In Uttarakhand's Hardiwar, lakhs of devotees gathered at Hari Ki Pauri for Ganga Aarti. This comes at a time when the country is undergoing another Covid wave. Social distancing norms were flouted. 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. Kumbh is held periodically at four different locations in India (Nashik, Haridwar, Prayagraj, and Ujjain) every four years. Watch the full video for more details.
Credit: HT Digital Content Duration: 01:47Published
Coronavirus cases are on uphill across country as second wave of pandemic tightens its grip. In wake of the rising infections, after Delhi, Noida and Ghaziabad have also imposed night curfew. Night restrictions also imposed in Lucknow and Prayagraj. "Night curfew has been imposed till further orders, all essential services have been exempted but in order to prove they must have proper permission and Id-card with them," said Ranvijay Singh ADCP Noida.
Nurses of Moti Lal Nehru Medical College halted services and protested on March 15 in Uttar Pradesh's Prayagraj. The protest came after one of nurses alleged that she was slapped by a junior doctor following a verbal altercation. "Nurse has complained. Action to be taken after we speak to the doctor," said a hospital staff.
Jharkhand Congress MLA Irfan Ansari stoked controversy by performing puja at a temple. Ansari performed puja at Deoghar's Baidyanath Dham temple, a sacred abode of Lord Shiva. BJP MP Dr Nishikant Dubey demanded arrest of Ansari after he offered prayers at temple. Dubey claimed that entry of non-Hindus is strictly not allowed at Baidyanath temple. The MP from Godda demanded that Jharkhand's JMM-led govt order arrest of Ansari. He also sought action against the deputy commissioner and SP of Deoghar. Meanwhile, Ansari accused Dubey of playing dirty politics in the name of religion. Ansari, MLA of Jamtara, had entered temple's sanctum sanctorum with his companions and performed puja. Ansari claimed that he has been coming to the temple since childhood to seek blessings.
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Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament Nishikant Dubey on April 16 said that today it is a black day for Deoghar as Congress MLA Irfan Ansari entered the Baidyanath Dham temple besides being a non-Hindu. Dubey said, "Entry of non-Hindus is not allowed in Baidyanath Dham temple at Deoghar. But Congress MLA Irfan Ansari entered the temple. I've spoken to chief secretary, demanding suspension of DC and SP. I've also demanded that Ansari be booked under NSA."
Halfway through the West Bengal elections, a controversy over Trinamool Congress' poll strategist Prashant Kishor's leaked chat caused a storm. One of the statements made by Kishor, as released by BJP, involved a declaration that 'if there's a vote, it's for Hindus, for polarisation, and for Modi'. Pollster Yashwant Deshmukh decodes this statement, and how political parties in India have used appeasement and polarisation politics to win votes. Watch the full video for more.
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The Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, which usually draws thousands of pilgrims and sadhus on Maha Shivaratri festival is seeing a dip in the number of visitors this year due to the Covid pandemic, according to authorities. As per the Pashupati Area Development Trust, (PADT) the temple, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage site, celebrates the festival with fanfare and gaiety and attracts thousands of pilgrims from India. This year along with pilgrims, the number of ascetics mostly from India visiting the shrine has also taken a dip. One of the major festivals of Nepal, Maha Shivaratri literally means "Night of the Shiva". It is celebrated on the 14th day of the dark fortnight of the Magha month, as per the Hindu lunar calendar. It is believed that on this day, the stars in the Northern Hemisphere are at the most optimum positions to help raise a person's spiritual energy. It is also believed that the Shiva principle is most active on this day of the year. It is celebrated marking the convergence of Shiva and Shakti. The festival also celebrates the night when Lord Shiva performed the "Tandav", the cosmic dance. Hundreds of thousands of devotees visit Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, one of the holiest shrines of the Hindus. Pashupatinath is considered the Guardian and Protector of the Kathmandu Valley and Nepal. The premises of the temple-- which typically filled with bustling crowds--bore a barren look on the eve of the festival on Wednesday.
Devotees from across the country took holy dips today on the occasion of magh purnima, the full moon night in the magha month of the hindu calender. The devotees in Prayagraj and Haridwar were seen observing the holy occasion by offering diyas in the water. Magh Purnima is the night of the full moon in the Hindu month of Magha.
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Devotees took a holy dip at the Har Ki Pauri ghat in Uttarakhand's Haridwar on the occasion of the third 'Shahi Snan' in Kumbh on April 14. The first bath was held on March 11 on the occasion of Mahashivratri, while the second took place on April 12. Haridwar remains heavily crowded, despite skyrocketing cases of COVID-19.
On the occasion of the second shahi snan in Kumbh, Niranjani Akhada sadhus took a holy dip in river Ganga at Har Ki Pauri Ghat in Uttarakhand's Haridwar. Sadhus defy COVID SOPs during shahi snan. General public was allowed to take a dip till 7am. The first bath was held on March 11 on the occasion of Mahashivratri. Uttarakhand reported 1,333 new cases on April 11, taking the active caseload to 1,08,812.
Devotees in Varanasi's famous Vishwanath temple stood in long queues on the auspicious occasion of Mahashivratri, as they waited eagerly for their turn to perform the holy rituals on Shivling. As Hindu devotees stood in queues, people of the Muslim community were seen showering petals on them to give out the message of brotherhood in line with the Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb. This culture refers to the fusion of Hindu-Muslim cultures found in northern states like Uttar Pradesh, especially the region that falls between the banks of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers. This was not for the first time that such a wonderful gesture was shown by the people of a particular community in Varanasi. Locals say that be it the festivals of Hindus or Muslims, we celebrate each and every festival together and the same was witnessed during Mahashivratri. Celebrated with great fervour and zeal across the country, Mahashivratri is considered most auspicious for spiritual growth. Literally translating to - the great night of Shiva, the occasion is believed to celebrate the marriage of Shiva, the Lord of destruction and Parvati, goddess of fertility, love and beauty.
In remarks that could create uproar, new Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat expressed his shock over a woman, who he met during a flight, wearing ripped jeans and was a social worker by profession. Holding parents responsible for westernisation of young children, Rawat said, "Showing bare knees, wearing ripped denim and looking like rich kids- these are the values being given now. Where is this coming from, if not at home? What is the fault of teachers or schools? Where am I taking my son, showing knees and in tattered jeans? Women are not any much less, displaying their knees. Is that good?" Devotees at Kumbh to be showered with flowers from copters on Mahashivratri.