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 Ganga - A largest river in india 


Ganga - A largest river in india

India's most important river Ganga, which covers a distance of 2,510 km in India and Bangladesh, irrigates vast tracts of land from Himalayas in Uttaranchal to Sundarbans of Bay of Bengal, not only the natural wealth of the country, but also the emotional faith of the people.  also has a basis.  

It travels a long distance of 2,071 km to India and then into Bangladesh, forming a vast fertile plain with an area of ​​one million square kilometers with tributaries.  

This plain of the Ganges, which is very important from the social, literary, cultural and economic point of view, is also known for its dense population.  This river with a maximum depth of 100 feet (31 m) is considered sacred in India and is worshiped in the form of mother and goddess.  

Due to its beauty and importance, while it is mentioned repeatedly in Puranas and literature, there is no dearth of admiration and sentimental descriptions of the Ganges river in foreign literature.   Many species of fish and snakes are found in this river, rare freshwater dolphins are also found.  

It contributes significantly to the development of agriculture, tourism, adventure sports and industries and also supplies water to the towns situated on its banks.  The religious places and pilgrimages developed on its banks are a special part of the Indian social system.  The bridges, dams and river projects built over it meet India's electricity, water and agriculture related needs.  

Scientists believe that there are viruses called bacteriophages in the water of this river, which do not allow bacteria and other harmful microorganisms to survive.  Despite this unlimited purification capacity and social reverence of the Ganges, its pollution has not been stopped.  

Nevertheless, its efforts are going on and in the course of several projects of cleanliness, it was declared by the Government of India in November 2008 as the National River of India and the Ganga river waterway between Allahabad and Haldia (1600 km) as a national waterway.  has done.



The main branch of the Ganges river is Bhagirathi which originates from Gangotri glacier at a place called Gomukh of Himalayas in Kumaun.  The height of this origin of the Ganges is 3140 meters. 

 There is also a temple dedicated to Ganga ji.  Gangotri Teerth, 19 KM from the city.  

Towards the north is the mouth of this glacier at an altitude of 3892 m (12,770 ft).  

 This glacier is 25 kms.  long and 4 km  wide and about 40 m.  is high.  From this glacier, Bhagirathi descends on a small cave-like mouth.  Its water source is 5000 m.  There is a basin located at the height.  

The origin of this basin lies in the peaks of the Santopantha on the western slope.  3600 m on the way to Gaumukh.  The huge Gomukh glacier is visible from the high Chirbasa village.  In this glacier, the snow of Nanda Devi, Kamat mountain and Trishul mountain melts.  

Although many small streams have contributed in taking the shape of the Ganges, but the geographical and cultural importance of 6 major and their tributary 5 small streams is more.  

The tributaries of Alaknanda river are Dhauli, Vishnu Ganga and Mandakini.  Dhauli Ganga meets Alaknanda at Vishnu Prayag.  It is 1372 m.  is situated at an altitude of .  Then 2805 m.  The Alaknanda meets the Nandakini river at the higher Nand Prayag. 

 After this, Alaknanda meets with Karna Ganga or Pindar river at Karna Prayag.  Then 139 km from Rishikesh.  The Alaknanda meets the Mandakini at Rudra Prayag, located far away.  

After this Bhagirathi and Alaknanda confluence at Dev Prayag situated at 1500 feet, from here this combined water-stream flows forward in the name of river Ganges.  These five Prayag are collectively called Panch Prayag. 

 Thus 200 kms.  After passing the narrow mountain path, the Ganges river touches the plains for the first time in Haridwar via Rishikesh.

Gangetic plain

About 800 KM from Haridwar.  While traveling through the plains, the Ganges reaches Allahabad (Prayag) via Garhmukteshwar, Soron, Farrukhabad, Kannauj, Bithoor, Kanpur.  Here it meets with the Yamuna River.  

This Sangam site is an important pilgrimage site for Hindus.  It is called Teerthraj Prayag.  After this, the Ganges takes a curve in Kashi (Varanasi), the main salvation city of Hinduism, from which it is called Uttarvahini here.  From here it reaches Pakur via Mirzapur, Patna, Bhagalpur.  

Meanwhile, many tributaries join it like Son, Gandak, Ghaghara, Kosi etc. It is southward from the hills of Rajmahal in Bhagalpur.  Near Giria place in Murshidabad district of West Bengal, the river Ganges splits into two branches - Bhagirathi and Padma. The Bhagirathi river starts flowing south from Giria while the Padma river flows south-east to filter through Farakka barrage (built 1974).  enters Bangladesh. 

 From here the deltaic part of the Ganges begins.  From Murshidabad city to Hooghly city, the name of the Ganges is Bhagirathi river and from Hooghly city to its mouth, the name of the Ganges is Hooghly river.  

