News and Views regarding Bengal and Bengali culture

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ganga Sagar

Sagar Island [also known as Gangasagar (Bengali: গঙ্গাসাগর)] lies on the continental shelf of Bay of Bengal about 150 km (80 nautical miles) south of Kolkata. It belongs to the Republic of India and is governed by the State government of West Bengal. The island is large — with an area of around 300 km². It has 43 villages and a population of over 160,000.[1]
The island is home to the endangered Royal Bengal Tiger. It is also rich in mangrove swamps, waterways and small rivers.This island is a famous Hindu pilgrim place. Every year on the day of Makar Sankranti (mid of January), thousands of Hindus gathered to take a holy dip in the confluence of Ganga and offered puja in Kapil Muni Temple.
Kolkata Port Trust has a pilot station and a light house.[1]
Contents [hide]
1 Pilgrimage centre
2 Development proposals
3 Politics
4 See also
5 References
6 External links
[edit]Pilgrimage centre

Gangasagar pilgrimage and fair is the second largest congregation of mankind after the holy Kumbha Mela. The latter is observed once in four years at alternate locations in north, central and central-west parts of the country, Gangasagar fair and pilgrimage is held annually on the Sagar Island’s southern tip in the Ganges delta atop the Bay of Bengal. That makes Gangasagar all the more distinctive.[2]
In 2007, about 300,000 pilgrims took the holy dip where the Hooghly meets the Bay of Bengal on the occasion of Makar Sankranti. The figure was lower by around 200,000 because of Kumbh Mela. For the rest of the year about 50,000 people come to the island. If you want to drive to there, the best way is to take diamnod harbour road from Kolkata. You will have to drive around 95 kms and reach kakdwip. Ensure you carry all your food or breakfast items as you may not get anything to eat except fruits. From there you need to go towards Port no 8 (Ferry point). You will have to park your car here and then take a steamer to the sagar island. If the tides are low you still can go by small boats which generally charge Rs 10 and takes around 20 minutes. From there you can take any shared jeep or bus which generally charges Rs 20 per person (25 kms) and takes around 45 minutes. If you are a group of 5-6 people it is advisable to take a private jeep which will charge around Rs 700 for both sides and negotiate that he will take the jeep up to the temple. Or else you might have to take a hand ricksaw from the busstand up to the temple who generally chages around Rs 200. It also becomes very fast if you take a private jeep.[3] Almost five lakh pilgrims thronged Sagar Island in 2008.[4]
[edit]Development proposals

Government of West Bengal is planning to connect Sagar Island with the mainland with a 3.3 km bridge costing around Rs. 6,000 million. .[1]
West Bengal government is planning to build a deep water port in Sagar Island.


Current MLA from Sagar assembly constituency is Milan Parua of CPI(M), who won the seat in State elections of 2006. Bankim Chandra Hazra of AITC was MLA from this seat in 2001. Prabhanjan Mondal of CPI(M) had won this constituency in the elections of 1996, 1991, 1987, 1982, and in 1977.[5]
Sagar assembly constituency is part of Mathurapur (Lok Sabha constituency).[6].

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