“The lady: Please take a picture of me. I will see my face in the news paper. Me: No, I am not a reporter. *Silence* The lady : Nobody has taken my photo since I got married 20 years ago.” - Tuhin
Gangasagar pilgrimage and fair is the second largest congregation of mankind after the holy Kumbha Mela. Gangasagar fair and pilgrimage is held annually on the Sagar Island’s southern tip in the Ganges delta atop the Bay of Bengal and this makes Gangasagar all the more distinctive. Instead Kumbh Mela is observed once in four years at alternate locations in north, central and central-west parts of the country. Gangasagar Mela is one of the largest fair celebrated in West Bengal. This fair is held where the Ganga and the Bay of Bengal form a links of connection. Hence the name generated is Gangasagar Mela. The Ganga Sagar mela (fair) is the largest annual assemblage of devotees in India. The greatness of the mela can be accessed from the fact that over a million pilgrims come from far-flung corners of India and beyond, speaking different languages and belonging to diverse castes and creeds, for a sacred dip at this holy confluence. For this, no invitation is given. No propaganda is carried out and overall no authority exists for carrying out the mela. The river Ganga which originates in the Gangotri glacier in the snow clad Himalayas, descends down the mountains, reaches the plains at Haridwar, flows through ancient pilgrimage sites such as Benares and Prayag, and drains into the Bay of Bengal. Sagar Island, at the mouth of the river Hooghly in Bengal, where the Ganga breaks up into hundreds of streams and drains into the sea is honored as a pilgrimage site. A dip in the ocean, where the Ganga drains into the sea is considered to be of great religious significance particularly on the Makara Sankranti day, celebrated on 14 January every year. It is celebrated at different locations depending on the position of the planet of Brihaspati (Jupiter) and the sun. When the sun makes a transition to the planet Capricorn from the planet Sagittarius this town becomes home to vast fairs, drawing visitors and recluses from all over the state. 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.
“We met this funny grandpa near the Dasaswamedh Ghat in Varanasi. His clothes were dirty and torn. However, he claims : 1. He is the modern version of Gandhi and the sole torchbearer of Gandhi’s idealism. 2. He has very strong political connection with Sonia Gandhi (the President of Indian National Congress) 3. He is going to stand as a candidate (with a confirmed ticket) in the coming parliamentary election from Bihar!” - Tuhin