River Ganges image courtsey: scienceclarified.com
No other river on earth commands the respect River Ganges has. For Indians it is not just a river but a goddess who appears as a human character in Indian Mythologies. No other river attracts so many pilgrims who flock to the holy river in search of salvation. For the millions a dip in this holy waters is enough to wash out all sins one had to commit during his life on earth.
The mother who purifies.
For the people of
Mother and Father.
A famous song in Hindi follows the line “Ganga meri mam ka nam, Bap ka nam Himalay; which means “Ganga is my mother’s name and the name of my father is Himalaya” That is the affection an Indian to this holy river which is referred as ‘Ganga Mayya’ meaning ‘Mother Ganges’. Lord Shiva is pictured with goddess
A rather long saga.
The 2510 km (1557 miles) journey of the
The Gangotri glazier is an important pilgrimage center for Hindus (bathing in this ice-cold water is considered very auspicious for them) is the source of River Ganges. It is a mountain lake at the height of 25,446 feet above the sea-level in the Uttarkashi area of Uttarkhand state of
With a mass of 27 cubic kms this is a massive one with a length of 30 kms and breadth of two to five kms. The terminus of the glazier resembles the face of cow and hence called Goumukh which in Sanskrit means cow-face. The main mountains which supply the glazier with water are Shivling, Thalaysagar, Meru etc. The prime source of water to the
River Ganges is actually a confluence of six rivers the first the Alakananda which meets Dhauliganga at Vishnuprayag, Mandakini (slow mover) at Nandiprayag, Pindar at Kamaprayag and the final one Bagirathi at Devaprayag from there onwards the river comes to be known as Ganges. The next most famous location is Haridwar (door to god) in the Shivalik hill ranges which is one of the most famous pilgrimage center for the Hindus.
The Kumbhmela Once in twelve years there is a grand function held in four pilgrimage places (
The ceremony is held in Prayag by observing the position of sun, moon and Jupiter when comes in alignment. In other three places also it is the astronomical positions of sun, moon and stars that are observed for fixing the occasion. It is believed that the essence of life (by consuming which immortality can be achieved) is placed in a clay pitcher in the heaven and at times when the heavenly bodies are in compromising positions a drop of the amrut (heavenly nectar) will fall on certain places and it is that time selected for the occasion. The Naga monks who parade naked is just one of the strange rituals of this occasion.
The invisble river.
From these places the river flows nonstop to
Some part as some join.
It is time for the river to bid farewell with
Meghna both distributaries of the formidable Bramhaputra that comes after circumventing the
The combined water discharge of
The Sundarban (sundarban means beautiful forest) it is said that a type of mangrove peculiar to this region which is locally known as ‘sundari’ (Heritiera fomes)is the reason for the place known by that name- fresh-water Delta is nearby to it. Sundarban is famous for the animals like the
If River Ganges is revered as a giver of life, there is no exaggeration in it as this holy river gives food, water and livelihood to millions of people and without which