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Ganga Sagar Snan
“Ganga Sagar Snan” the name itself gives us an idea that this name has got the involvement of the most holy river of India that is the Ganges. Also termed as the Mela of Ganga Sagar, is mainly a festival of the Hindus observed in the culturally rich province of the state of West Bengal in India. This is a festival which is observed on the auspicious day of the Makar Sankranti. On this day people of not only West Bengal but also from across India come to take a holy dip in the holy water of the Ganga. It is believed that taking a bath on this day in the Ganga washes away all the sin of your entire life. The festival has gained so much popularity amongst all other festivals in India that every year a fair (Mela) is organized to entertain the assembled devotees/tourists who had come to take the holy bath.
In the festive calendar (English) of 2013 this holy bath is to be taken on Monday, the 14th January. In the regional calendar of India the holy bath has to be taken on the day of Makar Sankranti which is decided based on the orientation of the planets, the moon and the sun locally termed as the “tithi”.
The Tale behind this festival of Ganga Sagar Snan
The Ganga Sagar Snan is organized on the island of Sagar means Ocean. This island is on the sea of Bay Bengal where the river Ganga merges with the sea and takes a course towards the Indian Ocean. Based on the prevailing mythology on this very day mother Ganga dipped in the merged water of the sea and the river to rinse the skeletons of the sixty-thousand sons of the King Sagara who died as a result of a curse casted upon them by the then powerful saint (rishi-muni) Kapila.
Observing the festival of Ganga Sagar Snan
Mostly people belonging to the Hindu religion gather from all over the India for over a week prior to this auspicious day. On the very day of Makar Sankranti, at around 3am a puja is performed worshipping the legendary rishi-muni Kapila. The devotees are required to fast, attend the puja of Kapila followed by the Maha puja and Yagna to offer respect and gratitude to Ma Ganga and then have a bath in the holy water pleading to the Ganga to wash away their sins and help them to have a place in the heaven after they die.
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