Today Haridwar witnessed the third-largest Shani Snan at the Kumbh festival. This would not be a matter of concern if there were no COVID, with a daily increasing number of deaths.
The devotees took a holy dip in the Ganga at Haridwar on the occasion of the third and biggest 'Shahi Snan' or royal bath of the Kumbh Mela early on Wednesday.
According to the schedule of major events, four Shahi Snan and nine Ganga Snan will take place at Haridwar this year. The first royal bath was held on March 11 on the occasion of Mahashivratri, while the second took place on April 12 on Somvati Amavasya.
Chief minister Tirath Singh Rawat appealed to the people on Tuesday to follow COVID-19 guidelines, like wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, and sanitizing hands - during the third Shahi Snan.
Masks were not worn by a large number of devotees on Monday and social distancing appeared impossible at an event in which, according to the Uttarakhand government, about 35 lakh people participated.
Kumbh is held periodically at four different locations in India - Nashik (Maharashtra), Haridwar (Uttarakhand), Prayagraj (Uttar Pradesh), and Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh).
Like several other states, Uttarakhand also recorded the highest single-day spike in COVID cases and fatalities this year with 1,925 people testing positive on Tuesday. The hill state also recorded 10 more fatalities due to the infection.