Ganga Dusshera 2023: Ganga Dussehra is a Hindu festival which celebrates the avatarana (descent) of the river Ganges on Earth. It is also popular as Gangavataran in some parts of the country. The festival of Ganga Dusshera or Dasara is observed on the last day of a 10-day celebration. This year it falls on May 30.
VIDEO | Ganga Dussehra celebrations in Varanasi. pic.twitter.com/hU3J8PhFBi
आज ही गंगा स्वर्ग से धरती पर अवतरित हुईं। अवतरण के पश्चात भगीरथ आगे-आगे चले व गंगा उनका अनुसरण करती गयीं ताकि उनके पूर्वजों को मोक्ष प्राप्त हो सके।
आपसभी को गंगा अवतरण दिवस की हार्दिक शुभकामनाएँ!
#गंगा_दशहरा #गंगाअवतरण #गंगा #नमामि_गंगे pic.twitter.com/slO31npLTI — Namami Gange (@cleanganganmcg) May 30, 2023
Ganga Dasara 2023: Date & Time
Ganga Dasara is celebrated on the Dashami Tithi of Jyeshtha Shukla Paksha which usually falls in the month of May or June of the Gregorian calendar. According to Drik Panchang, it is celebrated one day before Nirjala Ekadashi but in some years Ganga Dussehra and Nirjala Ekadashi might fall on the same day.
30 June 2023
Dashami Tithi Begins
09:19 AM on May 29, 2023
Dashami Tithi Ends
10:37 AM on May 30, 2023
Ganga Dusshera 2023: History
Ganga Dussehra is a day devoted to Goddess Ganga and it celebrates the descends of Goddess Ganga as a river to the Earth. According to Hindu mythology, King Bhagiratha prayed to Lord Brahma and underwent tremendous penance in order to bring the celestial river Ganga to Earth. His desire was to free his forefathers' souls from the curse by Sage Kapila. Since Lord Brahma was pleased with Bhagiratha's devotion, he granted his wish and requested Lord Shiva to hold the gigantic goddess Ganga in his matted hair locks and gently release her upon Earth. Thus, Ganga Dussehra commemorates the occasion when the sacred river Ganga descended from heaven to absolve the sins of mankind.
Ganga Dusshera 2023: Significance
The celebration has great religious and cultural significance value as it marks the cleansing and purifying powers of the sacred river. As in Sanskrit, Dasha means ten and hara means elimination; thus bathing in the river during these ten days is believed to rid the person of ten sins or, alternatively, ten lifetimes of sins. In order to get blessings and atone for their sins, devotees gather along the banks of the Ganga and pray, practice different rituals, and take holy dips in the river.
However, Ganga Dussehra also serves as a reminder of the crucial role that the river Ganga plays in the lives of millions of people, not only as a physical source of life and sustenance but also as a representation of spiritual purification and salvation.
Ganga Dusshera 2023: Rituals & Celebrations
The rituals and usual celebration of Ganga Dusshera are similar in all parts of India. Devotees rise early on Ganga Dussehra, take a plunge in the sacred Ganga, and recite the Ganga Stotra. In the evening, they perform Ganga Aarti and offer flowers, Diya, betel leaves, fruits, and sweets to the holy river. People also give charity to the needy and meditate beside the river.
On the same day, the river Yamuna is also worshipped and kite-flying events are organized in many regions of the country. Devotees of Mathura, Vrindavan, and Bateshwar, offer watermelon and cucumber to river Yamuna and distribute drinks such as lassi, sharbat and shikanji to beat the scorching heat.
To honour and express thanks towards the lifelines of the country, devotees visit Prayagraj/Allahabad, Garhmukteshwar, Haridwar, Rishikesh and Varanasi. In particular, Varanasi is famous for its vivacious celebrations of Ganga Dussehra. Countless devotees participate in the famous Ganga Aarti at Dasaswamedh Ghat. One can capture this serene moment which clearly marks the significance of Ganga Aarti.