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West Bengal: Devotees Across India, Abroad Throng Gangasagar Mela

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South 24 Parganas (West Bengal): Against the expanse of blue sky, thousands of devotees, submerged in the holy Ganga and taking a dip with chants of Har Har Mahadev, became a trademark of the biggest fair in the Eastern part of India– Gangasagar Mela in West Bengal.

Gangasagar fair in South 24 Parganas district witnessed thousands of devotees, travelling for days, to reach here and take a holy dip in Ganga on the occasion of Makar Sankranti.

Devotees, hailing from Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and other parts of the country crossed attended the Gangasagar pilgrimage. Surprisingly, devotees from outside India, Nepal, were also seen coming to Gangasagar and taking a holy dip on the auspicious occasion.

Devotees of all ages, including the Naga Sadhus took a holy dip in the Ganga.

West Bengal Fire Services minister Sujit Bose also visited the pilgrimage. “The experience is very great, the fair is very crowded for the last three-four days. Many people come and take a holy bath here. Even today many people have come to the ghat. We have also taken a dip in the Ganga,” he said, adding that the arrangement done by the Mamata Banerjee government is also good.

The NDRF team was seen distributing ‘Khichdi’ as a part of the service to the devotees.
“We came here on search and rescue duty. Our commandant Gurmeet Singh, visited the Mela yesterday and he asked us if we could do something for the devotees, who stay here at the ghat.

“As a part of the service then we decided to distribute Khichdi here. Then for the first time, we started distributing Khichdi to the devotees,” Sudhir Dwivedi, NDRF Assistant Commandant said.

“Devotees come in the evening and rest at this ghat. And take bath in the early morning, during ‘Brahmamuhurt’ and then leave. Because of this, they get hungry for the last 12 hours. And if they get this khichdi at this time, then there can be no greater service than this, so we are distributing this khichdi according to the guidelines of our Commandant Gurmeet Singh,” he said, adding that as much as we can prepare, we will distribute Khichdi.

Gangasagar Mela also witnessed devotees coming from Nepal.

Makar Sankranti is considered as one of the most auspicious times in the year, marking the transition of the Sun from Dakshinayan to Uttarayan.

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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