Ganga Dusshera is a holy festival celebrated on the tenth day of the month of Jayeshta (for 2008, it falls on 13th June). The festival is devoted to the worship of Holy River Ganga venerated by the Hindus as a mother (“Ganga Ma”) as well as a goddess. It is believed that the ‘Gangavataran’ (the descent of the Ganga) took place at this time. On this day, places such as Varanasi, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Garh-Mukteshwar, Prayag etc. hold special significance. A huge number of devotees flock to numerous ghats located on the west bank of the river Ganga to bathe in water.
Despite its pollution the Ganga is a symbol of purity. Its water bestows salvation to the dying and new life to the living. Ganga water is stored in sealed pots in homes and is used on sacred days.