This plain of the Ganges is basically a geomorphic trough, which was formed mainly in the third phase of the Himalayan range formation process, about 6-40 million years ago.  Since then it is being bridged by sediments brought with them by the Himalayas and the rivers originating from the peninsula.  

The average depth of alluvium in these plains is 1000 to 2000 m.  Erosion and depositional topographies formed during the maturity of the river in this plain, such as sand-rodka, fissures, bunk lakes and cavernous rivers are found.   In this valley of the Ganges, such a civilization originated and developed, whose ancient history is very glorious and glorious.  

Where such a ray of knowledge, religion, spirituality and civilization-culture erupted, which illuminated not only India but the whole world.  Many evidences of the birth and development of the Stone Age have been found here.  It is in this valley that the era of Ramayana and Mahabharata originated and merged. 

 Information about the Ganga valley of the later Vedic period is obtained from the events described in Shatapatha Brahmana, Panchavisha Brahmana, Gaupatha Brahmana, Aitareya Aranyaka, Kaushitaki Aranyaka, Sankhyayan Aranyak, Vajasneyi Samhita and Mahabharata etc. 

The ancient Magadha Mahajanapada originated in the Ganges valley from where the tradition of republics started for the first time in the world.  It was here that the golden age of India developed when the Maurya and Gupta dynasty kings ruled here.

Sundarvan Delta

The Hooghly river confluences with the ocean in the Indian part of the Sundarbans via Kolkata, Howrah.  The Jamuna river and the Meghna river meet at Padma, a branch of the Brahmaputra. 

 Ultimately it is 350 kms.  Going into the Chadarsundarvan delta, it merges with the ocean in the Bay of Bengal.  This delta is a flat and low plain formed over 1,000 years by new alluvium brought by the Ganges and its tributaries. 

 There is a famous Hindu pilgrimage at the confluence of the Ganges and the Bay of Bengal, which is called the Ganges-Sagar-Sangam. The world's largest delta (Sundarvan) is home to many famous flora and the famous Bengal tiger. The delta is slowly moving towards the ocean. 

 Some time ago Kolkata was located on the sea coast and the ocean extended to Rajmahal and Sylhet, but now it is spread over an area of ​​about 1,80,000 square kilometers, located 15–20 miles (24–32 km) from the coast.  When the delta extends continuously towards the sea, it is called a progressive delta.

  Due to which the size of the delta increases and many streams and sub-sections of the river are formed.  The major branch rivers of the Ganges thus formed are Jalangi River, Ichhamati River, Bhairav ​​River, Vidyadhari River and Kalindi River.  

Due to the curvilinear flow of the rivers, many arched lakes have been formed in the southern part.  The slope is north to south, so most of the rivers flow from north to south.  These rivers are also called tidal rivers because of the flood water in these rivers at the time of tide.  The reason for reaching the salt water of the sea in the far southern part of the delta is that this part is low, salty and marshy and is full of forests of the mangrove species that grow here easily.  

This delta is more famous for rice cultivation.  It is the world's largest producer of raw jute. Katka Sanctuary is one of those areas of the Sundarbans where the road passes through small canals.  A large number of Sundari trees are found here, on whose name these forests are named Sundarbans. 

 Apart from this, there are such species of trees like Deva, Kevada, Tarmaja, Amlopi and Goran, which are found in the Sundarbans.  A special feature of the forests here is that only those trees can grow or survive here, which can live in a mixture of sweet and salt water.


The main tributaries of the Ganges coming from the north are Yamuna, Ramganga, Karnali (Ghaghara), Tapti, Gandak, Kosi and Kakshi and the major rivers coming from the plateau in the south are Chambal, Son, Betwa, Ken, Southern Tos.  etc.  

Yamuna is the most important tributary of the Ganges, which originates from the Yamunotri iceberg at the base of the Bandarpunch peak of the Himalayas.  Tons in the upper part of the Himalayas and later on coming to the Lesser Himalayas, the Giri and Asan rivers meet in it.  

Chambal, Betwa, Sharda and Ken are tributaries of Yamuna.  Chambal joins Yamuna near Etawah and Betwa near Hamirpur.  The Yamuna joins the Ganges from the left side near Allahabad.  

The Ramganga originates from the southern part of the main Himalayas near Nainital and flows through Bijnor district and joins the Ganges near Kannauj.  

The Karnali river originates from the glacier named Mpsatung and joins the Ganges near the border of Ballia district via Ayodhya, Faizabad.  This river is called Kauriala in the mountainous part and Ghaghara in the plains. Gandak originates from the Himalayas and flows through the name of Shaligram in Nepal and gets the name of Narayani river in the plains.

  It flows with the water of Kali Gandak and Trishul rivers and joins the Ganges near Sonpur.  The main stream of Kosi is Arun which originates from the north of Gosai Dham.  The Arun river flows in a circular form from the south of the basin of the Brahmaputra where the river Yaru joins it.  After this, flowing through the Kangchenjunga peaks of the Himalayas, it flows 90 km towards the south, where the rivers Sunkosi from the west and Tamur Kosi from the east join it.

