Thousands of saffron-clad seers and ash-smeared Nagas bathed in the Ganga in Haridwar during the second 'shahi snan' part of the ongoing Kumbh Mela on Monday.
Amid rising coronavirus cases in the country, thousands of saffron-clad seers and ash-smeared Nagas flouted Covid-19 norms and converged at Har Ki Pairi here for a holy dip in the Ganga during the second royal bath of the Kumbh Mela on Monday.
The seers of different akhadas, led by their Mahamandaleshwaras, by turns took out grand Shobha Yatras through the main thoroughfare of the pilgrimage city to gather at Brahma Kund, Hari ki Pairi for the holy bath on the occasion of Somvati Amavasya.
Marching barefoot to their destination with many of them not wearing masks or observing social distancing, the seers took a dip in the river as they were showered with flower petals from helicopters flying above on behalf of the Uttarakhand government.
While Har ki Pairi, considered the holiest of the Ghats was reserved exclusively for the akhadas from 7 am onwards, common people also took the holy dip on the other ghats of the Ganga, revered by millions as a goddess.
The mela administration claimed that approximately 17.31 lakh devotees had taken the holy dip in the Ganga till 10 am.