Thousands throng to Yamuna for ritual bath

June 2nd, 2009 - 6:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Agra, June 2 (IANS) Thousands of devotees turned up for a holy dip in the Yamuna in Vrindavan, Mathura and Agra Tuesday on the occasion of Ganga Dussehra, which symbolises the peak of summer.
Some devotees bathed, ignoring the all-too-visible pollutants in the water, but many were put off. The river is down to a trickle too.

After everyone had prayed, it was time for a feast of water melons and musk melons.

Local priest Mahesh Sharma said: “Ganga Dussehra is celebrated because this day Bhagirathi in the form of Ganga came to Earth.”

The festival is special to Braj area of Agra, Mathura and Vrindavan, associated with Sri Krishna lore.

“Yamuna is special as apart from its religious significance, the river has been a nourisher of culture, history and architecture and has sustained life along its banks through trade and commerce. Its water was compared to nectar by Babar the founder of the Mughal dynasty,” said eminent historian R. Nath.

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