Ganga Mela Kanpur: Why Is It Celebrated? What Is The Story Behind This Year Long Tradition?

Ganga Mela Kanpur: A Historic Holi Celebration Spanning Seven Days
Ganga Mela Kanpur: Why Is It Celebrated? What Is The Story Behind This Year Long Tradition?

If you think Kanpurites celebrate Holi just for a day, then you have got it all wrong. Well, people here celebrate the festival of colors for almost a week. Are you also wondering what is the reason behind this? Similar to Mathura's Lathmar Holi, Barsana's Chhadimar Holi, and Vrindavan's Holi with flowers and laddus, Kanpur’s Holi Bee continues to be the talk of the town.

On the day of Ganga Mela, there is a vicious Holi celebration here. This is where the cart-based Holi parade is held. This parade begins at Hatia market, travels through over a dozen historic Kanpur neighbourhoods, such as Nayaganj and Chowk Sarafa, and concludes at 2 pm at Hatia's Rajjan Babu Park. Following this, an evening Ganga Mela is held at Sarsaiya Ghat where people come together to wish one another a happy Holi from all around the city. This year the 83rd anniversary of Ganga Mela will be celebrated.


1. Kanpur has not celebrated Holi for seven days as of today; instead, the celebration began 82 years ago in 1942. From that point on, Kanpur city has been celebrating Holi nonstop for seven days. In Kanpur, Holi colours begin on the day of Rang Panchami. Here, people congregate on the banks of the Ganga to celebrate Holi, the revolutionary festival, by splashing one other in colour. The traders' freedom movement in 1942 provided the groundwork for the historical tale that surrounds this unique Holi in Kanpur.

2. Local Hatia native Kailash Nath stated that the Hatia Ganga Fair's foundation was placed in 1942. On the day of Holi, the young revolutionaries in this area first raised the tricolour in Hatia Bazaar Rajjan Babu Park, disregarding British rule, and then joyfully participated in Holi games. 

3. As soon as the British authorities learned of this. Then, more than a dozen horse-riding British soldiers arrived. A fight broke out between the young people participating in Holi over the flag being taken down. The revolutionary youth Late Gulab Chandra Seth, Budhulal Mehrotra, Naveen Sharma, Vishwanath Tandon, Hameed Khan, and Giridhar Sharma were among the approximately 45 individuals who the British rulers detained and imprisoned.

4. It became increasingly difficult for the British authorities to apprehend the rebels. Kanpur's whole market was shuttered in opposition to the arrest where the public, businesspeople, labourers, and writers began a campaign against British control. All of Kanpur's markets as well as those in the nearby rural areas were shuttered in solidarity with them. The entire city's population continued to walk around in this manner without ever taking off their facial colours. The city's population would congregate in the Hatia market all day, returning to their houses only around five o'clock.

5. On the day of Anuradha Nakshatra, which was the fifth day of Holi, all the revolutionaries were then set free. To take them, the entire city had congregated outside the jail. The revolutionaries' faces were colourfully painted after they were freed from prison.