Thousands of devotees took holy dip at Har Ki Pauri ghat in Haridwar on the occasion of Maha Shivratri on Thursday morning.
“Up to 22 lakh devotees have performed ‘snan’ till now. We are going to begin the process of emptying this ghat as ‘akharas’ are getting ready for ‘shahi snan’,” said Sanjay Gunjyal, Inspector General of Police, Kumbh Mela in Haridwar.
The timing for the holy bath at ‘Har ki Pauri’ for akharas is from 8 am to 5 pm on Maha Shivratri. The general public can take bath before 8 am and after 5 pm.
Apart from 5,000 security force personnel, CCTV cameras and drones will be used to boost security at Haridwar Kumbh.
In a meeting with senior officials, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat Wednesday directed them to show flowers from helicopters on pilgrims who would come for the first holy dip on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri.
This Kumbh will be held from April 1 to April 30 in Haridwar. The Uttarakhand government has decided to limit the Kumbh this year to 30 days due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Maha Kumbh is celebrated in a cycle of 12 years at four river-bank pilgrimage sites across India.
According to State Chief Secretary Om Prakash, people violating COVID-19 SOPs at 2021 Kumbh Mela Haridwar, will be prosecuted.
All participants will have to register on the Kumbh Mela Administration’s official website and upload documents including a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR report, taken up to 72 hours prior, after which, an e-pass will be generated.