Hyderabad: An aerial image of a crowd gathered at the Kumbh Mela has gone viral on social media with the false claim that it is from the 2021 Haridwar Mahakumbh Mela.
The text along with the viral image reads, "This is Kumbh Mela in India. World's biggest COVID-19 hotspot. As per the Indian government, this will cure COVID-19."
The claim that this image was taken during the 2021 Kumbh Mela is FALSE. It was taken during the Prayag Kumbh that took place in 2019 at Prayag Triveni Sangam, Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh.
NewsMeter performed a reverse image search and found the same photo in 2019 news reports by Business Today and Times of India. We also found the image on the official website of Kumbh 2019 kumbh.gov.in. The photo was titled "Shahi Snan".
The same image was also found in a report by Zee News India that said, "The Prayagraj Kumbh Mela 2019 has entered the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest crowd management, largest sanitation drive and largest painting exercise of public sites."
According to DNA India, the Kumbh Mela 2019 commenced with "Shahi Snan as sadhus belonging to various akharas took a holy dip in the confluence of three rivers - Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati in the world's biggest gatherings of human beings, being held at Prayagraj".
Although a huge crowd was seen during this year's Kumbh Mela despite the rising COVID-19 cases, the viral image was taken during the 2019 Prayag Kumbh Mela. Hence, the claim that the photo is from the 2021 Kumbh Mela is FALSE.