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2019 Photo From Prayagraj Shared As Kumbh 2021 Amid COVID-19 Surge

We found that the viral image was actually from Prayag Kumbh that took place in 2019 in UP’s Prayagraj. 

Published
WebQoof
3 min read
Fact-Check | We found that the viral image was actually from Prayag <i>Kumbh</i> that took place in 2019 in UP’s Prayagraj.
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A photograph showing an aerial view of a crowded gathering has gone viral with a claim that it shows the crowd at Haridwar Mahakumbh Mela, which began on 1 April 2021, amid COVID-19 restrictions.

However, while there has been a sizeable crowd at Kumbh 2021, we found that the viral image was actually from Prayag Kumbh that took place in 2019 held at Prayag Triveni Sangam, Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh.

CLAIM

One of the posts with the viral image said, “This is Kumbh Mela in India. Worlds biggest COVID-19 hotspot. As per the Indian government, this will cure COVID-19.”

Another post on Facebook mockingly said, “Covid restrictions in Kumbh Mela.”

An archive of the post can be found <a href="https://archive.is/VBLss">here</a>.
An archive of the post can be found here.
(Photo: Facebook/Screenshot)

More such posts on Twitter can be found here and here. The post was also shared on Facebook, which can be seen here, here and here.

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WHAT WE FOUND OUT

We conducted a reverse image search on the viral image and found news reports from 2019 that carried the same image.

  • A link to the post can be found <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-46998178">here</a>.
  • A link to the post can be found <a href="https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/allahabad/ngo-sets-up-100-bed-hospital-at-kumbh-mela-site/articleshow/67587683.cms">here</a>.
  • A link to the post can be found <a href="https://www.fortuneindia.com/polemicist/why-the-kumbh-mela-is-an-economic-blessing/102900">here</a>.

We also found the image posted on the official website of Kumbh 2019 called “kumbh.gov.in”.

A link to the post can be found <a href="http://kumbh.gov.in/en/gallery">here</a>.
A link to the post can be found here.
(Source: Screenshot/Kumbh Mela website)
The image on the official website of Prayag Kumbh 2019 was titled “Shahi Snan”. According to a news report, “The Shahi Snan is an integral part of Kumbh Mela, which is considered as one of the most important pilgrimages for Hindus.”

The “Shahi Snan” in Kumbh 2019 started on 15 January when sadhus took a holy dip in Prayag Triveni Sangam – the meeting points of three rivers – Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati.

However, it is important to note that a huge crowd was seen during this year’s Kumbh Mela despite the rising COVID-19 cases.

Devotees perform a ritual at the banks of Ganga river ahead of <i>Kumbh Mela</i>, in Haridwar, Monday, 5 April 2021.
Devotees perform a ritual at the banks of Ganga river ahead of Kumbh Mela, in Haridwar, Monday, 5 April 2021.
(Photo: PTI)

The Uttarakhand government has mandated a negative RT-PCR test report for the devotees visiting Kumbh Mela, which has been curtailed to one month this year. The ‘Shahi Snan’ is supposed to take place on 12, 13,14, 21, and 27 April.

Evidently, an image from the 2019 Prayag Kumbh Mela was revived amid the ongoing 2021 Mahakumbh, which is being held amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at webqoof@thequint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

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