Varanasi: COVID norms were thrown to the wind as hundreds of people took the holy dip in river Ganga on the second Monday of the holy month of Shravan (Sawan) here.
Devotees made long queues to offer prayers at Kashi Vishwanath Temple but the mandatory face masks and social distancing to keep COVID at bay were missing.
The sawan month is popular where devotees walk long distances carrying kanwars to pour the holy water on Shiv Linga on Mondays.
Uttar Pradesh is gradually opening its facilities with an aim to restore normalcy. It had decided to open schools for Class 9 to 12 from August 16 and banned Muharram to check overcrowding. The 10-day mourning period will begin on August 10, stated reports.