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Gangasagar Mela 2023: Devotees Including Naga Sadhus Gather To Take Holy Dip on Makar Sankranti Occasion in Kolkata (See Pics)

Kolkata, January 14: Over lakhs of pilgrims including Naga Sadhus flocked Babughat in Kolkata, Gangasagar transit camp, to take a holy dip in Gangasagar at the largest fair after Kumbh.

Several Naga Sadhus in the transit camp drew attention as they travelled thousands of kilometers to take a holy dip in Gangasagar on the occasion of Makar Sankranti. Gangasagar Mela 2023: West Bengal Government Expects Huge Pilgrim Turnout in Festival in Sagar Island.

“Tomorrow we will go to Gangasagar and will take a dip in the river. I am staying here since December 25 and will return to Ujjain after taking the bath,” a Naga Sadhu, hailing from Madhya Pradesh told ANI on Friday.

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Babughat is a temporary hamlet, made for a short period of time for staying of devotees, visiting the Gangasagar fair in South 24 Parganas district. Besides people, Naga Sadhus have been crossing into West Bengal for Gangasagar Mela from Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Jammu.

“I have been coming here for 10 years and tomorrow will go to Gangasagar to take bath,” Shiv Kailash Puri, Naga Sadhu from Jammu said. Among all the pilgrimages, Gangasagar is the largest pilgrim in ‘Sanatan Dharma’ in India, and it has been talked about for ages,” another Naga Sadhu, who is visiting the fair since 2003 said. Gangasagar Mela 2023: How To Reach and Where To Stay; Here’s All You Need To Know Before Planning Your Visit to the Magh Mela.

Gangasagar Mela, the second largest fair after Kumbh Mela, is returning after two years of hiatus due to covid restrictions. Around 30 lakh pilgrims are expected at the mela and the government has made all the necessary preparations for the same. Though around 1100 CCTV cameras have been installed to ensure a smooth flow of events in the mela and to maintain security at the site, the government has not issued any guidelines to be followed during the mela.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee while speaking to the press informed about the preparations for the Mela. She stated that three helipads had been inaugurated at Gangasagar and a Detail Report Project (DRP) is being prepared for Mourigram bridge as the Gangasagar journey is tough.

She also mentioned that they will provide Rs 5 lakh insurance if any untoward incident takes place between January 8 to 17 in the mela as the holy dip is planned for January 14 to 15. As reported earlier, the District Magistrate of South 24 Parganas told ANI that the administration is ‘well prepared’ for Gangasagar Mela.

“Gangasagar fair is the biggest fair in the Eastern part of India, where lakhs of devotees and seers come every year. All the activities of the fair are being monitored from the mega control room for monitoring all the areas. CCTV cameras have been mounted and drones are being used to monitor each and every activity of the fair. We are well prepared,” Sumit Gupta said. He said that a heavy deployment of security personnel is also done.

“Police, Navy, Disaster Management teams and Civil Defence Force have been in the line of duty to keep an eye on crowd management, as well as arrangements have been made to transport people in buses, vessels, etc.,” he said, adding that arrangements have been made from transportation to boats, and vessels to cater for lakhs of devotees, visiting the fair crossing the ocean.”

It is observed on the pious day of ‘Makar Sankranti’, a festival to mark the beginning of the harvesting season, the Gangasagar Mela witnesses many spiritual devotees every year who visit, especially to take a dip in the sacred waters of the river Ganga at Sagardwip, from where it finally merges into the Bay of Bengal.

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