Ganges River, Ganga in Hindi, is a large river in northern India and a major river in South Asia. It has been a holy river for Hindus since time immemorial. It originates from the southern foothills of the Himalayas in China and the Deccan Plateau. It flows through the states in India. After entering Bangladesh, it was renamed the Padma River, joined with the Jamuna River in Bangladesh, and finally injected into the Bay of Bengal.
Most parts of the Ganges River are board and slow flow through one of the world's most fertile and densely populated regions. Despite its importance, its 2510km length makes it short by both world and Asian standards.
The Ganges River basin is one of the most ancient birthplaces of Indian civilization. It is not only the holy river of Hinduism but also the birthplace where Buddhism arose. There are also a large number of Buddhist holy sites. You will learn more interesting facts about the Ganges River in this post.
Ganges River Introduction
The Ganges River originates in the Himalaya Mountains at Gomukh, the terminus of the Gangotri Glacier. When the ice of this glacier melts, it forms the clear waters of the Bhagirathi River. As the Bhagirathi River flows down the Himalayas, it joins the Alaknanda River, officially forming the Ganges River. The melting water from the Himalayas and water from tributaries, and rainfall all feed the long river. The Ganges flows south and east from the Himalayas and winds its way through northern India, eventually emptying into the Bay of Bengal.
The Ganges River is sacred for those who follow Hinduism. The Ganges River carries nutrient-rich sediment as it flows, depositing fertile soil along its shores. It has allowed civilizations to develop and thrive along the waterway for centuries. Today, the river flows through well-populated regions of India, providing fresh water to the millions of people living in these regions. As the river empties into the Bay of Bengal, the mouth forms the Ganges River Delta, the largest river delta in the world.
Length And Basin Size
The Ganges River has a total length of 2,700km and a drainage area of 1.06 million km2; the average annual flow at the estuary is 25,100 m³/s; of which it is 2,071km long in India, with a drainage area of 950,000 km2 and an annual average flow of 12,500 m³/s. More than four hundred million people in India live in the area that feeds the river, known as the Ganges River basin.
The Ganges River Basin is the largest river system in the South Asian subcontinent. The water supply depends to a certain extent on the rain brought by the southwest monsoon in July and the flowing water from the melting snow in the Himalayas during the hot season from April to June. The delta region often suffers from severe cyclonic storms between March and May before the rainy season and September after the rainy season ends. Some powerful storms will cause massive loss of life and destruction of homes, crops, and livestock in the Ganges basin.
The Ganges is more religiously important than any river in the world. In India, most Hindus have four great pleasures in their life:
- Worshiping Lord Shiva
- Bathing and drinking the holy water of the Ganges
- Making friends with saints
- Living in the holy city of Varanasi
Indian Buddhists also scatter the deceased's ashes into the river, believing that the deceased will go directly to heaven, and people can see many crematoriums on the banks of the Ganges.
Ancient India is one of the four ancient civilizations and once created the famous "Ganges civilization" in human history. The Ganges River, a world-famous river, is respected by the Indian people as the "Holy River" and "Mother of India." Numerous myths and religious legends constitute the unique customs on both sides of the Ganges. The Ganges River is a vital resource to Asia, but it faces many threats. Human and industrial pollutants fill the river in some areas, making it unsafe even for swimming. In the eyes of believers, the Ganges is a pure and holy river, although it is quite turbid today.