|It is of
interest to note that in no other places of pilgrimage or religious mela in Bengal, there
is a larger collection of Sannyasis as we find at Ganga Sagar mela. Every year a number of
Naga Sadhus visit the mela. The mela used
to attract before a very large quantity of indigenous wooden toys, dolls and animals. Due
to the proximity of the Sundarbans, the presence of a large quantity of toy wooden tigers
is under- standable. There was a large turn-over of these wooden wares. It is a
great pity that this old handicraft is now on the decline and plastic toys are now having
a large turn-over.
There are now quite a number of
Sannyasis who have settled down at Ganga Sagar. The Sadhus are dependent on the
charities of the traders that go to Sundarbans for collecting wood, honey and
bee-wax. There has been a great
improvement to the island, which was ravaged by a great flood in 1688 and cyclones in 1833
and 1834. The southern part of the island is a very pretty area and the steamer
journey is very pleasant because of the splendid scenery. Tourism could be
well developed at this pretty spot.
5 District Gazetteer of 24-Parganas by L.S.S.
OMalley, pp. 257-258.