Varanasi/Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh), June 2 (ANI): Devotees took a holy dip in the sacred Ganges River to mark the occasion of "Ganga Dussehra" on Tuesday.
The devotees thronged the banks of Ganges at Varanasi since early hours of morning to offer prayers and seek blessings from Ganga.
Despite its pollution, the Ganges, for Hindus, is a symbol of purity. The devotees bathe in the river and offer prayers for the well being of their families.
"Today's day marks the arrival of Ganga on earth. The devotees take a dip in the Ganga and women offer prayers and offer fruits and food to the priests and pray to goddess Ganga to bless their families," said Ram Bharat Pandey, a priest.
At Sangam in Allahabad, hundreds of devotees took a dip in the Ganga on the auspicious day. Hindus believe that its water bestows salvation to the dying and new life to the living.
"We pray to the goddess that we get rid of this cycle of birth and death and attain salvation," said Chitamani Tripathi, a devotee.
Regarded as a celestial river originating in the heavens, the legend holds that the Ganges was gifted to mankind in answer to the great penance undertaken by King Bhagirath, after whom she is also called Bhagirathi.
Bhagirath, a descendant of the legendry Sagara dynasty, prayed for the Ganges to descend onto the parched earth and bring life. (ANI)