considerable progress has been made in reclaiming the waste, and the north of the island
is under cultivation, but the south is still dense jungle."5 The work of
clearing of the jungles has been continued and the area has had a face-lift in the course
of the last few decades. A few decades back Sagar Snan was considered a very great
and extremely hazardous pilgrimage.
In those days
there were very few steamers and the journey to theconfluence by country boats or by
tracks through dense jungles abounding in prowling tigers was considered a very great risk
and there were often diasters. But the element of risk did not deter the pilgrims from
undertaking the hazards.
The old hazards of a visit to Ganga Sagar by jungle paths
full of wild animals or by boats when the river used to be infested with pirates has been
vividly depicted in Kapal Kundala, a famous novel by the great savant Bankim Chandra
Chatterjee, and the immortal bard Rabindra Nath Tagore in his poem "Devatar
Grash" (the might jaws of God).