Lakhs of pilgrims took a holy dip at Har Ki Pauri, with Ganga Dussehra being observed on Sunday with great religious fervour. With two back to back ‘snans’ of Ganga Dussehra and Nirjala Ekadeshi, and the festival falling on a Sunday, pilgrims from different states of the country thronged the holy city.
Security was upped by the district administration in Haridwar. The main bathing ghat Har Ki Pauri and other bathing ghats along the stretch of Ganga were dotted with pilgrims throughout the day. Monday will again see an important bathing date of Nirjala Ekadeshi, the 11th day of the lunar month.
Traffic cops had a tough time managing the continuous inflow of vehicles on the national highway. The mela sector has been divided into 39 sectors and 12 zones with security personnel deputed at all the sensitive areas and crossroads. Security personnel, since the early morning hours, were directed to reach their assigned points by the district administration.
With routes to the char dham closed on account of heavy rains and landslides, the city is bursting at its seams with tourists. Senior superintendent of police Sadanand Datte and district magistrate D Santhil Pandiyan held a joint meeting, on Saturday, with the district officials giving directions for smooth flow of traffic and implementing the traffic plan with route diversions.
Mythological significance: Ganga Dussehra literally means the “birthday or descent of mother Ganga.” According to mythology, Ganga descended on this date. Throughout the country, this festival lasts for ten days beginning on the Amavasya (dark moon night) and going through to the dasami tithi (tenth phase of the Moon, the day before Pandava Nirjal Ekadasi). Ganga Dussehra is celebrated on the tenth day of Jyeshtha month. It is believed that by taking a dip on Ganga Dussehra a person is freed from three-fold sufferings of the body, mind and soul.