People gathered in large numbers at popular tourist spots in Kolkata and elsewhere in West Bengal to celebrate the New Years on Saturday, as Covid-19 cases increase alarmingly in the state.
Party-goers flock to places such as Alipore Zoo, Eco Park, Victoria Memorial and Indian Museum in and around the metropolis, as well as the beaches of Digha, Mandarmani and Bakkhali.
Although the number of people appears to be lower than on Christmas Day, police struggled to control the crowd and get them to follow preventive Covid-19 protocols such as wearing masks and keeping a distance physical.
Part of the population also went to the cinema to watch films or to the restaurant for an occasional meal.
The famous Kali temples at Kalighat and Dakshineswar, which usually attract large numbers of worshipers on New Years Day, were closed to visitors, as was the Belur Math, the seat of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission (RKM).
The annual “Kalpataru Utsav” held on January 1 in Kashipur Udyanbati, which also attracts thousands of people, was closed to worshipers like last year, an RKM spokesperson said.
The monks of the order believe that on this day in 1886 Sri Ramakrishna was blessed with the inner vision (âChaitanyaâ) in this house north of Kolkata. It is also believed that on the same day it became “Kalpataru”, the wish-granting mythical tree.
However, RKM’s Kamarpukur and Joyrambati units in Hooghly and Bankura districts respectively were open and many visited both locations.
Sri Ramakrishna and Sarada Devi, his spiritual wife, were born in Kamarpukur and Joyrambati respectively.
West Bengal has seen a surge in Covid-19 cases in recent days. On Saturday it reported 4,512 new infections, 1,061 more than the previous day’s figure, with Kolkata accounting for 2,398 new cases. Greeting people on the New Year, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee urged them to follow Covid-19 protocols.
(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)