Starting from the glacier of the snow-capped Himalayas, the river Ganges descends from the mountains and reaches the plains from Haridwar. Moving on, it flows into ancient Benares and Prayag, joining the Bay of Bengal. At the mouth of the Hooghly River in Bengal, where the Ganges erupts into thousands of streams and flows into the sea, the place is called Sagar Island.
Gangasagar Mela is one of the largest fairs held in West Bengal. This fair is organized on the banks of the River Hooghly near Kolkata, at the place where the Ganges meets the Bay of Bengal. The island itself has the natural habitat of the Royal Bengal tiger. Here Mangrove has marshes, waterways, and small rivers, canals. There is a famous Hindu pilgrimage on this island itself. Every year, on the occasion of Makar Sankranti, there is an influx of millions of Hindu devotees, who are willing to bathe in the river at the confluence of the river Ganges. That is why the name of this fair is Gangasagar fair. According to Vikram Samvat, this fair takes place on the last day of Pausha month every year. It is the day of Makar Sankranti.
There is also a temple here which is built at the ancient ashram site of Kapil Muni. Here people also offer prayers in the temple of Kapil Muni. According to the Puranas, due to the curse of Kapil Muni, 70 thousand sons of King Sagar died immediately at this place. For his salvation, King Bhagirath of the dynasty of King Sagara brought Ganga to earth and Ganga met the ocean here. It is said that once taking a dip in the Ganges Sea one gets the same fruit as donating 10 Ashwamedha Yagna and one thousand cows. There is an ancient temple in the North Vamankhal place, some distance from where the Gangasagar fair is held. It has a dilapidated temple at Chandanpidivan and Vishalakshi's temple on the Budbudir coast.
Ganga Sagar Snan is a very religious and important ritual for Hindu devotees. This festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm and zeal in the culturally rich state of Bengal. In the year 2021 Ganga Sagar Snan falls on Thursday, 14 January.
Taking a bath in any holy river and pond on the day of Makar Sankranti gives virtue. Ganga bathing has special significance on this day in particular. Therefore, a fair is held every year on the banks of the Ganges, especially in Haridwar and Prayag on the day of Makar Sankranti. But this has not diminished the importance of Kolkata-based Gangasagar. Bathing at the place of meeting in the Ganges Sea is considered very auspicious and holy. If the bath is done especially on Makar Sankranti, then its importance increases even more.
On the day of Makar Sankranti, the sun god enters from the Capricorn sign and enters Sagittarius. On this occasion, this place becomes the center of a big fair. Here travelers and sannyasis come from all over the country. By bathing in the Ganges, these people offer prayers to the Sun God. It is believed that this bath gives charity to them. Special worship of Sun God is done as a thank you for providing a good harvest. Sesame and oil have special importance on this festival, that's why people eat special rice on this day. It is said in the scriptures that the importance of bathing and donation in Gangasagar on the day of Makar Sankranti is nowhere else. Hence it is said, "all Tirath is repeated Ganges Sagar once". This is to say that the virtue of traveling many times in all the pilgrimages is attained only once by bathing and donating in the Ganges Sagar. According to the scriptures, taking a dip in the Ganges Sagar gives the virtue of donating 10 Ashwamedh Yagyas and one thousand cows.
At the confluence of Gangasagar, devotees offer coconut and yajnopavit to the sea god. Many pandagans stand with the cow and heifer for worship and worship, who get their desired worship done. Pitras must be offered water in the sea and after bathing, Kapil Muni should be seen in Kapil Temple. The importance of bathing in the Gangasagar is explained in detail in the scriptures. According to the local belief, the women who bathe here get the bride and the bride they want, as per their wish. After the ceremonies etc. all the people depart towards the ashram of Kapil Muni and worship their idol with reverence. Statues of Ganga Devi, Kapil Muni, and Bhagirathi are installed in the temple.