Falgu too can overflow.
The otherwise dry holy river is flowing five feet above its bed after cyclone Phailin triggered downpour on Sunday and Monday in different parts of Gaya and Jharkhand.
After more than five years the Falgu witnessed abundant flow. According to the Gaya Met office, around 149.9mm of rainfall was recorded on Sunday and Monday. This includes 145.3mm from 8.31am on October 13 to 8.30am on October 14.
Falgu is a holy river for Hindus, who throng Gaya during the Pitripaksh Mela in particular and throughout the year in general to perform pinddaan rituals seeking salvation for the souls of their ancestors.
Social activist Brijnandan Pathak, who has been arranging maha aarti of the river for the past one-and- a-half years every month and on special occasions to create awareness on keeping the river pollution-free, said: “The Falgu is a subterranean or undercurrent river where water flows below the riverbed. Normally, the riverbed remains dry throughout the year and only knee-deep water is visible during the monsoon. During summer, when there is scorching heat and the sand on the riverbed is dry if one digs one or two feet deep, water can be found.”
He added: “It is good that water is flowing on the riverbed. The underground water-level in the areas around Falgu will also get replenished.”
Suresh Narayan, another social activist who has been performing collective pinddaan during Pitripaksh, said the Falgu is very sacred. “It is a very holy river. It is believed that if one’s toe touches the river water, the souls of ancestors get salvation from the cycle of re-births. Lakhs of pilgrims arrive in Gaya to perform pinddaan or tarpan rituals using Falgu water that is dug out from the riverbed.”
The river originates near Khiriawan village on the Gaya-Bodhgaya riverside road, around 6km south of Vishnupad temple.
At Khiriawan, Niranjana (Nilanjan) and Muhane rivers unite to become the Falgu that flows around 27km towards the north and then merges with the Punpun river. Niranjana and Muhane originate near Ghodaghat in Dobhi block of Gaya.