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Gangasagar Mela 2008

Ganga Sagar Mela or Gangasagar Fair is the annual gathering of Hindu pilgrims during Makar Sankranti at Sagar Island or Sagardwip in West Bengal, India. Hindu pilgrims arrive in thousands from across the country to take dip in the sacred waters of River Ganga before she merges in the Bay of Bengal. The mela is usually a three day affair. In 2008, Ganga Sagar Mela begins on January 12 and ends on January 15.

Update: New article on Gangasagar Mela 2010

Pilgrims in large numbers take holy dip at the auspicious time on Makar Sankranti day and offer prayers to Lord Surya (sun god). After taking a dip, devotees offer water to Surya and it is believed that this washes the sins away. After the rituals, pilgrims visit the Kapilmuni Temple situated nearby.

Pilgrims start to arrive in the first week of January and on the Makar Sankranti day the number touches half a million.