Ganga Dussehra is a spiritual festival which is celebrated in India every year in the month of Jyeshtha during the Shukla Paksha on the tenth day (Dashami Tithi). This festival most probably falls in the month of May or June. The mythological history of this festival refers to the origin of maa ganga from heaven to earth as a result of bhagiratha’s penance. Devotees take a dip in the holy river and worship maa ganga whole heartedly , sing devotional songs and even meditate for hours at the banks of maa ganga . An immense , culturally strong and a very spiritual ganga aarti is organised in Rishikesh and haridwar , in order to show love , respect and devotion towards maa ganga . ( Ganga aarti is a part of everyday routine in Rishikesh and haridwar but it is organised at a larger scale during ganga Dussehra).
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Ganga Dussehra has really been a vital part of Uttarakhandi people’s life . The significance of ganga Dussehra adds on some more spiritual belives to it as we move upwards toward Tehri Garhwal . The ospicious occasion of ganga Dussehra has been a important part in mythology of Maa Surkanda Devi Temple which is located in Kaddukhal , Chamba Tehri Garhwal Uttarakhand. The folklore related to maa Surkanda states that the idol of bhagwati was installed in the temple on the day of ganga Dussehra , hereby the festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion in Maa Surkanda Devi Temple itself .
It has been observed that the aura of Maa Surkanda rains every year on the day of ganga Dussehra as maa ganga rains herself to bathe the goddess Surkanda. Devotees come from different corners of the world to witness this extraordinary gathering between the goddess and her children . Palanquins of various goddess arrive at Mata Surkanda Devi Temple a very heartwarming meeting of goddess is held in the temple premises . It’s a touching and a very emotionally sound sight to watch and feel. Traditional instruments ( Dhol Damo and Pahadi Backpiper ) are played in order to celebrate this ospicious occasion of ganga Dussehra . Bhagwati and deevotees dance together and maa surkanda blesses her children .
Palanquins from different areas of uttarakhand visit the holy site of Gangotri to bathe themselves . The traditional instruments are played here , celebrating the origin of Maa Ganga this day is of great significance in Gangotri and Mukhba as well. Mukhba is situated in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. This holy site is winter adobe of Maa Ganga. The idol of goddess Ganga is brought to Mukhba while the shrines of Gangotri Dham are closed for the darshan. whole temples premises are decorated and maa ganga is offered grand aarti on this day . Palanquins of different bhagwatis bless and dance with their children on this spiritual day .
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Due to the COVID situations the celebration level of Ganga Dussehra had been reduced , earlier it used to take place at very large scale with thousands of devotees . Last ganga Dussehra which was held at a great scale was in June 2019 . In 2020 and 2021 it was not able to celebrate the festival at a greater scale due to the pandemic . All the rituals were followed by the priests but the gatherings were not entertained as of earlier .The next Ganga Dussehra is dated on 9th of June 2022.
RESEARCH AND WRITTEN BY PRAGYA THAPLIYAL