Gangasagar – Gangasagar is known to be a charming tourist destination which attracts both pilgrims as well as tourists alike. It is located on an island in the Sundarbans and offers a pure view of an unspoilt beach on the estuary of the Ganges River. It offers access to pristine silver sand, a clear blue sky and along with a calm sea; it’s a haven for tourists who would like to spend their weekend in tranquillity.
SAGAR MELA AT SAGAR ISLAND : (Ganga Sagar)
Sagar Mela is the famous festival in Sagar Island. At this time, the isolated island becomes the centre of attraction. Preparations are started one month in advance. Temporary reed huts and shops are set up over 3 acres of land. The festival is held at the time of Makar Sankranti and the mela is formed on the coastal premises adjoining the temple, seven days before and after the Sankranti. Lakhs of pilgrims from all over India come to bathe in the water at this special day—to take a dip in the water at the point where Ganga meets the sea, in the dawn on Makar Sankranti. Bathing at this point is considered as holy as performing an Ashwamedh Yajna. At this time Govt. takes care of the pilgrims. Temporary tourist colony, hospital, drinking water and sewage systems are specially built by them. Govt. also takes some mandatory precautionary measures to check the unwanted occurrences among the lakhs of pilgrims. During the fair, inoculation and cholera vaccination certifications are to be produced by the people at the check-post. At this time, lights of power-generator are available at Sagar from 1800 to 22-00. The Light House and Panchali of Sagardwip and the Ramakrishna Mission Ashram at Manasadwip may also be visited from here.
However, the island is also famous for the Ashram of Kapil Muni. Earlier, the Ashram was located at the confluence. The sage meditated here and attained fulfilment. For this reason, the island became a religious pilgrims centre. The name of this island was also mentioned in Puranas. It says that the 13th forefather of Ramachandra, the king Ayodhya, Sagar, prepared the 100th Ashwamedh Yajna at this place. But, Devraj Indra captured his Yajna horse, out of jealousy and tied it in Kapil Muni’s Ashram. King Sagar sent his 60,000 sons to search the horse and they found it in the Ashram, assuming that the sage was the culprit. They abused him and disturbed his meditation. This made the sage angry and he cursed the 60,000 sons by turning them to ashes. Then Ganga came down to the earth in seven streams from the heavenly abode and freed those sons from the curse by making them alive. Three stream namely Suchakshu, Sita and Sindhu are flowing to the east; Haldini, Purbani and Nandini are flowing to the west. And the main stream Ganga came to this place following Bhagirath and merged herself into the sea, after giving back lives to those cursed sons. However, the past Ashram of Kapil Muni does not exist today. Instead, a new temple has been built in 1973, at some distance from the seashore crossing the sand dunes. The deity of Kapil Muni, sitting in a posture of Yogic meditation, was brought from Mithila. His right hand is raised holding a rosary, while the left holds a kamandalu. To his right, four armed Goddess Ganga rides on the mythological Makar (an aquatic animal), with Bhagirath on her lap. To the right of the goddess veer Hanuman is there, holding a club in his hand on the left side of Kapil Muni is King Sagar. To the left of Sagar is light-armed goddess Vishalakshi riding on a lion and god Indra with his black ear horse. The priest of the temple is appointed by the Akhil Bharatiya Pancha Sree Ramanandiya Nirbahi Akhara of Ayodhya.
HOW TO REACH
- From Kolkata (128 km) CSTC, SBSTC, Surface Transport and private buses are available to reach However, all these buses reach either Kakdwip or Namkhana. From there one has to cross the river to reach Sagardwip. During the Mela, special arrangements are made for crossing the tourists from Namkhana and Kakdwip. There are also arrangements of special buses from Kolkata’s Outram Ghat and Howrah Station.