Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Ganga Sagar - The mouth of the Ganga
The river Ganga which originates in the Gangotri glacier in the snow clad Himalayas, descends down the mountains, reaches the plains at Haridwar, flows through ancient pilgrimage sites such as Benares and Prayag, and drains into the Bay of Bengal. Sagar Island, at the mouth of the river Hooghly in Bengal (accessed from Diamond Harbor), where the Ganga breaks up into hundreds of streams, and drains into the sea, is honored as a pilgrimage site, signifying the spot where the ashes of the ancestors of Bhagiratha were purified by the waters of the Ganga (see the story of the Ganges). The Kapila muni temple at this site is a center of worship. The origins of this temple are obscured in antiquity - the current structure being a recent one, housing a stone block considered to be a representation of Kapila Muni; there are are also images of Bhagiratha, Rama and Sita. A dip in the ocean, where the Ganga drains into the sea is considered to be of great religious significance particularly on the Makara Sankranti day when the sun makes a transition to Capricorn from Saggitarius and this town becomes home to vast fairs, drawing visitors and recluses (sanyasis) from all over the state.
Posted by Venkataramanan Ramasethu