Ganga Dasara, also known as Maa Ganga Dashara, is a 10-day festival dedicated to Goddess Ganga (River Ganga or
Ganges). In 2016, Ganga Dashara festival date is from June 5 to June 14. The festival is celebrated during the first ten days of the Jyeshta Month (May – June) – the first 10 days during the Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon).
It is believed that Goddess Ganga touched the earth on the 10th day of the Shukla Paksha of Jyeshta (June 14, 2016). Legend has it that King Bhagirath performed intense austerities to bring down
Ganga on to earth so that his ancestors are relieved of their sins. Finally, Ganga descended from heaven and Lord Shiva held Her in his matted locks so that the power of Goddess does not destroy the earth. She then traveled to earth purifying all that she touched.
Numerous ceremonies are held on the occasion including pujas, prayers and other rituals. In recent years, with human greed destroying and polluting Ganga, there are special meetings and padyatras held on the occasion to highlight the importance of
Ganga and the need to protect it.