Two days are left for the Makar Mela, the religious fair held every 12 years in the historic, religious-cultural, and touristic town of Panauti.

In normal times the religious fair draws hundreds of thousands of devotees from various parts of the country.

But this year, the fair is going to be subdued due to the looming risk of a third wave of COVID-19. In this context, a meeting of the District COV- ID-19 Control, Prevention and Management Centre has directed the local levels not to organise any programme or fair with the participation of more than 25 persons.

Following this directive, less than 25 devotees will be allowed to take holy dip as part of the Makar Mela in Panauti this time. The religious fair takes place for a month from the day of Makar Sankranti (January 15 this year). The religious fair takes place at Trivenighat area in Panauti Municipality.

CDO Shivaram Pokharel said the Municipality Office, the security bodies and the Makar Mela Management Committee had been urged to make arrangements so that health safety protocols are strictly adhered to.

A version of this article appears in the print on January 13, 2022, of The Himalayan Times.