’s Kumbh Mela, bhajans and ‘bhandaras’ (religious feasts) would be prohibited at any place. The Uttarakhand government has issued the new rules to prevent the spread of coronavirus.