400 Gangasagar pilgrims depart from city on vessel
Kolkata: Around 400 Gangasagar pilgrims left Kolkata on a vessel that will directly take them to Kachuberia transit point in Sagar Island.
This is a special arrangement that has been made by the West Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC) for the pilgrims who are headed towards Sagar Island to take a holy dip at the confluence of river Ganga and Bay of Bengal on Makarsankranti.
Suvendu Adhikari, the state Transport minister, has seen off the Gangasagar pilgrims when they set out from Shipping Corporation jetty in Millennium Park at 7 am on Friday in MV Sarojini. Adhikari gave yellow roses to all the pilgrims who boarded the vessel and wished them a happy and safe journey.
The vessel will take the pilgrims to Sagar Island and many of them are from Vrindavan and other parts of the country. They reached Kolkata a few days ago and on Friday morning, finally set out for Sagar Island.
According to a senior official of the state Transport department, it would take around 10 hours for the vessel to reach Kachuberia transit point from Kolkata. Usually, pilgrims need to take bus or any other vehicle to reach Lot 8 transit point in the mainland, from where they cross Muriganga river by a vessel to reach Kachuberia transit point in Sagar Island.
From Kachuberia transit point, pilgrims are once again required to take bus or car to reach the mela premises or the confluence of river Ganga and Bay of Bengal. But the pilgrims, who avail the vessel directly from Kolkata instead of travelling by road, will not be needing to keep changing the mode of transport over and over again. They will just need to take bus or any other vehicle to reach their destination.
The pilgrims will return on the vessel on January 16 and while returning, they will again start from Kachuberia to reach Kolkata.
The journey to Sagar Island using the inland waterways is quite exciting as pilgrims can enjoy the scenic beauty on both sides of the river while heading towards Sagar Island on vessel.
It may be recalled that during her recent visit, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had availed the inland waterways route to reach Sagar Island from Kolkata.
The state Transport department has made an elaborate arrangement to ensure safe and hassle-free journey of pilgrims. Sufficient number of buses have been deployed to take passengers up to the transit points in the mainland from Kolkata and again up to the confluence in the island.
More number of vessels have also been deployed so that pilgrims would not have to stand in queue to go across Muriganga river.