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Ganga Mahotsav

Ganga Mahotsav

Introduction
Ganga is counted among popular Varanasi festivals. Large number of tourists from all over the world gathers here to witness this event. It is counted among important Varanasi tourist attraction. In Hinduism, the Ganges is an ever-changing and ever-flowing sacred river from ages. Ganges is the Goddess of washing sin of the people from the era according to the Hindu mythology. People come to the Ganges and take a holy bath to wash out their sin. Ganga Mahotsav is celebrated in Varanasi on Month of to Be Announced. Varanasi is one of the ancient living cities in the world. It works as the cultural capital of India. Ganga Mahotsav gives the message of faith and culture. On this Mahotsav, banks of Ganges are full of divas or lamps, people from India and abroad take bath in it in morning.

Ganga Mahotsav is a five day event celebrated on the banks of the river Ganges in Varanasi. This festival is celebrated to promote Varanasi as the cultural capital of India and the Ganges as India’s lifeline. Ganga has always been an integral part of India and is considered as a thing of reverence by the Hindus. Ganga gives a sense of belonging to the people of India especially those living near the banks. The trend of celebrating the Ganga Mahotsav in the Holy city of India, Varanasi, tends to keep the importance of the Varanasi as a cultural, religious and traditional capital of the India. This festival is organized by Uttar Pradesh Tourism Department. Ganga Mahotsav is celebrated every year from Prabodhini Ekadashi to Kartik Purnima in the month of October or November or December and it concludes with the festival of lights, "Dev Deepavali" when more than a million earthen lamps are lit on the Ghats of Ganga and one can see celebrations all over the place. Large number of Hindu devotees start assemble from the day of the Prabodhini Ekadasi (the eleventh day of the fortnight) to celebrate this festival. The official celebration is usually held on the Dashashwamedha Ghat. At this occasion, pilgrims celebrate the event by performing an Indian classical style music and dance. It provides an immense chance for tourists to see the real presentation of the Indian classical dance and music. Pilgrims or tourists whoever wants to participate in the Ganga Mahotsav, have already registered hotels, restaurants, dharamshala, guest houses or they stay to their relative’s home in the Benares.

Many of the great personalities of India have participated and performed their enchanting performances at the Ganga Mahotsav such as Ustad Bismillah Khan, Bal Murli Krishnan, Vilayat Khan, Pundit Chhanulal Misra, Birju Maharaj, Girija Devi, Sujat Khan, Bhimsen Joshi, Amjad Ali Khan, Zila Khan and Zakir Hussein. This festival attracts pilgrims and tourists from all the corners of the world. Ganga Mahotsav is a unique festival and it enhances the attraction of this city of Temples, Ghats and traditions. As classical music fills the atmosphere, a charisma seems to envelop the environment creating a mood which is both celestial and soulful. It makes the spiritual atmosphere. Attraction of this five-day long Ganga Mahotsav is its message of faith and culture. The unique Dev Deepawali with innumerable 'Diyas' or earthen lamps, lit by devotees and floated down the river on the full moon night of Kartik is a spectacle both mystical and heart winning.

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