Gangasagar Mela Images & Stock Photos: West Bengal (India) is the state of fairs and festivals. A large number of festivities take place in this state throughout the year. Amongst them, one of the most famous fests is the Gangasagar Mela. It is held in the month of January-February, on the Ganga Sagar Island, at the mouth of the river Hooghly in Bengal. It is attended by thousands of pilgrims every year. A dip in the water at this place, during Gangasagar Mela, is considered to be extremely sacred. On the day of Makar Sankranti (January 14), when the sun makes a transition to Capricorn from Sagittarius, it is said that the bath becomes a holy source of salvation.
Gangasagar Mela Images & Stock Photos
Ganga Sagar Snan also known as Ganga Sagar Mela is the largest fair celebrated in the state of West Bengal on the occasion of Makar Sankranti. A dip in the ocean, where the Ganga drains into the sea is considered to be of great religious significance particularly on the Makar Sankranti day when the sun makes a transition to Capricorn from Sagittarius and this town becomes home to vast fairs, drawing visitors and recluses from all over the state.
The fair is celebrated at Sagar island where the holy river Ganga drains into the Bay of Bengal. Sagara means the ocean, and the island is located where the river Ganga enters the ocean. A well-attended fair is held and people come from long distances to bathe here. After the bath Ganga Ma or the Goddess Ganga is worshiped. It is believed that Ganga entered the ocean at this point to wash the bones of the 60,000 sons of Sagara, in whose memory the island is held sacred. They were reportedly killed by a curse from sage Kapila. Thousands of devotees from all corners of India gather here to take a holy dip on this day. There is a common belief among the locals that the girls who take the holy dip get handsome grooms and the boys get beautiful brides. When they are done with the ritual obligations, they head towards the Kapilmuni Temple situated nearby, to worship the deity as a mark of respect.
Ganga Sagar Snan Mela – the fair associated with snan, lasts for a week but proper Snan (Bath) and it’s religious ceremonies start from a day prior to Makar Sankranti and end the day after. On Makar Sankranti day, devotees keep fast and worship Kapil Muni at his temple at 3 AM in morning with Maha Puja and Yagna and then bathe in the cold water of holy Ganges River to wash away their sins.