Ganga Dussehra 2017: Date, Puja Tithi and Celebration:
Ganga Dussehra also known as Ganga Gangavatara/Jeth Ka Dussehra in 2017 is falling on June 3, Saturday. It is a festival celebrated in honour of River Ganga (Ganges). On this day Mother Ganga descended to the earth to rid the souls of King Bhagirath’s forefathers of a curse. It is different from Ganga Jayanti which is celebrated to mark her rebirth. It is said that Mother Ganga lived in heavenly abodes constantly pleasing the gods and other divine personalities. The earth was purified and attained heavenly status after Ganga descended.
Date & Day
June 3, Saturday
June 4, Saturday
Ganga Dussehra occurs in Jyestha Month (June-July) during during Dashami Tithi in Shukla Paksha. At times it coincides with Nirjala Ekadashi because it is generally a day before this Ekadashi. It is believed to be the most auspicious day. Devotees visit various pilgrimages in Prayag (Allahabad), Haridwar and Varanasi and bathe in the River to get rid of all the misgivings committed knowingly or unknowingly.
Ganga Dussehra Story: What is the significance of this festival?
As per Vedic scriptures, King Sagara was a celebrated king of the Suryavansha dynasty in the Satya Age (Satya Yuga). Married to the princess of Vidarbha, and the other princess from the royal Sivi dynasty, the King was an ancestor to King Bhagiratha, King Dasharatha and Prince Rama (An incarnation of Lord Krishna)
Once upon a time, King Sagara with the help of qualified Brahmins performed a sacrifice called Ashwamedha Yajna. This was in order to prove the King’s sovereignty. The King of Heaven Indra began to fret over the results of the sacrifice and he then stole the horses through his mystic powers.
Later, Indra left the stolen horses at the ashram of Sage Kapila who was mistaken by the King’s sons (60,000 in numbers) for the thief. As a result, they all prepared to attack the humble sage. Before they could commit this immoral act of killing a divine sage, Kapila cursed them and their bodies burned them all from inside. Sage Kapila returned the horse to Anshuman, grandson of King Sagara, and informed him that all the sons of the King could be freed from the curse if Goddess Ganga (Ganges) descended to Bhumi, Earth and purified them in her waters.
The King’s great-great-grandson, Bhagiratha performed a severe penance and pleased Goddess Ganga to descend into Mother Earth. However, the Goddess reminded him that Her incessant currents of water would devastate the earth and expressed a wish to have someone who could break the water flow. Bhagiratth began to pray to Lord Shiva to break the flow of water. Lord Shiva, pleased with his devotion, fulfilled his wish and took on Him the flow of water onto His head. Later, all the sons of King Sagara returned to life and achieved their eternal posts in the heavens.
What to do on this day?
The prime duty of a devotee on this day is to take a dip and bathe in River Ganga. If it is not possible to visit Ganga River, one can sprinkle some drips of Ganga Jal (holy waters of the River) over the head while taking bath.
- First get up early in the morning before sunrise and take bath. You can chant the following mantra while bathing:
"Ganga Cha Yamuna Chaiva Godavari Saraswati,
Narmada Sindhu Kaveri Jalesmin Sannidhim Kuru"
"In this water, I invoke the presence of divine waters from the rivers Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Saraswati, Narmada, Sindhu and Kaveri. These rivers are considered
- It is better if you can visit Varanasi and behold Ganga Aarti. It is the most auspicious activity as good as performing the aatri itself.
- One can perform a Vedic puja at a Shiva temple in Haridwar. Ganga flows through the head of Shiva. Worshiping Shiva on this day is extremely beneficial. You can book your Puja here.
- You can also wear a Gangal Jal locket. It is worn for keeping purity in mind and body. Check this beautiful Ganga Jal locket here.
- It satisfies the inner self when one listens to Gangaa Chalisa on this day. Ganga Chlisa is a collection of hymns glorifying Mother Ganga. Visit this page to know more in details.