Ganga Sagar Mela
indian pilgrims at ganga sagar, sagar island, west bengal, india…..
Sagar Island (Bengali: সাগর দ্বীপ) lies on the continental shelf of Bay of Bengal about 100 km (54 nautical miles) south of Kolkata. It belongs to the Republic of India and is governed by the State government of West Bengal. The island is large — with an area of around 300 km². It has 43 villages and a population of over 160,000.
This island is a famous Hindu pilgrim place. Every year on the day of Makar Sankranti (mid of January), hundreds of thousands of Hindus gather to take a holy dip at the confluence of river Ganges and Bay of Bengal and offer puja in the Kapil Muni Temple.
Gangasagar pilgrimage and fair is the second largest congregation of mankind after the holy Kumbha Mela. The latter is observed once in four years at alternate locations in north, central and central-west parts of the country, Gangasagar fair and pilgrimage is held annually on the Sagar Island’s southern tip in the Ganges delta atop the Bay of Bengal. That makes Gangasagar all the more distinctive.
In 2007, about 300,000 pilgrims took the holy dip where the Hooghly meets the Bay of Bengal on the occasion of Makar Sankranti. For the rest of the year about 500,000 people come to the island.Almost five lakh pilgrims thronged Sagar Island in 2008.
(Source Courtesy – Wikipedia)
Before heading off to Sagar Mela… pilgrims are halted in the city of Calcutta for refreshments (as they travel from through-out India) in a place called Babu-Ghat by the sides of the ganges(Bhagirathi) river at the Ganga Sagar Transit Camp…..From there they take up the buses which transports them to Lot-1 ferry jetty of Sagar Island..
My journey of the photo essay starts from here in Calcutta….