Gangasagar Mela is the biggest pilgrimage fair of Eastern India, especially in West Bengal, which is considered as a fair of international importance where the largest human congregation takes place at the confluence of holy river Ganga and Bay of Bengal. Celebrated with great vigour and enthusiasm, the festival has a cultural and spiritual significance where more than 30 lakhs of pilgrims from various parts of Bengal, India &World gathers at Gangasagar to take a dip in the holy waters of Ganga on the day of Makar Sankranti with a belief, that it will purify their soul leading them to the path of moksha. It is believed that one may visit many holy places, but a pilgrimage to Gangasagar equals them all.

"Sab Tirth bar bar, Gangasagar ekbar"

As per mythology River Ganga is regarded as the holiest. The river originates in Gangotri and marks an end of her journey in Sagardwip where it merges with the Bay of Bengal. There is a myth which goes around that if one bathes in the Ganga here, he/she would be cleansed of all his/her sins. The number of tourists has been increasing year after year; thus, the festival is such a grand affair when thousands of devotees from all races, backgrounds, cultures and nationalities take a dip in the holy waters and worship Lord Surya.

Apart from the general pilgrims, the assemblage of Naga Sadhus here gives a unique identity to this fair. Among the crowd who visit the fair, the Naga Sadhus are the highest in numbers. Their bodies are generally smeared with ash while they perform yoga and rituals at their camps. These rituals are also attended by most devotees making it another popular attraction at the fair. Held during the winters, the Mela is an annual gathering of pilgrims, where one can see a number of rituals, lit lamps and chanting in and around Sagardwip.

The Gangasagar Mela held at Sager Island in West Bengal where Ganga approaches the ocean, is another major event where hundreds &thousands of devotees celebrate Makar Sankranti. The other major melas observed during the occasion of Makar Sankranti include Tusu Mela or TusuPorab celebrated in Jharkhand and West Bengal, West Bengal and Makar Mela observed in Odisha.

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