Ganga Sagar Mela is the second biggest fair of India and also a very auspicious religious festival that is held between 13th to 15th January every year. The country India is actually blessed with a diverse culture and each region has its own traditions and festivals and they celebrate each and every festival with pride and joy. The Ganga Sagar Mela attracts thousands of pilgrimage from all around the world every year. Here we are presenting 10 things about Ganga Sagar Mela that you should definitely know about.
1. What is Ganga Sagar Actually Famous For?
The Sagardwip or Sagar Island is known as Ganga Sagar. Every year on Makar Sankranti(14th January), thousands of Hindu pilgrims come here. This fair is the second biggest fair after Kumbh Mela. It is held annually at Sagardwip. As per mythological legend, the River Ganges was brought here by an Indian sage to free some souls from hell. Since then, this spot has become holy ground for Hindus all over the world who come here for washing their sins.
2. Where Is Ganga Sagar Located?
Ganga Sagar is located in the western part of the Sunderban Delta in West Bengal. It is actually situated on the continental shelf of Bay Of Bengal. It is located at a distance of 124 km from Kolkata via NH34.
3. The Kapil Muni Temple
If you are in Ganga Sagar Mela then you must go and visit the Kapil Muni Temple and offer prayers. This place is not so far from the Mela grounds. The Kapil Muni temple was built in 1973. But, it has a history which says that three previous temples in its place were washed away by the sea and storms. Most pilgrims usually head to this temple after taking a dip in the waters, so, you must be careful to avoid the rush.
4. Sagar Lighthouse
There is quite a popular lighthouse at Sagardwip. It is actually known as a vantage point for observers and visitors who wish to get a full view of the beautiful sea and the silvery beaches. From here, you will be able to have a glance at the beauty of Nature at its best.
5. Chilled Water Is Not A Big Deal For Devotees
Everyone knows that the temperature during Makar Sankranti is always very low. But, strangely you will notice that there are a lot of pilgrims of various ages taking a dip in the ice cold water. It looks as if the chilled water does not even any matter to them in this season. That’s the power of devotion!
6. The Naga Sadhus
The Naga Sadhus are one of the biggest attractions at the Ganga Sagar Mela. Some of they have white paint smeared all over their bodies. Among the thousands of pilgrims and a horde of intriguing activities at the Ganga Sagar Mela, it is the Naga Sadhus that hold the center of attraction for tourists. They actually live in camps and perform their rituals there. The rituals are attended by many devotees. You will be amazed to see them do yoga and will wonder about their agility and flexibility!
7. Varieties Of Sweets
The time of Makar Sankranti is also famous for “Nolen Gur” which is actually Date Jaggery and “Pithe Payesh”, “Patishapta” and other local specialties. You will find various kinds of sweets that will enchant your palate. These are actually delicacies you must have when you visit this Mela.
8. The Antiquity of the Exposition
Gangasagar fair is primarily a Hindu festival. It is said that Gangasagar has emerged in importance from the times of the Mahabharata. If it is to be believed, the significance of taking a bath at the Sagar was explained to Bhisma by a learned sage. The virtue of purification of soul and evil deeds appeals to every Hindu, and they practice the same.
9. Camps For Staying
There are various camps provided by the State Government for staying. Visitors can stay there comfortably. There are some cottages and hotels too.
10. How to Reach
If you want to reach Ganga Sagar then first you need to reach Sagardwip which is 124 km from Kolkata. Anyone can reach there by Train, Car or Vessel or even you can go by air too. There are helicopter services operated every Sunday by the Government of West Bengal to reach Gangasagar. And you can also go there by chartered luxury vessels starting from Namkhana & Kolkata.
Feature Image Courtesy: Soumyadeep Paul
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