Gangasagar Mela

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Prelims: Art & Culture
Gangasagar Mela Blog Image

About Gangasagar Mela:

  • It is known as the world’s second largest human congregation after Kumbh.
  • It happens every year during Makar Sankranti.
  • The mela is held at Sagar Island.
  • It has been mentioned in Indian epics such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata, putting its existence as early as 400 BCE.
  • The pilgrims after taking a dip in Ganga also visit the temple of Kapil Muni.

Who is Kapil Muni:

  • Kapila or Maharishi Kapila is a Vedic sage (rishi) traditionally considered to be the original proponent of the Samkhya system of Indian philosophy.
  • He is said to have lived in the Indian subcontinent, around the sixth or seventh century B.C.E.
  • Kapila is described within the Puranas as an incarnation of Vishnu.
  • He is known for teaching a process of liberation known as bhakti yoga. 
  • Buddhist sources present Kapila as a well-known philosopher whose students built the city of Kapilavastu
  • He is not only renowned in Hinduism, but also in Buddhism. 
  • Kapila shared many similarities with Buddha, including an emphasis on meditation as a technique for removing suffering, belief that the Vedic gods were subject to limitations and conditions, and dislike for ritual and Brahmanic doctrines.

Where is Sagar Island Located?

  • Sagar Island, westernmost island of the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta lies in  West Bengal state. 
  • It lies at the mouth of the Hugli (Hooghly) River, an arm of which separates it from the mainland to the east.


Q1) What is Samkhya Philosophy?

It is one of 6 sytems of Indian philosophy. Samkhya adopts a consistent dualism of matter (prakriti) and the eternal spirit (purusha).

Source: Record pilgrims at Gangasagar, West Bengal Ministers demand National Mela status