Niranjani Akahara ends participation in Kumbh Mela

Influential Akhara announces end to Kumbh Mela at Haridwar

Several sadhus participating in the Kumbh Mela have tested positive for Covid-19

Sadhus, or Hindu holy men take a holy dip in the Ganges river during Shahi Snan at "Kumbh Mela", or the Pitcher Festival, amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), in Haridwar, India, April 14, 2021. Credit: Reuters Photo

Niranjani Akharas, an influential order of saints, on Thursday announced the end of its activities for the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar from April 17 citing the surge in Covid-19 cases.

“Considering the Covid-19 situation, the Niranjani Akhara has decided to end the Kumbh Mela on April 17,” Mahant Ravindra Puri, secretary of the Niranjani Akhara said in Haridwar.

He said several sadhus participating in the Kumbh Mela have tested positive for Covid-19.

Read: Head of Maha Nirvani Akhara suffering from Covid-19 passes away in Uttarakhand

Puri also appealed to other Akharas to end the Mela early given the spiralling Covid-19 situation.

Uttarakhand Director General of Police Ashok Kumar told DH that the main Kumbh Mela was over on April 14 as not all Akharas are going to participate in the ‘shahi snan’ on April 27.

“The main shahi snan were on April 12 and April 14,” Kumar said adding as many as 13 lakh devotees took a dip in the Ganga at Haridwar on Wednesday.

Kumar said that the number of devotees was one-tenth of the attendance witnessed at the previous Kumbh Mela when over 1.25 crore people took part in the festivities.

The Kumbh Mela congregation had come under severe criticism for lack of Covid-19 protocol at a time when the second wave of the pandemic was raging throughout the country.

As per reports from Haridwar, at least 12 sadhus, including Narendra Giri, the President of the Akhil Bharitya Akhara Parishad, have tested positive for Covid-19.