Annual Pitri Paksha Mela at Gaya shall commence from September 20 and shall continue till October 4. Pilgrims from all corners of the country visit Gaya for offering Pinda to their Ancestors. According to Hindu Belief, Pinda Daan gives them an ultimate relief and paves the way for their departure to the ultimate world of Peace.
According to Bihar Tourism Department estimates, some 5,00,000 to 75,00,000 pilgrims arrive in the Gaya city during the Pitri Paksha Mela every year.
At Gaya, there are 48 platforms where Pinda Daan is offered with wheat and oat flour mixed with milk. Pinda Daan is also performed symbolically with mud balls. Presently, Pinda Daan is performed at Vishnupad Temple on banks of Falgu River, Akshaya Vat, Bank of Punpun river, Ramkund, Sitakund, Brahm Mangalpuri, Kagbala.
According to Hindu Legends, when the legendary donor Karna died during Mahabharata war, his soul transcended to heaven, where he was offered gold and jewels as food. However, Karna needed real food to eat and asked Indra, the lord of heaven, the reason for serving gold as food. Indra told Karna that he had donated gold all his life, but had never donated food to his ancestors in Shraddha. Karna said that since he was unaware of his ancestors, he never donated anything in their memory. To make amends, Karna was permitted to return to earth for a 15–day period, so that he could perform Shraddha and donate food and water in their memory. This period is now known as Pitri Paksha.
This year Bihar Tourism Development Corporation has announced 10 different Tour and Travel Packages for the Pilgrims visiting Gaya. These Packages include travel from Patna, Accommodation, Food, Local Sight seeing etc.
Important Dates during Pitri Paksha 2013
- September 18- Pitri Paksha begins, Pinda Daan at Punpun River
- September 19– Pinda Daan at Falgu River
- September 20 – Pratipada Shradh
- September 21 – Dwitiya Shradh and Tritiya Shradh
- September 22 – Chaturthi Shradh
- September 24 – Panchami Shradh
- September 25 – Shasti Shradh
- September 26– Saptami Shradh
- September 27– Ashtami Shradh
- September 28– Avidhava Navami Shradh
- September 29 – Dasami Shradh
- September 30– Ekadashi Shradh
- October 1 – Dwadashi Shradh
- October 2 – Trayodashi Shradh
- October 3– Chaturdashi Shradh
- October 4– Mahalaya Amavasi