 After this, it crosses the Shivalik and descends into the plain by the name of the Kosi river and joins the Ganges flowing through the state of Bihar.  Originating from the Amarkantak hill, the Son river joins the Ganges near Patna.  Emerging from Janayab mountain near Mau in Madhya Pradesh, Chambal river joins Yamuna river at a distance of 38 km from Etawah.  

Betwa river originates from Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh and joins Yamuna near North Hamirpur.  Banslai, Dwarka, Mayurakshi, Roopnarayan, Kansavati and Rasulpur are prominent among the many rivers that meet the right bank of the Bhagirathi river.  

Jalangi and Matha Bhanga or Chuni meet on the left bank which were in the past the branch rivers of Ganga or Padma.  But at present, they have become rainy rivers after being separated from the Ganges.


It is known from historical evidence that the Ganga-Yamuna region was covered with dense forests till the 16th and 17th centuries.

  In these forests, wild elephants, buffaloes, rhinos, lions, tigers and cows were hunted.  Due to its calm and friendly environment, the coastal region of the Ganges has a world of colorful birds in its zenith.  

It has 140 species of fish, 35 reptiles and 42 mammal species found on its coast.  In the excellent ecological structure here, many species of wildlife like Nilgai, Sambar, Rabbit, Mongoose, Chinkara along with reptile-class animals are also found shelter. 

 There are many such species of animals in this area which have been declared protected due to being rare.  Langurs, red monkeys, brown bears, foxes, leopards, snow leopards, deer, barking deer, sambar, musk deer, sero, bard deer, porcupine, tahr etc. are found in large numbers on the mountain banks of the Ganges.  Butterflies and insects of different colors are also found here.

  Under the pressure of increasing population, the forests are gradually disappearing and agriculture is everywhere in the Ganges valley, yet many species of deer, wild boar, wild cats, wolf, jackal, fox are found in large numbers in the Gangetic plain.  are found.  

Two species of dolphins are found in the Ganges.  Which are known as Ganga Dolphin and Irrawaddy Dolphin.  Apart from this, the Ganges is also famous because of the shark found in the Ganges, in which there is a lot of interest of the scientists of the world due to the shark found in the flowing water.

  The estuary formed at the meeting point of this river and the Bay of Bengal is known as the Sundarbans, which is home to many of the world's famous flora and the famous Bengal tiger.

Economic Importance

The Ganges contributes heavily to the agriculture of India and Bangladesh in its tributaries, it is also a perennial source of irrigation for a large area, including its tributaries.  

The main crops grown in these areas are mainly paddy, sugarcane, pulses, oilseeds, potato and wheat.  Which are important sources of agriculture in India today.  Due to the marshes and lakes in the coastal areas of the Ganges, there is a good crop of legume, chilli, mustard, sesame, sugarcane and jute here.  Fishing industry also runs in full swing in the river.  

The Ganges river system is the largest river system in India.  There are about 375 fish species available in it.  The availability of 111 fish species in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar has been reported by the scientists.  The construction of Farakka Dam has helped in the production of Hilsa fish in the Ganges River.  The importance of Ganga is also due to the income based on tourism.  

There are many historically important and natural beauty tourist places on its coast which are an important source of national income.  Rafting camps are organized on the river Ganges.  Those who contribute to India's economic cooperation through adventure sports and environment.  Haridwar, Allahabad and Varanasi are the three big cities on the banks of the Ganges, which have a special place in pilgrimage sites.  

Due to this, the large number of devotees remains constant here and contributes significantly to religious tourism.  In the summer season, when the snow melts from the mountains, then the quantity and flow of water in the river is good, at this time rafting, kayaking and canoeing camps are organized between Kaudiyala to Rishikesh on Rishikesh-Badrinath road in Uttarakhand,  Which plays an important role in India's economic cooperation by specially attracting adventure lovers and tourists.

Dam & River Projects

Many dams built on the Ganges river are an important part of Indian life and economy.  Prominent among these are Farakka Dam, Tehri Dam, and Bhimgoda Dam.  The Farakka Dam (barrage) is built on the Ganges River in the Indian state of West Bengal.  

This dam was constructed to free the Kolkata port from silt, which was a major problem of this port from 1950 to 1960.  Kolkata is a major port situated on the Hooghly River.  To maintain the flow of Hooghly river in summer season, a large part of the water of river Ganges is diverted into Hooghly river by Farakka dam.  

Tehri Dam, the second major dam built on the Ganges, is a primary dam of the Tehri Development Project, which is located in Tehri district of Uttarakhand state.  This dam is built on the Bhagirathi, a major tributary of the Ganges River.  The height of Tehri Dam is 261 meters which makes it the fifth tallest dam in the world.  From this dam it is proposed to generate 2400 MW of electricity, irrigate 270,000 hectare area and provide 102.20 crore liters of drinking water per day to Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal.  

