|District||South 24 Parganas|
|• Total||12.26 km2 (4.73 sq mi)|
|Elevation||4 m (13 ft)|
|• Density||840/km2 (2,200/sq mi)|
|• Additional official||English|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
|Telephone code||+91 3210|
|Vehicle registration||WB-19 to WB-22, WB-95 to WB-99|
|Lok Sabha constituency||Mathurapur (SC)|
|Vidhan Sabha constituency||Sagar|
Gangasagar is a village and a gram panchayat within the jurisdiction of the Sagar police station in the Sagar CD block in the Kakdwip subdivision of the South 24 Parganas district in the Indian state of West Bengal.
A holy man, Kardam Muni, made a pact with Vishnu that he would undergo the rigours of marital life, on the condition that Vishnu would incarnate as his son. In due time Kapil Muni was born as an incarnation of Vishnu and became a great saint. Kapil Muni's ashram was located in the Gangasagar. One day King Sagar's sacrificial horse disappeared; it had been stolen by Indra.
The king sent his 60,000 sons to find it, and they found it next to Kapil Muni's ashram, where Indra had hidden it. Mistaking Kapil Muni for the thief, the sons accused Kapil Muni, who in his wrath at the false accusation burned the sons to ash and sent their souls to Hell. Later having compassion for the King Sagar's sons, Kapil Muni acceded to the prayers of King Sagar's descendants, agreeing to the restoration of the sons, if river goddess Ganga would descend to Earth to perform the Last Ritual (Hindus also called as"Tarpan") of mixing the ashes with holy water (niravapanjali).
Through deep meditation, King Bhagiratha induced Shiva to order Ganga down from heaven and the 60,000 sons were freed (moksha) and ascended to Heaven, but the river Ganges stayed on the Earth. The date of the descent of Ganga was the date, as is at present the 15th Day of January of the Gregorian Calendar which coincides with that of Makar Sankranti (when Surya enters Makar Constellation, i.e. "Uttarayan" of Hindu Panchangam).
Kakdwip subdivision has full rural population. The entire district is situated in the Ganges Delta. The southern part of the delta has numerous channels and islands such as the Henry Island, Sagar Island, Frederick Island and Fraserganj Island. The subdivision is a part of the Sundarbans settlements. A comparatively recent country-wide development is the guarding of the coastal areas by special coastal forces. The area attracts large number of tourists – Gangasagar and Fraserganj-Bakkhali are worth mentioning. Gobardhanpur holds a promise for the future.
Note: The map alongside presents some of the notable locations in the subdivision. All places marked in the map are linked in the larger full screen map.
Gangasagar is located at. It has an average elevation of 4 metres (13 ft).
|Climate data for Gangasagar (1981–2010, extremes 1865–2010)|
|Record high °C (°F)||30.6
|Average high °C (°F)||25.0
|Average low °C (°F)||16.0
|Record low °C (°F)||7.8
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||12.5
|Average rainy days||0.9||1.5||1.6||2.5||6.1||10.7||13.6||15.4||11.7||6.7||1.7||0.3||72.7|
|Average relative humidity (%) (at 17:30 IST)||70||73||76||81||81||83||85||84||83||77||72||69||78|
|Source: India Meteorological Department|
According to the 2011 Census of India, Gangasagar had a total population of 10,340, of which 5,228 (51%) were males and 5,112 (49%) were females. There were 1,440 persons in the age range of 0 to 6 years. The total number of literate people in Gangasagar was 7,437 (83.56% of the population over 6 years).
Gangasagar Coastal police station covers an area of 77.72 km2. It has jurisdiction over parts of the Sagar CD block. The coastal police stations were formed with the objective of effective policing of the remote areas of the Sundarbans. The police has regular river patrols.
Gangasagar is a place of Hindu pilgrimage. Every year on the day of Makar Sankranti (14 January), hundreds of thousands of Hindus gather to take a holy dip at the confluence of river Ganges and Bay of Bengal and offer prayers (puja) in the Kapil Muni Temple.
The Gangasagar fair and pilgrimage is held annually on Sagar Island's southern tip, where the Ganges enters the Bay of Bengal. This confluence is also called Gangasagar or Gangasagara. Near the confluence is the Kapil Muni Temple. The Gangasagar pilgrimage and fair is the second largest congregation of mankind after the triennial ritual bathing of Kumbha Mela.
In 2007, about 300,000 pilgrims took the holy dip where the Hooghly meets the Bay of Bengal on the occasion of Makar Sankranti. Almost five-hundred thousand pilgrims thronged Gangasagar in 2008. For the rest of the year about 500,000 people come to the island. According to reports on 14 January 2018, 18-2 million people had visited Gangasagar in 2018, against 1.5 million in 2017.
From Kolkata, Diamond Harbour Road (NH-12) runs south around 90 km to Harwood Point, near Kakdwip, where a ferry runs to Kachuberia at the north end of the Gangasagar. The Panchyat Samity maintains a parking area near the ferry landing. The ferry travels about 3.5 km across a distributary of the Ganges river (also known as Hooghly River or Muriganga river locally) to reach Kachuberia. Small boats also cross from Harwood Point to Kachuberia. Private cars and buses travel the roughly 32 km to the pilgrimage site at Gangasagar. From the pilgrimage parking area the Kapil Muni Temple is about 200 meters and the Gangasagar confluence is about 700 meters.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gangasagar.|