Haridwar (Uttarakhand) [India], April 25 (ANI): Dev Dolis (people carrying local deities) on Sunday morning took a holy dip in the Ganga river at Har Ki Pauri in Haridwar amid the ongoing Kumbh Mela.
The Dev Doli ritual of bathing local deities in Ganga was scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.
On Saturday evening at 4 pm, a worship prayer was held at Triveni ghat in Rishikesh. After the ritual, everybody was escorted by the Kumbh Mela police to Prem Nagar Ashram in Haridwar.
The Dev Dolis carried local deities on their shoulders to the Ganga river.
Owing to the COVID-19 protocols, the Dev Dolis reached Haridwar from four places. Sanitisers and masks were provided to all devotees by the Kumbh Mela police.
On the occasion of the festival, Mahamandaleshwar Swami Virendra Anand said that the religious heritage is prospering. "These rituals should become stronger worldwide."
Jhalimali Devi Ashram president Mohan Singh Rawat said, "The ritual of Dev Doli is a symbol of eternal religion."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had appealed on April 17 that the Kumbh Mela "should now only be symbolic amid the coronavirus crisis", stressing that it would give a boost to the fight against the pandemic.
In response, Swami Avdheshanand replied, "We respect PM Modi's appeal. Saving lives is sacred. I request people to not gather for the ritual bath in large numbers and follow all Covid protocols." (ANI)