Ganga Sagar mela is held every year on the banks of river Hooghly in West Bengal. The fair is among one of the biggest an second largest gathering fiesta after the Kumbh Mela of the country which is fall between the month of January and February. Thousand of pilgrims from different places of the county comes to join the holy dip in river which is considered to be extremely sacred and blessed.
Time to Celebrate:
Ganga Sagar Mela is held on 14th January, the Makar Sakranti day which is the last day of Poush month (January – February)
Bengal is always been a prime destination for celebrating the festivals. Its cheerful and enthusiastic land with extreme joy. Among many other festivals,one of the most famous is the Gangasagar Mela. It is observed on the day of Makar Sankranti (January 14), when the sun makes a transition to Capricorn from Sagittarius, it is said that the holy dip becomes a holy source of salvation at this time when the holy river Hooghly meets the Bay of Bengal on the occasion of Makar Sakranti. Hooghly river who is a procession of great river Ganga, originate from Gangotri and traveling through plains of Rishikesh and Haridwar, reaches Bengal. After that the river merges with the Bay of Bengal.
Every year, a long fair is arranged at Ganga Sagar Island, in January and February. The fair becomes highly crowded on the Makar Sankranti day. It is assumed to be the largest annual gathering of devotees in India. The popularity of this fair can be understood from the fact that more than a million pilgrims come here every year, from different parts of India, just to take a holy dip in the Ganges.
Rituals during Ganga Sagar Snan:
Hindu devotees gather at around 3am on the day of Ganga Sagar Snan to perform the worshipping ceremony of legendary Kapil Muni. After the completion of Kapila puja, the Yagna and Maha Puja are performed.
On the day of Ganga Sagar Snan, devotees get up very early to take the holy dip at the time of sunrise. They offer ‘arghya’ to the rising Sun and offer prayers to Sun God. While taking the holy dip, devotees express their gratitude towards Goddess Ganga and pray for Her divine blessings.
Devotees also keep a strict fast on the day of Ganga Sagar Snan and abstain from eating or drinking anything till the time of completion of puja rituals.
After completing the Ganga Snan rituals, devotees also visit the Kapilmuni Temple, located nearby. It is a unique and one-of-its-kind temple in India that is dedicated to Saint Kapil