Ganga Pushkaram or Ganga River Pushkaralu comes once in every twelve years time. Ganga Pushkaram 2011 begins on 8 May and ends on 19 May 2011. The 12-day Pushkaras are very auspicious for Ganga snan and other holy rituals. It is held at Gangotri, Gangasagar, Haridwar, Badrinath, Kedarnath, Varanasi (Kashi), and Allahabad (Sangam Prayag). Ganga Pushkaras starts when Pushkara Raju (the King of Pushkaras), Brihaspathi (Guru – Jupiter) enters into Ashwini Nakshatra Mesha Rashi. Ganga Pushkarams are the most auspicious among all Pushkarams.
In Varanasi, there are 64 snan ghats for Ganga Pushkara snan. Among all, Manikarnika Ghat is the important one. There is Panchagraha kutami on May 11, 12, and 13, hence these 3 days are even more auspicious for Pushkara snana.
As per the shruthi “Brahma Vishnuscha rudrascha indradya sarva devataa pitharo rusha yasstchiava thatraiva nivasanti hee”, performing yearly Pinda daan, Pitru Tharpan, and many other pithru karmas during Pushkar time is highly meritorious.
It is to note that every year, during the transition of Brihaspati from one rashi to another, pushkarams are held for a river. In 2010, Pranahitha Pushkarams were held.