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“Ganga” The Holiest river

The Ganges River, often known as the Hindu Ganga river, is a large river in the northern Indian subcontinent’s plains. Although it is known as the Ganga in Hindi and other Indian languages, it is more often recognized as the Ganges in the rest of the world. It has been the Hindu sacred river since ancient times. For the most part, it is a large and slow stream that flows through one of the world’s most productive and highly inhabited regions. Despite its significance, the river’s length of 2,510 km is rather short when compared to other significant rivers in Asia or the world.

The Ganga runs across Indian territory for the majority part, while its huge delta in the Bengal region, which it shares with the Brahmaputra River, is primarily in Bangladesh . The flow is typically southerly at its delta.

Ganga River System


The Ganga River rises in the southern Great Himalayas, on the Indian edge of China’s Special Administrative Region. The Bhagirathi, Alaknanda, Mandakini, Dhauliganga, and Pindar rivers all rise in the hilly terrain of northern Uttarakhand state. The two main headstreams seem to be the Alaknanda (the longer of the two), which rises about   50 kilometers north of the Himalayan peak of Nanda Devi, and the Bhagirathi, which begins at about 10,000 feet above earth’s surface in a subglacial meltwater cave at the bottom of either the Gangotri Himalayan ice sheet. Gangotri is a significant site for Hindu pilgrims. However, the real origin of the Ganga is said to lie near Gaumukh.

The amount of the Ganga grows significantly as it absorbs more tributaries and reaches an area with greater rainfall, and its flow varies significantly seasonally. Melting Himalayan snows feed the river from April to June, while rain-bearing monsoons bring flooding from July to September. The river’s flow decreases throughout the winter. The river receives two major right-bank waterways south of Haridwar, now within the state of Uttar Pradesh: the Yamuna River, which flows through the Delhi capital region and then approximately parallels the Ganga river southeastward flow prior to actually having joined it just above Prayagraj (Allahabad), and the Tons, which passes southeast again from Vindhya Range in states of Madhya Pradesh and reunites the Ganga right beneath Prayagraj.

The Ganga, together with its branches and distributaries, is always subject to shifts in its path in the delta region. Such developments have happened in recent decades, particularly after 1750. 

There is a large length of coastal mangrove trees and floodplains on the delta’s seaward edge. The Sundarbans area is protected for conservation purposes by India and Bangladesh. Each country’s Sundarbans region has been named a UNESCO World Heritage site, with India’s in 1987 and Bangladesh’s in 1997.

Layers of mud, made up from forest flora and rice plants, can be found in some places of the delta. Mud, that is still in the process of creation in numerous natural furrows known as bills, has been utilized as a fertilizer by local farmers, as well as dried and used as a home and industrial fuel.

The Ganga delta’s southern surface was produced by the fast and short erosion of massive quantities of material. To the east, the oceanic side of Ganga’s delta is rapidly changing due to the creation of new coal and new islands. The delta’s western shore, on the other hand, has remained virtually untouched since the 18th century.


The Ganga basin is about 1,086,000 square kilometers in size and comprises the greatest river system on the subcontinent. The water system is partly dependent on rainfall provided by southwesterly monsoon winds from July to October, as well as meltwater from Himalayan snowfall during the hot season from April to June. Precipitation in the river basin is brought on by monsoon season winds, but it is also carried on by tropical cyclones which form in the Bengal Sea from June and October. In December and January, there is little rain. The average annual precipitation ranges from 30 inches in the west too much more than 90 inches in the southeast.

Because there is no change in height over the Gangetic Plain, the river’s flow rate is modest. The height lowers barely 700 feet seen between the Yamuna River in Delhi as well as the Bay of Bengal, a distance of over 1,600 kilometres. The Ganga-Brahmaputra plains cover a total area of 800,000 square km. The plain’s granular layer, which is more than 6,000 feet thick in certain places, is perhaps less than 10,000 years old.

