Haridwar (Uttarakhand) [India], April 16 (ANI): As the COVID-19 cases are increasing across the country, Panchayati Niranjani Akhada, one of the 13 akhadas, on Thursday announced the conclusion of the Kumbh on April 17.
Ravindra Puri Maharaj, secretary of the Niranjani Akhada said, "Given the situation of the pandemic in Haridwar, we have taken the decision to conclude the Kumbh on April 17."
"Regarding the shahi snan on April 27, we will take steps in accordance with the decision of Akhada Parishad. A bunch of sadhus will participate in the fourth shahi snan from our akhada," Maharaj said.
"Overcrowding Haridwar is not appropriate in the present scenario. Many of our staffs and sadhus have fallen ill," Kailash Giri, Acharya Mahamandeleshwar said.
A total of 2,167 people were found positive for coronavirus in Haridwar -- the place where the month-long Kumbh Mela is going on -- in the last five days.
The first bath was held on March 11 on the occasion of Mahashivratri, the second took place on April 14 and the third on April 14. The fourth shahi snan is scheduled on April 27.
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. The duration of the Kumbh festival has been shortened to 30 days this year 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. (ANI)