Haridwar Kumbh Mela 2021: Dates, registration, and COVID-19 guidelines
Preparations are in full swing in Uttarakhand's Haridwar as Kumbh Mela 2021 is all set to begin on the occasion of Maha Shivratri tomorrow (March 11). Kumbh Mela, one of the largest religious gatherings around the world, is held four times over a course of 12 years at four river-bank pilgrimage sites - Prayagraj, Haridwar, Ujjain, and Nashik. Here's all you need to know.
According to reports, all the devotees will be required to register on the web portal of the Kumbh Mela and have their documents verified before they are issued e-passes. The mandatory documents for the online registration include a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR report, to be taken up to 72 hours prior, after which an e-pass will be generated.
Kumbh Mela officer, Deepak Rawat, reportedly said, "The first holy bath is on Shivratri and all preparations have been done for it. All in all, we have assigned duties to security personnel at the routes (sic)."
All the devotees are required to maintain a distance of six feet. Pilgrims will not be allowed to enter religious places without wearing a face mask. Hand sanitizer stalls have been set up at various places at the Mela site, which spreads over Haridwar, Pauri Garhwal, and Dehradun districts of the state. Dustbins will be placed for the disposal of gloves, face masks, etc.
Anyone who might show coronavirus symptoms during thermal screening will be isolated and reported to the Mela administration and control room. Ashrams and Dharamshalas will be sanitized from time to time. A number of changing rooms have been set up and volunteers will keep sanitizing the Mela premises. Those who may violate COVID-19 rules will be prosecuted.
Meanwhile, in order to ease travel for the pilgrims heading to the Mela, the Indian Railways has started 12 more pairs of Kumbh Mela Special trains, in addition to the existing trains bound for Haridwar. Further, a centralized high-tech control room has also been set up at the Haridwar railway station, the Indian Railways announced on Wednesday.