Kumbh wears a deserted look as seers leave mela | India News – Times of India

HARIDWAR: A day after PM Modi’s appeal to hold Kumbh mela in a symbolic manner, most of the camps bore a deserted look as seers of prominent sanyasi akhadas like Juna, Atal, Agni, Ahavan, Niranjani and Anand — who have announced closure of Kumbh for their seers — started leaving their camps. Those who could not, were planning to do so on Monday in view of the state-wide lockdown that has now been imposed in Uttarakhand on Sundays.
Mahant Hari Giri, patron of Juna Akhada told TOI that almost 80% of seers from his akhada had already left Kumbh and only a few seers will take a symbolic dip on the last shahi snan on April 27. “We do not want to risk the lives of the seers and pilgrims coming to Haridwar at a time when Covid cases are rising phenomenally. Therefore, a collective decision was made regarding closure of the Kumbh by our akhada,” he said. Juna Akhada — the largest of the 13 sects of seers in the country — had pulled out of the religious festival after convening a meeting of its core committee on Saturday.
Meanwhile, seers of the Bairagi and Udasin sects reiterated that they will continue to stay on in the Kumbh mela and will participate in the last shahi snan. According to estimates, around half of the seers and most of the devotees from the Bada and Naya Udasin akhadas had left the Kumbh mela area. While the Bairagi seers were camping on, presence of devotees in their camps was extremely low. Presence of devotees at the evening Ganga aarti at the Har-ki-Pauri ghat was also minimal on Sunday.
“Even though some seers are saying that they will stay for the last shahi snan, most of the camps are almost empty. The Kumbh is more or less over,” said an official from the mela administration.

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