Ganga Dussehra

Ganga Dussehra, also referred to as Gangavataran, is a Hindu festival celebrating the avatarana of the Ganges. It is believed by Hindus that the holy river Ganges descended from heaven to earth on these days. The festival takes place on Dashami (10th day) of the waxing moon of the lunisolar calendar month Jyeshtha. The celebration lasts ten days, including the nine days preceding this holiday. It is observed by Hindus mainly within the states of Uttarakhand, Bihar, and West Bengal, where the river flows. Haridwar, Varanasi, Garhmukteshwar, Rishikesh, Allahabad, and Patna are the most locations of the celebrations, where devotees gather at the banks of the Ganges and perform aartis to the river. Taking a dip within the river nowadays is believed to bring the devotee to a state of purification and also heal any physical ailments they may have. In Sanskrit, dasha means ten and hara means destroy; thus bathing within the river during these ten days is believed to rid the person of ten sins.

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