Ganga Sagar Mela: India's Largest Fair

India, with its rich cultural diversity, celebrates various traditions and festivals with pride and joy. The Gangasagar Fair, held every year from January 14 to 15, is a significant festival attracting pilgrims from around the world. Known as the Gangasagar Mela or Ganga Sagar Yatra, this spiritual and cultural event is celebrated on Sagardwip (Sagar island) in West Bengal, where the fair is hosted with great pride and devotion. It is India’s second-largest fair after Kumbh Mela. The Gangasagar Fair is eagerly awaited by Hindu pilgrims, making it a remarkable event.

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Official Website-

https://www.gangasagar.in/en/home

The Significance of the Gangasagar Mela-

The Gangasagar Mela is a sacred congregation that coincides with the celebration of Makar Sankranti, observed on the 14th or 15th of January annually. During this auspicious event, pilgrims partake in the ritual of immersing themselves in the holy waters of the Ganga River, seeking purification and cleansing of their souls. Also, the Ganga holds immense significance as the holiest river in the Hindu religion. The festival concludes with devotees worshipping Lord Surya, the Sun God, following their purifying dip in the sacred waters.

Kapil Muni’s Temple-

Following the sacred bath, numerous pilgrims often visit the temple dedicated to Kapil Muni, a revered sage in Hindu mythology. This temple contributes an extra layer of spiritual importance to the Mela, providing a peaceful setting for reflection and devotion.

How to reach Gangasagar Mela-

To reach Gangasagar Mela in 2024, follow these transportation options:

Railways:

  1. Numerous trains connect to Howrah station in Kolkata from various parts of the country.
  2. State Transport Corporations or private operators can take you to Sagardwip if you arrive at Howrah station, Outramghat or Esplanade in Kolkata.
  3. EMU train services from Sealdah’s southern section can be boarded to Kakdwip and local auto-rickshaws can take you to the destination.
  4. Jetties are available from Namkhana railway station as another option.

Roadways:
If you prefer driving, reach Kolkata and head towards Kakdwip for a more comfortable route.

  • Mumbai to Kolkata: via NH 53
  • Delhi to Kolkata: via NH 19
  • Chennai to Kolkata: via NH 16

Airways:
Land at Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Dum Dum, Kolkata. Follow the same procedure for road travel.

Additionally, the West Bengal Government operates helicopter services to reach Gangasagar.