Gangasagar Mela, also popularly known as Magh Mela, takes place every year on the auspicious day of Makar Sankranti. This year, the Makar Sankranti festival falls on January 15, 2023. On this day, devotees take a holy dip in the Ganga while worshipping the Sun God. Gangasagar is a Hindu pilgrimage place. Every year, on the day of Makar Sankranti, thousands of Hindus gather to take a holy dip at the confluence of the Ganges and the Bay of Bengal and offer prayers (puja) in the Kapil Muni Temple. Gangasagar Mela is believed to be the second largest fair in India after Kumbh Mela. The Gangasagar Mela and pilgrimage is held annually on Sagar Island’s southern tip, where the Ganges enters the Bay of Bengal. This confluence is also called Gangasagar or Gangasagara. The important place is the Kapil Muni Temple, which is located near the confluence. Gangasagar Mela 2023 Date and Significance: Know History and Everything About the Oldest Tradition in Bengal With the Second-Largest Human Congregation.
As we celebrate the Gangasagar Mela 2023, here’s all you need to know about how to reach and where to stay and be a part of Gangasagar Mela 2023, which takes place on the island of Gangasagar in the state’s 24 South Parganas, West Bengal. Gangasagar Mela 2023: West Bengal Government Expects Huge Pilgrim Turnout at Festival in Sagar Island.
How to Reach Gangasagar
Gangasagar is an island in the Ganges delta that is located on the shelf of the Bay of Bengal, about 100 kilometres south of Kolkata, according to West Bengal Tourism. Pilgrims across India and neighbouring nations throng to the shores of Sagardwip during Makar Sankranti to take a dip in the holy confluence. It must be noted that Sagardwip is located just around 123 km from Kolkata and can be reached via railways, roadways and waterways.
Pilgrims can take a flight to Netaji Subhash Chandra Airport, which is around 142 km away from the island. You will have to take a cab or bus from the airport to Kakdwip, about 35.5 km away from Gangasagar, and then take a ferry to complete the journey. The nearest Airport is Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport (CCU), around 142 km from Ganga Sagar (Sagardwip).
Reaching the spot by bus is a little tedious as the ride from Kolkata to Gangasagar can be a bit long. First, board a bus to Kakdwip from Babughat or avail of bus services at the Esplanade Bus Terminus. The journey is about 3 hours long. From here, cross the river Muriganga by boat and reach Kachuberia. From Kachuberia, a bus service is available that will take you to Gangasagar within an hour.
Pilgrims can also opt for the rail option from Sealdah to Kakdwip or Namkhana. However, it’s not well connected with the rest of the country. Irrespective of which station you choose, the journey until Sagardwip will still be a combination of taxi, bus, and ferry.
Public Transport is the most convenient option for pilgrims in and around Sagardwip.
Where to Stay
Pilgrims visiting the Gangasagar Mela 2023 can avail of comfortable lodging facilities at several locations in Sagar block, Kakdwip block and Namkhana block.
|Sagar||Sagar Mela Point (near windmill)||Pilgrim windmill (Hanger)||5|
|Sagar||Chemaguri East side||Pilgrim Shed (Hanger)||3|
|Sagar||Harwood point||Mega pilgrim shed (Hanger)||2|
|Sagar||Benuban (north side)||Pilgrim Shed (Hanger)||5|
|Sagar||Benuban (south side)||Pilgrim Shed (Hanger)||5|
|Sagar||Ashram more (kachuberia)||Pilgrim Shed (Hanger)||5|
|Kakdwip||Lot no. -8||Pilgrim Shed (Hanger)||2|
|Kakdwip||Harwood point Lot no-8||Pilgrim Shed (Hanger)||3|
|Namkhana||Indira Maidan (south side)||Pilgrim Shed (Hanger)||2|
|Namkhana||Indira Maidan (north side)||Pilgrim Shed (Hanger)||2|
|Namkhana||Indira Maidan||Pilgrim Shed (Hanger)||3|
Gangasagar is the oldest living tradition in Bengal and has been mentioned in Indian epics such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata. Its origins can be traced back to as early as 400 BCE. This year, the Gangasagar Mela will be held from January 8 to 17, while Makar Sankranti falls on January 15. Reports suggest that about three million people are expected to attend the mela to take the holy dip this year.
On this auspicious day of Ganga Snan, devotees express their gratitude to River Ganga and seek forgiveness for their sins. As per historical records, the first Kapil Muni temple was constructed by Queen Satyabhama in 430 AD, and the idol that is present today was established by Swami Ramanand in 1437, marking the beginning of a pilgrimage that is celebrated till today.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jan 10, 2023 09:01 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).