Ganga sagara - Kapila temple
Sagar Island also known as Gangasagar lies on the continental shelf of Bay of Bengal about 150 km south of Kolkata. The island is large — with an area of around 300 km². It has 43 villages and a population of over 160,000. The island is home to the endangered Royal Bengal Tiger. It is also rich in mangrove swamps, waterways and small rivers.
This island is a famous Hindu pilgrim place. Every year on the day of Makar Sankranti (mid of January), thousands of Hindus gather to take a holy dip in the Ganga and offer puja in the Kapil Muni Temple.
January, over 600,000 pilgrims swarmed onto Sagara island, just off the Eastern Coast of West Bengal, India, to take a holy dip where the river Ganges meets the ocean. Some had traveled thousands of miles for the sacred event – Ganga Sagara Mela.
The story goes that in a previous age, King Sagara of Ayodhya decided to confirm his sovereignty by performing an Asvamedha Sacrifice. As per custom, he let the sacrificial horse loose to gallop freely through neighbouring kingdoms. When the kings of these lands saw the horse, they knew they had to either accept Sagara’s supremacy, or capture the horse and fight his many formidable sons, who followed the animal’s path.
When the horse wandered into the ashrama of the sage Kapila, an incarnation of Krishna, Sagara’s sons presumed that he had captured it, and began to harass him, disturbing his meditation. Incensed, Kapila cursed them and burnt them all to ashes. Time passed. Many years later, Sagara’s great-grandson, Bagiratha, prayed to Vishnu to send the heavenly river Ganga down to earth to wash the bones of his ancestors and thus liberate them.