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Naga baba or sadhu performing rituals at the Gangasagar mela.
Gangasagar Mela is the largest fair celebrated in West Bengal, India. Makar Sankranti is celebrated in the last day of the Bengali month of Poush. In Bengal, this day is one of the most auspicious days of the year. Thousands of pilgrims from different parts of the country gather at Gangasagar, the point where the holy river Ganges submerges into Bay of Bengal.
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.
Gangasagar is a charming tourist destination, which attracts both pilgrims and adventure lovers. Located on an island in the Sunderbans, Gangasagar offers the charms of an un-spoilt beach on the estuary of the river Ganges. Gangasagar offers acres of silver sand and clear blue sky, and the calm sea for visitors who would like to spend their weekend in tranquillity.
Also known as Sagardwip, Gangasagar is still unexplored and therefore unexploited. The island of Gangasagar is one of the most famous Hindu pilgrimage centres in India. Every year on Makar Sankranti (mid-January), pilgrims from all over India, gather at Gangasagar for a holy dip at the confluence of the river Ganga and the Bay of Bengal. After the holy dip, the pilgrims offer ‘Puja’ at the Kapil Muni Temple or Ashram. On the occasion of Makar Sankranti, Gangasagar Mela is organized in this island, which is one of the biggest fairs in West Bengal. Gangasagar finds mention in many tales of Hindu mythology and in ancient Indian literature like the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, a novel of Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay and a poem of Rabindranath Tagore.
The lighthouse at Gangasagar offers a panoramic view of this spectacular beach, from where you can enjoy sunrise and sunset.
During sunset, the sky turns golden with a patch of red on the horizon and the silver sand reflects the last rays of the sun.
Source : www.westbengaltourism.gov.in/web/guest/bakkhali
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