Ganga Dussehra (3rd June) – Popular Religious Festival
Also known as Gangavataran, Ganga Dussehra is a popular religious festival, mainly celebrated in those states of India where there’s a stream of the River Ganges. The festival’s origin hails back to the time when after years of meditation and convincing from Rishi Bhagirath, Goddess Ganga had finally decided to come to Earth and hence, this day marks the descent of the Ganges on planet Earth. In mythology too, River Ganga has a lot of significance and is known to be a sacred water body taking a dip in which can wash off your sins and usher you to salvation. Ganga Dussehra is celebrated with a lot of joy, mainly in those cities in the country where there are Ganga ghats, such as Haridwar, Rishikesh, Allahabab, Varanasi, etc.
In different states, there are different theories attached with the celebrations of Ganga Dussehra. For instance, in the northeastern state of Tripura in India,the main essence of the festival includes the people of the state paying tribute to Goddess Ganga, the river goddess to bless everyone, save them from natural calamities like epidemics, and also keep all the pregnant women safe and healthy. The state of Tripura has around 14 Hindu deities that they worship and the River Goddess Ganga is one of them. In entire India too, the Ganges is one of the holy rivers and Goddess Ganga is considered to be a holy deity. During the celebration of Ganga Dussehra in Tripura, a temple composed of bamboo is constructed right at the middle of the river, or sometimes a water stream. The celebration date of Ganga Dussehra is determined using the Hindu Lunisolar calendar.
The festival is all about a complete spiritual experience that often makes one want to redeem for the sins they have committed and start afresh, and during the long 10 days celebration of the festival, all temples and holy shrines near the ghats are filled with bhajans, kirtans, as well as prayers to Goddess Ganga.
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