A tale that says “Sab tirath bar bar, Gangasagar ekbar.” It means that you can visit any holy place all over the world, but you must visit Gangasagar at least once.
In the months of January and February, a fair takes place on Ganga Sagar Island at the confluence of the river Hoogly and the Bay of Bengal. Pilgrims from all over the place consider the place holy, and every year a lot of people come here to take a bath. On the 14th day of January, Makarsankranti, the Sun transits from Sagittarius to Capricorn. Whoever takes a bath on the day in the Gangasagar, becomes a part of a holy source of salvation.
The Ganges flows through the plains of Rishikesh and Haridwar, after originating from Gangotri, and finally reaches Bengal and becomes the Hoogly river. Here in Bengal, the river meets the Bay of Bengal. The popular belief says, at the estuary, the Ganga carried the mortal remains of 60000 sons of King Sagar, the grandfather of King Bhagirath. The meeting point of the river and the sea become holy by liberating the souls of his 60000 sons from the cycle of life and death. So, pilgrims during the Gangasagar mela, take a dip into the river and visit Kapil Muni Temple to worship.
The story of Kapil Muni Temple is that King Sagar conducted an Ashwamedha Yagna to win the world. While the King was winning the entire world, the god of heaven-Indradev became alerted. So, he captured those holy horses and tied them near Kapil Muni’s Ashram. While searching for the horses, King Sagar’s sons thought Kapil Muni was the culprit and started to disturb them. Kapil Muni was deeply in meditation and, he cursed them all to ashes out of anger. It is also said that King Bhagirath, the only grandson of King Sagar, contemplated approaching River Ganga for years to come down to the Earth from heaven and wash away the mortal remains of his family and free their souls from misery. Since then, people consider Kapil Muni Temple a holy place, and every year people come to Gangasagar to take blessings.
On the day of Makarsankranti, the place becomes overcrowded with devotees and tourists from all over the place. Apart from the Gangasagar Mela, people also go to the Sagar Lighthouse to see the sunset and sunrise on the horizon. The tower does not have any no-photography policy. Hence, photographers and tourists can take photos of the Sun on the horizon, leaving a reddish hue and enjoy the Naga Sanyasis and Sadhus in Gangasagar.
If you have time, you can also rent a houseboat to visit Bakkhali. It is one of the pristine beaches without any commercialization. So, after taking blessings from the Gangasagr Mela, you can visit Bakkhali for a quiet staycation by the beach.
While you are on a holy trip to Gangasagar, you can also visit the Omkarnath Temple, Bonbibi Temple, Bharat SewaShram Sangha Ashram, Dhablat Shibpur Mansa Temple, Basukinath Temple, and Ramkrishna Mission Ashram.
You can plan your Sundarban Gangasagar trip from Kolkata. The houseboat services are available from Kolkata. They will take you to Namkhana. From there, you can plan your holy trip accordingly. You can also travel by taking a train to the nearest railway station or by road using a private vehicle or bus service.