The festival is majorly celebrated in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, and West Bengal.
The auspicious occasion of Ganga Dussehra, marking the descent of Goddess Ganga, also known as the Ganges is celebrated this year on May 24. The legend has it that Ganga came down from the heaven to earth on this very day.
The festival of Ganga Dussehra takes place on the 10th day, Dashami, of the waxing moon in the month of Jyeshtha, as per Hindu calendar. Devotees celebrate this festival for ten long days—nine days preceding the main festival day.
According to Drikpanchang.com, here are the Ganga Dussehra Pooja Timings:
Dashami Tithi Begins = 19:12 on 23/May/2018
Dashami Tithi Ends = 18:18 on 24/May/2018
Ganga Dussehra is also known as Gangavataran, signifying the descent of Goddess Ganga to earth. The festival usually falls a day prior to Nirjala Ekadashi, but at times both fall on the same day.
It is said that Goddess Ganga came down from the heaven to earth her in order to purge the cursed souls of Bhagiratha’s ancestors. The Goddess resided in Kamandal of Lord Brahma and along with her, she brought the purity of heaven to earth.
The festival is majorly celebrated in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, and West Bengal, where the river flows. Haridwar, Varanasi, Garhmukteshwar, Rishikesh, Allahabad and Patna. Several devotees take a holy dip in the Ganges on this day and perform the aarti on the ghats.
It is believed that taking a dip in the holy river Ganga during these ten days will wash away the sins. Devotees throng the holy river to seek blessings of the Goddess and get rid of their past sins.
In Mathura, Vrindavan and Bateshwar, river Yamuna is also worshipped. A kite-flying event is organised every year and the devotees pray to Goddess Yamuna.
Lakhs of devotees gather at the Dashashwamedh Ghat in Varanasi on this day to take a dip into the holy rive, Ganga.
Here’s wishing you all a happy Ganga Dussehra.
Har Har Gange!