Uttar Pradesh is synonymous with the river Ganges. That’s why a significant number of days are dedicated to this mystical river of the north. The stories associated with its purity and divine past are reminiscent of the rich Indian culture. A dip in the Ganges is a symbol of a new beginning, leaving behind the mess and muddle of life.
Ganges is of great significance in Hindu mythology. Devotees revere Ganga as a deity. Innumerable mythological stories have been associated with the river. The great epic Mahabharata mentions the most significant tale on the emergence of Ganga on earth. It mentions that King Bhagirath brought Ganga to earth to free the spirits of his forefathers from the curse of saint Kapila. It is said that Ganga told Bhaghirath that it would be physically impossible to control her mighty flow and for that he should pray to Lord Shiva and ask for his favor. Brahma, the creator blessed Ganga and let her out of his kamandal or the holy pot. And Ganga rushed on the barren land with all its might. Its flow got so strong that Lord Shiva had to hold the river by the strands of his hair. It is on this day that Ganga Dussehra is celebrated. To be honest, the emphasis of Ganges doesn’t need a particular day. It is equally eternal throughout the year and to mark its prominence Ganga Dussehra is a day to be remembered.
Ganga Dussehra is a celebration of Gangavtaran-the day when Ganga descended on earth from the heavens. It falls on the Dashami tithi of the Hindu lunar calendar. This year it will fall on 12th June. The tithi will start from 8:19 pm of Tuesday it will end at 6:27 pm on Wednesday, 13th June.
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The festival has a glory of its own. Ganga Dussehra celebration and the ceremonies last for about ten days. Devotees from all over the country throng in large numbers at places where the holy waters flow in Haridwar, Varanasi, Garh-Mukhteshwar, Prayag etc.These ten days witness various ceremonies where people participate in bath rituals and carry out Pujas near the banks of the river.
It is overwhelming to witness the sheer numbers in which people throng the ghats of Varanasi and Haridwar. It is pure contentment and can’t be found anywhere else.
Ganga Dussehra is celebrated in four different cities of India on a rotational basis. Though the biggest and the most significant celebration is carried in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh. People can easily get here via air, road or rail. The city is well-connected to all other major cities of India by every transport medium.
9 June 2019 - 18 June 2019
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