Uttarakhand allows a festive bath for everyone at Somvati Amavasya before Mahakumbh
After eight months, pilgrims from other states can take a holy bath in the Ganges at Haridwar in a major holiday bath since the Covid-19 restrictions went into effect in mid-March. Somvati Amavasya’s festive bath, which falls on December 14, will witness both the participation of pilgrims from the state and from other states.
Local priests, merchant fraternity, and seers had resented the blanket ban on Kartik Poornima holiday bathing on November 30 for pilgrims, after which the local administration allowed Haridwar residents to bathe in the Ganges. , but pilgrims from other states were not allowed. This time, with the permits in place, many pilgrims from other states such as Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and the Kumaon region were seen arriving on Sunday night with many rest houses and hotels already reporting reservations from these states.
While there is no blanket ban on the arrival of pilgrims from other states to Somvati Amavasya, restrictions and preventive measures will be established according to standard operating procedures and guidelines for the containment of Covid-19 for the holiday bath.
“But in case there is a large influx of pilgrims from other states, then we could allow more pilgrims to enter the state to control overcrowding here,” said Haridwar District Magistrate C Ravi Shankar.
Administrative and police officials have been ordered to ensure the strict application of social distancing rules and the wearing of face masks and to encourage devotees to avoid coming to Haridwar for the occasion.
“Anyone found in violation of the guidelines will be treated harshly under the Epidemic Diseases Act of 1897 and the Disaster Management Act of 2005,” said Haridwar DM.
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Ganga Sabha, who manages the affairs of the Brahamkund sanctum sanctorum, Har-Ki-Pauri, has welcomed the decision to restrictively allow pilgrims for Somwati Amawasya.
“Ganga Sabha is willing to cooperate with the local administration and mela to ensure the management of the pilgrims. Somwati Amawasya will be the last festive bath before Mahakumbh, so it also assumes more importance for the administration. People come to bathe at Somvati Amavasya with immense faith, although everyone must respect the rules of social distancing when they come to bathe at Ganga ghats, ”said Ganga Sabha President Praveen Jha.