New Delhi: Every year thousands of pilgrims from India and abroad reach the southern part of West Bengal, at the confluence of the river Ganges to celebrate the Gangasagar Mela. This festival is celebrated on January 14 every year. Pilgrims come and take a dip in the Holy River Ganges, nearly 100 kilometres from Kolkata. The festival is celebrated as Makar Sankranti in northern parts of the country.
The festival is dedicated to Lord Sun as a gesture of gratitude to all the natural resources which support life on Earth. Lord Sun is worshiped to thank him for bestowing good harvest and nurturing livestock. Cattles like oxen and bulls are also worshiped for their significance in the traditional way of ploughing fields.
Makar Sankranti is celebrated as Uttarayan in Gujarat and Pongal in Tamil Nadu.
Gangasagar Mela 2022: Date
Gangasagar Mela will be held on Friday, January 14, 2022. The Makar Sankranti Punya Kala will be for a duration of 2 hours and 29 minutes, starting from 02:43 PM to 05:12 PM. The Makar Sankranti Maha Punya Kala will be of 1 hour and 49 minutes duration between 02:43 PM to 04:32 PM.
Due to the third wave of Covid-19 in the country, there have been demands raised that the Gangasagar Mela should not be held this year. A petition has been filed in the Calcutta High Court to stall the celebration this year due to increasing cases of Covid-19 in the state.
In his petition to the Calcutta High Court, Dr Abhinandan Mandal stated that about 30 lakh people gather in Gangasagar. Due to such a large gathering at the fair, the risk of Covid-19 infection may increase further and there is a possibility of overwhelming the health system of the state. In this case, an application has been made to ensure that people do not enter the sea in any way. According to the plaintiff, about 30 lakh people visit this fair every year, so the public health system was at stake.