GANGA : The Lifeline of India
Here we will know more about river Ganga : The lifeline of India. And also about holy cities situated on the bank of Ganga river.
The Ganges, or Ganga, is a trans-boundary river of Asia and flow almost through entire India. The Ganges is one of the major rivers of the Indian subcontinent which flows from east through the Gangetic Plain of northern India into Bangladesh.
The river rises around 2,510 km in the western Himalayas in the Uttarakhand state of India and drains into the Sunderbans delta in the Bay of Bengal.
The Ganges is a lifeline to millions who live along its course. It is the most sacred river to Hindus, and worshiped as the goddess Ganga in Hinduism. It has been important historically: many former provincial or imperial capitals (such as Patliputra, Kannauj, Kara, Kashi, Allahabad, Murshidabad, Munger, Baharampur, Kampilya and Kolkata) have been located on its banks.
The basins of Ganga drain around 1,000,000 square kilometres and support one of the world’s highest densities of humans.
Let us study more about the Ganga River and from which place it originated.
The Ganga is the river of Asia that rises in the western Himalayas and flows through India and Bangladesh. When it enters West Bengal, it splits into the Padma and the Hooghly. The Padma River goes through Bangladesh and finally into the Bay of Bengal. The Hooghly River goes through various districts of West Bengal and finally flows into the Bay of Bengal.
No doubt Ganga is considered a central part of Indian tradition, life and culture. It is included in the four largest rivers of India. These four rivers are: Indus, Brahmaputra, Ganga and Godavari.
The River Ganga is the world’s third largest river on the basis of discharge of water and considered as most sacred.
It is believed that the Bhagirathi River is the source Stream of the Ganga River. It originates from Gaumukh, which is located at the base of Gangotri and Khatilang glaciers in Uttarakhand. The Bhagirathi River is a Himalayan River which flows in Uttarakhand state of Uttarakhand. It is one of the two headstreams of the pious Ganga River. Its length is 205 km and has a basin of 6,921 sq km.
Gaumukh is about 18 km from the town of Gangotri and regarded as the birthplace of Ganga on earth. At Gangotri, there is a Ganga temple which is famous as Chota Char Dham temple in Garhwal.
The name of Bhagirathi is named after the ancient king Bhagirath, who performed penance to bring her down from the heavens. It is believed that bathing in this water brings deliverance from sins committed in the present and past births. Did you know that during winters when the Temple is closed due to the heavy snowfall, the idol of the Goddess is kept at the Mukhab village near Harsil.
Do you know these facts about River Ganga : The Lifeline of India ?
- Ganges river dolphins once lived in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna and Karnaphuli-Sangu river systems of Nepal, India, and Bangladesh. But the species is extinct from most of its early distribution ranges. The Ganges river dolphin can only live in freshwater and is essentially blind.
- Compared to other rivers, the river Ganga has more than 25% oxygen level.
- It is said that the water of Ganga has special power to fight with bacteria.
- The water of the Ganges never deteriorates.
- A special research in Delhi’s Research Centre has found that mosquitoes cannot be born in Ganga water.
- British laboratory found that if bacteria were mixed in the Ganges water, then all the bacteria would die within 3 hours.
- D.S. Bhargava, University of Environment Engineer Roorkee studied and found that Ganga is the only river in the world which can disintegrate organic waste 15 to 25 times faster than other rivers all over the world.
- Ganga and Brahmaputra are the largest river delta in the world, spread over an area of 59,000 sq. Km.
- In the past few decades, the Ganga has moved up to 500 meters from its original course in Haridwar. Since 1990, in Bihar also some parts of the river have moved back from its original course up to 2.5 km.
Now let’s talk about some important holy cities which is situated on the bank of the GANGA : Lifeline of India.
Varanasi is a city in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh dating to the 11th century B.C. Regarded as the spiritual capital of India, the city draws Hindu pilgrims who bathe in the Ganges River’s sacred waters and perform funeral rites. Along the city’s winding streets are some 2,000 temples, including Kashi Vishwanath, the “Golden Temple,” dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva.
Allahabad, officially known as Prayagraj, and also known as Illahabad and Prayag, is a city in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is the administrative headquarters of Allahabad district—the most populous district in the state and 13th most populous district in India. The city lies close to Triveni Sangam, “three-river confluence”, original name – Prayag, “place of sacrifice or offering” – which lies at the sangam (confluence) of the Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati rivers, a propitious place to conduct sacrifices. It plays a central role in Hindu scriptures.
Haridwar , also spelled Hardware, is a city and municipality in the Haridwar district of Uttarakhand, India. With a population of 228,832 in 2011, it is the second largest city in the state and the largest in the district.
The city is situated on the right bank of the Ganga river, at the foothills of the Shivalik ranges. Haridwar is regarded as a holy place for Hindus, hosting important religious events and serving as a gateway to several prominent places of worship.
Most significant of the events is the Kumbha Mela, which is celebrated every 12 years in Haridwar. During the Haridwar Kumbh Mela, millions of pilgrims, devotees, and tourists congregate in Haridwar to perform ritualistic bathing on the banks of the river Ganges to wash away their sins to attain Moksha.
Patna is an ancient city that sprawls along the south bank of the Ganges River in Bihar, northeast India. The state capital, it’s home to Bihar Museum, a contemporary landmark exhibiting bronze sculptures and old coins from the region. Nearby, Indo-Saracenic–style Patna Museum displays a casket believed to contain the Buddha’s ashes. Close to the river, the Golghar is a domed colonial granary overlooking the city.
Rishikesh, also known as Hrishikesh, is a city governed by Rishikesh Municipal Corporation (since October 2017), and a tehsil in Dehradun district of the Indian state Uttarakhand. Located in the foothills of the Himalayas in northern India, it is known as the “Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas” and “Yoga Capital of the World”.
It lies approximately 25 km (16 mi) north of the city Haridwar and 43 km (27 mi) southeast of the state capital Dehradun. According to Census of India, 2011 Rishikesh had a population of 102,138 making it the seventh most populated city in the state of Uttarakhand. It is known as the pilgrimage town and regarded as one of the holiest places to Hindus. Hindu sages and saints have visited Rishikesh since ancient times to meditate in search of higher knowledge.
Kanpur is a large city in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. The city is famous for its leather and textile industries. It is the 12th most populous city in India and 11th most populous urban agglomeration. It is also the second largest city proper and the largest urban agglomeration in Uttar Pradesh. Kanpur was an important British garrison town until 1947 when India gained independence. Kanpur is the administrative headquarters of Kanpur Nagar district and Kanpur division.
Located on the west bank of the Ganges River, it is a major trade and commercial centre in North India with the first woollen mill of India, the British India Corporation established here in 1876 by Alexander McRobert. The city is widely regarded as “The Leather City of the World” and is also nicknamed as “Manchester of India”.
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