Written by Mark Cartwright, published on 27 May 2015 under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. Research Associate, Center for South Asia Studies, University of California, Berkeley. From time immemorial it has been the holy river … The Ganges flows only 200 km through the Himalayas. This image of Ganga, the Hindu goddess, shows that the Ganges river is sacred because it comes from the heavens. The history of ganga river So much have been already written about the history of the Ganga river.It is the holiest river in India. In India, the Ganga is far more than just a river. It is formed by the confluence of the rivers Bhagirathi and Alaknanda. Giant open air bas-relief in Mahabalipuram, India. The delta’s growth is dominated by tidal processes. Ganga river is also the longest river in India which originates from the bottom of the Himalayas. To the east the seaward side of the delta is being changed at a rapid rate by the formation of new lands, known as chars, and new islands. The event, involving from 70 to 100 million people, grows ever bigger and can claim to be the largest human gatherings in history. The Ganga is the most sacred river for the Hindus and is the lifeline of the millions of people living along its course. She has been a symbol of India's age long culture and civilization, ever changing , ever flowing, and yet ever the same Ganga." ALONG THE GANGES: More than 2,000 years ago, a powerful king built a fort on the banks of India’s holiest river, on the fringes of what is now a vast industrial city. Of those, the two main headstreams are the Alaknanda (the longer of the two), which rises about 30 miles (50 km) north of the Himalayan peak of Nanda Devi, and the Bhagirathi, which originates at about 10,000 feet (3,000 metres) above sea level in a subglacial meltwater cave at the base of the Himalayan glacier known as Gangotri. Cite This Work Ancient History Encyclopedia. Ganga's mother is Mena and her father is Himavat, the personification of the Himalaya mountains. Now held every three years, Hindu pilgrims of all social status perform a ritual bathing in the river which is thought to purify body and soul, wash away karma, and bring good fortune. The waters then flow through the delta region to the Bay of Bengal via innumerable channels, the largest of which is known as the Meghna estuary. Dhaka (Dacca), the capital of Bangladesh, stands on the Buriganga (“Old Ganges”), a tributary of the Dhaleswari. The Ganges is considered a tirtha which means a crossing point between heaven and earth. Last modified May 27, 2015. One day he intended to sacrifice a horse to the gods, but the horse was stolen by Indra and placed in the Underworld. It flows 2,700 km from the Himalaya mountains to the Bay of Bengal in northern India and Bangladesh. A cistern positioned above the relief could be filled on special occasions and so water trickled down the sculpture to add some three-dimensional realism to the miracle of the great Ganges arriving on earth. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? As the Ganges passes from West Bengal into Bangladesh, a number of distributaries branch off to the south into the river’s vast delta. Ghat on the Ganges River, Bithur, Uttar Pradesh, India. For most of its course the Ganges flows through Indian territory, although its large delta in the Bengal area, which it shares with the Brahmaputra River, lies mostly in Bangladesh. The Ganga is as a result of Himalayan snow. The response was to pray earnestly to Vishnu and perform ascetic acts for a thousand years. The Ancient History Encyclopedia logo is a registered EU trademark. Waters from the Ganges are also collected by believers and taken home for use in rituals and as an offering. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. The Ganges River is without a doubt the most important river to India. The northern Uttarakhand region witnesses the birth of 5 different headstreams namely Bhagirathi, Alaknanda, Mandakini, Dhauliganga and Pindar. This is a tale about the Indian holy river of Gnaga. West Bengal is the last Indian state that the Ganges enters, and, after it flows into Bangladesh, the Mahananda River joins it from the north. The Ganga river flows down the Southern end of the grand majestic Himalayas on the Indian end and the Tibetan autonomous region in China. From time immemorial it has been the holy river of Hinduism. She holds an important place in the Hindu pantheon. He holds an MA in Political Philosophy and is the Publishing Director at AHE. 07 Jan 2021. Books Pawan Kumar April 5, 2019. Wanting these ancestors to reach heaven, Bhagiratha asked Kapila how this might be achieved. The greater part of the Indo-Gangetic Plain, across which it flows, is the heartland of the region known as Hindustan and has been the cradle of successive civilizations from the Mauryan empire of Ashoka in the 3rd century bce to the Mughal Empire, founded in the 16th century. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Ganga river history, attached with the most substantial rivers of the South Asian continent. The western coastline of the delta, however, has remained practically unchanged since the 18th century. Its five headstreams—the Bhagirathi, the Alaknanda, the Mandakini, the Dhauliganga, and the Pindar—all rise in the mountainous region of northern Uttarakhand state. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Footbridge across the Ganges (Ganga) River near Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India. 0-Ganges Photo Main AP20223260836175 RESIZE.jpg. "Megacities as Sources for Pathogenic Bacteria in Rivers and Their Fate Downstream" (PDF). Rising in the Himalayas and flowing to the Bay of Bengal, the river traverses a course of more than 2,500 km through the plains of north and eastern India. International Journal of Microbiology. In Bangladesh the Ganges is joined by the mighty Brahmaputra (which is called the Jamuna in Bangladesh) near Goalundo Ghat. Add Comment. Trips are most popular in October, with the most river cruises doing this route then. The River Ganges, also known as the Ganga, flows 2,700 km from the Himalaya mountains to the Bay of Bengal in northern India and Bangladesh. A … Ganges river cruises doing this route then reeds, became Skanda says January... 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