Amid the surge of COVID-19 cases across the country, devotees took a holy dip at the Har Ki Pauri ghat in Uttarakhand's Haridwar on the occasion of the third 'shahi snan' in Kumbh on Wednesday. The first bath was held on March 11 on the occasion of Mahashivratri, while the second took place on April 12. According to the schedule of major events, four 'Shahi Snan' and nine 'Ganga Snan' will take place at Haridwar this year.
The 'Snans' are a part of the Kumbh Mela that is supposed to be held in Haridwar from April 1 to April 30 in order to limit the festival this year to 30 days due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Kumbh is held periodically at four different locations in India -- Nashik, Haridwar, Prayagraj, and Ujjain.
In normal circumstances, Kumbh continues for nearly four months but this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the duration of the congregation has been curtailed to one month.
According to Garhwal Commissioner Ravinath Raman, many devotees who had arrived in Haridwar for the Kumbh Mela did not carry their coronavirus test report.
The Garhwal Commissioner said the railway authorities can permit devotees to the Mela area only after they produce their negative RT-PCR report.
Those who arrive without a report should be tested on the spot and allowed to proceed only after their coronavirus report turns out to be negative, he said.
According to the Uttarakhand health department, there are 9,353 active COVID-19 cases in the state.
"Uttarakhand reports 1,925 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours taking the total case of the infection to 1,12,071," the health department informed on Tuesday.