On the occasion of Mahashivratri on Thursday, thousands of devotees took the holy dip at Har Ki Pauri ghat in Uttarakhand’s Haridwar, amid a tight security ring thrown around the area for the Shahi Snan.
This Shahi Snan is one of the firsts of Kumbh Mela 2021. According to the schedule of major events, four Shahi Snan and nine Ganga Snan will take place at Haridwar this year.
The Shahi Snan being held today has an extensive security arrangement and has been made to ensure the safety and security of the devotees there. Reportedly approximately 5000 security personnel, hundreds of CCTVs, and drones have been deployed by the Haridwar Kumbh Mela administration for surveillance.
Earlier today, the Inspector General of Police (Kumbh Mela) in Haridwar, Sanjay Gunjyal, said, “Up to 22 lakh devotees have performed the Snan till now. We are going to begin the process of emptying this ghat (Har Ki Pauri) as akharas are getting ready for Shahi Snan.”
Uttarakhand Director General of Police Ashok Kumar said, “For akharas, bath timings at Har Ki Pauri is from 8 am to 5 pm, while for the general public, it’s before8 am and after 5 pm.”
During a meeting on Wednesday, Uttarakhand’s new Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat had instructed senior officials that pilgrims, who come for the first holy dip on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri, will be showered with flowers from helicopters.
The Snans are a part of the Kumbh Mela that is supposed to be held in Haridwar from April 1 to April 30 to limit the festival this year to 30 days due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.