Ganga sagar is the end of mother ganga 2700 Km. course where she meets the bay of bengal. According to the legend, King Sagara of the Ikshvaku dynasty ruling at Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh had two queens, Keshani and Sumati, but neither had a child. Sagara performed severe austerities before his wives could produce sons. Being born in the Himalayas, Ganga is considered the elder sister of Parvati, who is also a daughter of the Himalayas.
Then Raajaa Sagar sent his grandson Anshumaan in search of his 60,000 sons. He traced his uncles' footsteps and arrived at Kapil Muni's Aashram. He saw a mound of ashes near his Aashram. He understood everything. He greeted him and came to know the fate of his uncles. He asked him as how he could give them Mukti (emancipation). Kapil Muni suggested him to bring Gangaa on Prithvi so that her water can give them Mukti.
According to the Agni Purana and Padma Purana, the Ganga descended to the earth on Ganga Dussehra day and a bath in the holy river on this day is said to purify one of all sins. To die on the banks of the Ganga is considered most auspicious. If that is not possible, then the immersion of the ashes after cremation in the river Ganga is a must, as it then releases one from the cycles of birth and re-birth.
Ganga Sagar Mela A Dip for Moksha, The village priest leading his horde of devotees chants sab teerth baar baar, Ganga Sagar ek bar. You can go to all the holy places, but a pilgrimage to Ganga Sagar equals them all. A dip means redemption for all wrong done. This place is Sagar Island, on the confluence of the Ganga with the Bay of Bengal. The day “Makar Sankranti” or the last day of the month of Paus (December).
Legend has it that, before joining the sea, the Ganga watered the mortal remains of King Sagar’s 60000 sons liberating their souls once and forever. It was standing on the Sagar Island that the mythical Kapil Muni condoned th sins of the sons of King Sagar who had dared to stop the horse blessed at Lord Indra’s Aswamedha Yagna and tied it to a post near his temple. It is this legend that attracts people to this little island in a remote southern corner of West Bengal.
The Ganga Sagar mela (fair) is the largest annual assemblage of devotees in India. The greatness of the mela can be assessed from the fact that over a million pilgrims come from far-flung corners of India and beyond, speaking different languages and belonging to diverse castes and creeds, for a sacred dip at this holy confluence. For this, no invitation is given. No propaganda is carried out and overall no authority exists for carrying out the mela.
It is indeed a tough journey. A few days in packed buses and trains bring the pilgrims to Calcutta. From there, again a long bus journey to ferry ghats or jetty in Sunderbans area, followed by crossing the tidal river stretching for miles across. The last leg involves either walking or traveling by a local bus upto 30 kilometres depending on the location of embarkation point.
People crowd around the naga sadhus (naked ascetics) without whom the Ganga Sagar mela is incomplete. Sitting naked in little huts near the temple and enjoying a chillum of ganja, (cannabis) they are also the target of tourists’ camera.
While devotees jostle in front of numerous temporary shrines of Hindu deities to pay homage, Kapil Muni’s temple remains the chief attraction. The temple of Kapil Muni, as we see it today, is by no means the spot where the sage meditated. It went under the sea millennium ago followed by the many others built in its place, which subsequently was also swallowed, by the advancing sea.