The water supply is mainly dependent on rainfall provided by southwesterly monsoon winds from July to October, as well as meltwater from Himalayan snows during the hot months from April to June. Precipitation in the river basin is brought on by southwest monsoon winds, as well as brought on by tropical cyclones that form in the Bay of Bengal during June and October.  The average annual rainfall ranges from 30 inches in the west to even more than 90 inches in the east.

There is no change in relief over the Gangetic Plain, the river’s flow rate is modest. The height lowers barely 700 feet between both the Yamuna River in Delhi and the Bay of Bengal, a distance of approximately 1,000 miles. The Ganga-Brahmaputra lowlands cover an area of 800,000 square kilometers. The plain’s alluvial mantle, which is more than 6,000 feet and 1,800 meters thick in some places, is perhaps or less 10,000 years old.

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The Gangetic Plain has seen the construction of several cities. Some of the most remarkable are Saharanpur, Meerut, Agra (the district of the renowned Taj Mahal , Mathura (esteemed as the birthplace of the Hindu god Krishna), Aligarh, Kanpur, Bareilly, Lucknow, Prayagraj, Varanasi (Benares or Kashi; the sacred site of the Hindus), Patna, Bhagalpur,  Kolkata,   Dhaka,  and Barisal.

Kolkata and its satellite towns extend for roughly 80 kilometers along both branches of the Hugli, producing one of India’s most major cities for people, trade, and industry.

The Ganga may have more religious significance compared to any other river in the world. It has been cherished since ancient times and is now considered the purest of rivers by Hindus. While Hindu pilgrimage sites may be found throughout the country, those along the River have special significance. Amongst these is the confluence of the Ganga and the Yamuna in Prayagraj, where a bathing festival, or mela, is conducted in January and February; hundreds of thousands of people immerse themselves in the river during the event. Varanasi and Haridwar are two other sacred destinations for dipping. The Hugli River in Kolkata is similarly revered.

Other pilgrimage sites along the Ganga are Gangotri and the Himalayan intersection of the Alaknanda and Bhagirathi headstreams. Hindus believe that casting the ashes from their dead into the river allows the departed straight entrance to heaven, and cremation ghats (shrines at the top of riverfront stairs) for smoking the dead have been constructed in numerous sites along the Ganges.


The Ganga and certain of its tributaries, particularly in the east, were key transit routes in ancient times. The Ganga and its major tributaries were being traversed in the 4th century BCE, according to Megasthenes. Irrigation systems had become the principal of the water-transport system by the nineteenth century. The introduction of paddle steamers changed inland transportation, the expansion of indigo production in Bihar and Bengal. Regular steamboat services ran from Kolkata to Prayagraj and even beyond, as well as to Agra through the Yamuna and the Brahmaputra.

Waterways are still used to carry jute, tea, grain, and other agricultural and rural products in West Bengal and Bangladesh. In Bangladesh, the main river ports are Chalna, Khulna, Barisal, Chandpur, Narayanganj, Goalundo Ghat, Sirajganj, Bhairab Bazar,  in India, Kolkata, . The division of British India into India and Pakistan in 1947—with eastern Bengal becoming East Pakistan until it claimed independence as Bangladesh in 1971—caused far-reaching changes, effectively terminating the substantial commerce in tea and jute previously brought to Kolkata by inland river from Assam.


The Ganges River, also known as the Hindi Ganga River, flows across northern India and Bangladesh. It is held sacred by Hindus and is formed by five headstreams that rise in the Uttaranchal state. It runs southeast across the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and West Bengal on its 2,510-kilometer route. The rivers Brahmaputra and Meghna join together in central Bangladesh.

Their aggregate waters (known as the Padma River) drain into the Bay of Bengal, forming a delta that is divided by India and Bangladesh. Its plains are among the world’s most fertile and highly inhabited areas. Every year, millions of Hindus bathe in the river at designated sacred sites . Many people scatter their loved one’s ashes in its waters, and cremation is also popular.

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