Covid-19 casts gloom over festival season in Braj Bhoomi

An air of despair and gloom has badly affected the festival spirit in Sri Krishna-land, Braj Bhoomi, which in normal times used to attract millions of pilgrims in the holy months of Sawan-Bhadon.

The annual Mudiya Poonau festival which is held for five days in Goverdhan had to be cancelled. The temples in Vrindavan, Mathura, Gokul, Barsana are all shut.

Once the narrow lanes of Vrindavan used to reverberate to chants of Radhey Radhey, but today there is eerie silence. The crowded streets are deserted. Locals are home-confined, scared to stir out. Even the monkeys look askance, wondering where the ‘Bhakts’ had disappeared.

It is a sad spectacle, totally unprecedented. How long this phase will last, no one knows, lamented Jagan Nath Poddar, convener of Friends of Vrindavan.

The Yamuna banks are no longer crowded with pilgrims. The Braj Yatras, (150 km covering all the shrines associated with Sri Krishna-Radha) which used to attract devotees from all over India, Gujarat in particular, have been cancelled, resulting in loss of income to the local Pandas.

The Teej festival, the Rakshabandhan, the daily Hindolas, Sri Krishan Janamasthmi, Radhaashtmi, attract millions of devotees to the temples in Braj Bhoomi, but the locals are despondent as visitors are not permitted to enter the temples.

Almost daily Mathura has been reporting Covid-19 cases in double figures, 29 reported on Monday evening.

The situation is hardly better in Agra which has seen a spurt of fresh cases. In the last 24 hours 25 new cases were reported, taking the total tally to 1,677. The number of active cases was 205. So far 1,375 patients had recovered.

Health department teams continue to survey homes in hotspots. The SN Medical College which runs the Covid hospital, is experimenting with history books of all patients.

Principal Sanjay Kala said these 50 page books will give the whole history of the patient, and record all relevant details to facilitate treatment in a systematic manner.

The neighbouring districts of Mainpuri reported 17, Kasganj 12, Firozabad 10, Etah 22 cases of Covid-19 in last 24 hours.