Ganga Dussehra

Ganga Dussehra

May-June; Hindu month of Jyestha
According to Hindu mythology, the Ganges River in India originally flowed only in heaven. In the form of a goddess, Ganga, the river was brought down to earth by King Bhagiratha in order to purify the ashes of his ancestors, 60,000 of whom had been burned under a curse from the great sage Kapila. The river came down reluctantly, breaking her fall on the head of Shiva so that she wouldn't shatter the Earth. By the time she reached the Bay of Bengal, she had touched the ashes of the 60,000 princes and fertilized the entire region.
On Ganga Dussehra, the 10th day of the waxing half of the month of Jyestha, Hindus who are able to reach the Ganges take a dip in the river to purify their sins and remedy their physical ills. The largest crowds assemble at the Uttar Pradesh towns of Hardwar, Mukteshwar, Varanasi, and other locations on the banks of the Ganges that have legendary significance. Those who live far away from the Ganges immerse themselves in whatever river, pond, or sea they can get to on this day.
Part of the Hindu faith includes the hope of bathing in the Ganges at some point during one's life. Upon death, a Hindu's body is generally cremated and the ashes are immersed in its holy water to assure peace for the soul.
See also Kumbh Mela
CONTACTS:
Uttar Pradesh Tourism Department, Directorate of Tourism
Rajarshi Purshottam Das Tandon
Vipin Khand, Gomti Nagar
Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh C-13 India
91-522-2308916; fax: 91-522-2308937
www.up-tourism.com
SOURCES:
DictFolkMyth-1984, p. 671
FolkWrldHol-1999, p. 378
RelHolCal-2004, p. 169
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References in periodicals archive ?
Varanasi, May 31 ( ANI ): Thousands of Hindu devotees converged on the banks of River Ganga in Varanasi on Thursday to celebrate the Ganga Dussehra festival which marks the day when the Goddess Ganga descended on earth through the locks of Lord Shiva.
Mahant Brijmohan Das, a priest, said: "Today, is the festive occasion of Ganga Dussehra.