Situated in an island of Sundarban in West Bengal is a pilgrimage centre called Sagardwip. The King of Ekshakshu dynasty, Raja Sagar once ruled this island from Ayodhyay. Although a part of Sundarban Sagardwip doesn’t have any tiger preserve centre or mangrove forest. Popularly known as Gangasagar or Sagar Island, Sagardwip with its unspoiled beaches and tranquil ambiance has emerged as a favored tourist spot of West Bengal. According to local legends, a holy man named Kapil Muni was wrongly accused for stealing King Sagar’s sacrificial horse by King’s sons, who in his wrath burned the sons to ash and sent their souls to Hell. Later feeling compassion towards King’s sons he performed a ritual to free their souls from Hell. During this very ritual Goddess Parvati came down from Himalayas in the form of Ganga to perform the Last Ritual called Tarpan. The date of the descent of Ganga is said to be the 15th of January which is now celebrated as Makar Sankranti. It is believed if the pilgrims take a dip in the estuary of Ganga in Sagardwip during this holy day they are freed from all their sins. On this holy day Sagardwip host the biggest fair in West Bengal. There are many places for pilgrims and travelers to visit while traveling in Sagardwip.
The silvery and calm Sagar Beach is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the town of Sagardwip. Being a sacred dipping spot Sagar Beach is still left untarnished. Apart from Makar Sankranti when colorful tents are dotting the silvery beach, Sagar beach is mostly deserted making it an ideal place to enjoy a peaceful sunset over the river Ganga.
It is located on the Sagar Beach near the port of Beguakhali and was built in 1821. Forming a part of Sagar Marina Park Sagar Lighthouse is a favored interest point of Gangasagar. Sagar Lighthouse is famous for offering a panoramic vista of the serene beach and it is vantage point to relish a beautiful sunset and sunrise in Sagardwip.
It is shrine in Sagardwip dedicated to a revered Hindu sage called Kapil Muni who performed the Last Ritual for King Sagar’s sons. The current structure of Kapil Muni Temple is the fourth attempt made to restore the temple after being destroyed in the bashful tornado. It was completed in 1973. During Makar Sankranti, Kapil Muni Temple is flooded with the pilgrim and devotees who come in Sagardwip to take a dip in the sacred river Ganga.
It is quaint spiritual hermitage which is run by a trust in Sagardwip. The tranquil ambiance and guest house of Bharat Seva Ashram has made it a place to find solace in Sagardwip far from the rambunctious city life.
Except for rainy season June to September, the blissful surrounding and idyllic ambiance of Sagardwip can be enjoyed throughout the year. But if tourists want to witness the second biggest fair after Kumbh Mela they are advised to travel during Makar Sankranti.