Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 9:49 PM
River Ganga is a sacred for Hindus. They worship it like mother and have great love and respect for her. To mark their love for the holy river which has been considered sacred in various Hindu scriptures people celebrate Ganga Dussehra – a day when Ganga is said to have descended on the earth from heaven. Rituals and religious fervor mark this very important festival of Hindus.
Dashami Tithi of Jyaishta Shukla Paksha (bright half) is the date marked for the celebration of the festival as per the Hindu calendar. The date generally falls in the months of May and June, and this year the biggest festival of Varanasi, Ganga Dussehra will be celebrated on 18th June, 2013.
A legend has it that on this very day, Goddess Ganga descended on earth. Her descending on earth, called, Gangavataran is said to have occurred, because of years of penance of King Bhagirath. Pleased with the King, Ganga arrived on earth. According to another popular legend, Goddess Ganga descended to purge the souls of sixty thousand sons of King Sagara who were burnt because of the curse of an enraged ascetic. It is believed that taking bath in the river Ganga on this auspicious day helps a person get salvation from the 10 sins.
Every year thousands of devotees visit ghats of river Ganga in Varanasi, Allahabad, Haridwar, Garg-Mukteshwar and Rishikesh to perform Ganga Pooja on the pious day. The celebrations at the holy city of Varanasi are the most prominent and famous among all the places where Ganga Dussehra is celebrated. The holy city of Varanasi is considered as one of the most sacred place on earth. It is home to various cultures and traditions and from centuries it has been a very famous and religious place among devotees. Celebrating Ganga Dussehra devotees indulge in various activities and rituals such as taking bath in holy water, performing Ganga Pooja, Shiva Pooja, Ganpati Pooja etc. Many devotees observe fast on the day and recite shlokas and sing bhajans to please Goddess Ganga. Fairs are also organized at many places which make the surroundings more colorful and interesting. It is also considered important to donate useful things to the needy.
Priests perform rituals sing aartis and bhajans in worship of Goddess Ganga and for the purification of the environment. Prayers are also offered to Lord Shiva, as he holds river Ganga in his tresses. Rituals are mostly performed in the evenings at the banks of rivers which are especially cleaned and decorated with flowers. It is enchanting to watch leaf boats carrying a glowing earthen lamp, sweets and flowers floating in the river, which is the offering made my devotees to the River Goddess.
Ganga Dussehra will be held on Tuesday, 18th June, 2013. Like every year, thousands of devotees from all over the country and world are expected to take a bath in the holy waters of Divine River and enjoy the spiritual and harmonious environment. By attending and performing Ganga Puja, devotees get a chance to seek blessings of the Goddess and also wash off all the sins and mistakes committed by them. Varanasi and other holy cities are thronged by devotees; hence you can expect a rush at railway stations and bus depots. It is suggested you make your hotel bookings in advance and make your stay in the city more comfortable.