The third major dam Bhimgoda Dam is located in Haridwar, which was built by the British in 1840 to divide the water of the Ganges River and divert it into the Upper Ganga Canal.  This canal originates from the right bank of the river Ganges from a place called Bhimgoda in Haridwar.  Initially, the water supply in this canal was done by constructing a temporary dam in the river Ganges.  

The temporary dam used to break as soon as the rainy season started and water was carried in the canal during monsoon period.  In this way, only Rabi crops could be irrigated by this canal.  Bhimgoda Barrage was constructed in the period 1978-1984 in the downstream of the temporary dam construction site.  After its construction, water was also supplied to the Kharif crop from the upper Ganges canal system.

Pollution and Environment

The Ganges river is known all over the world for its purifying power.  There is also a scientific basis for the recognition of its purification, prevalent for a long time.  Scientists believe that there are viruses called bacteriophages in the water of this river, which do not allow bacteria and other harmful microorganisms to survive.  

The water of the river has an extraordinary ability to maintain the amount of oxygen (oxygen).  But the reason for this is still unknown.  According to a national public radio programme, this greatly reduces the risk of diseases such as cholera and dysentery, thereby averting the possibility of epidemics to a large extent.  

But the pollution of the Ganges has been a matter of concern for the Government of India and the public for the last several years, due to the filth of the drains of the densely settled industrial cities on the banks of the Ganges directly into the Ganges River.  Along with industrial waste, the abundance of plastic waste has also polluted the Ganga water immensely. 

 According to scientific investigation, the biological oxygen level of Ganga has increased from 3 degrees (normal) to 6 degrees.  2 crore 90 lakh liters of polluted waste is falling in the Ganges every day.  According to the World Bank report, the cause of 12 percent of diseases in Uttar Pradesh is polluted Ganga water.  It is a matter of grave concern that the Ganges water was neither fit for bathing nor potable nor for irrigation.  

The defeat of the Ganges would mean the end of our entire civilization.  The help of alligators is being taken to control the increasing pollution in the Ganges.  Plants are being set up to clean the city's filth and laws have been enacted to prevent industrial waste from falling into it.  

In this sequence, Ganga has also been declared as a National Heritage and Ganga Action Plan and National River Conservation Plan have been implemented.  However, its success has also been questioned.  The public has also become aware of this subject.  Along with this, efforts are also being made to ensure that religious sentiments are not hurt. 

 Despite all this, there is a cloud of crisis over the existence of Ganga.  According to a 2007 United Nations report, the glaciers that supply water to the Ganges in the Himalayas are likely to end by 2030.  After this, the flow of the river will remain seasonal depending on the monsoon.

Religious Significance

In many religious concepts of India, the river Ganges has been depicted as a goddess.  Many holy pilgrimage places are situated on the banks of river Ganges, of which Varanasi and Haridwar are the most prominent.

  The river Ganges is considered the most sacred of the holy rivers of India and it is believed that bathing in the Ganges destroys all the sins of a human being. [22] After death, people immerse their ashes in the Ganges to attain salvation.  

Considered necessary, some people even wish to immersion or perform funeral rites on the banks of the Ganges.   People offer prayers and meditate on its ghats.  Gangajal is considered holy and it is necessary to have it in all the rituals.  Gangajal is also considered an nectar in Panchamrit.  

Many festivals and festivals are directly related to Ganga.  For example, during Makar Sankranti, Kumbh and Ganga Dussehra, it is considered very important to take a bath in the Ganges or just have darshan.  Many famous fairs are organized on its banks and many famous temples are built on the banks of the Ganges. 

 According to the Mahabharata, only in Prayag, in the month of Magh, there is a confluence of three crore ten thousand pilgrimages at the confluence of Ganga-Yamuna.  These pilgrimage sites establish cultural unity throughout India. 

 Many devotional texts have been written targeting Ganga.  In which Sri Ganga Sahasranamastotram and Aarti are the most popular.  Many people use them with reverence in their daily lives.  Temples and idols of Ganga are also established at Gangotri and other places, after seeing which devotees consider themselves grateful. 

Panch Prayag of Uttarakhand and Prayagraj which is located in Allahabad are the famous confluence places of Ganga where it meets other rivers.  All these Sangams are considered to be religiously revered.

Mythological Story

There are many mythological stories associated with the Ganges River.  According to myths, Brahma created the Ganges from the sweat droplets of Vishnu's feet.  It was considered sacred because of the touch of two members of the Trinity.  According to another legend, King Sagara magically obtained sixty thousand sons. 

 One day King Sagara performed a yajna to conquer Devalok.  The horse was necessary for the sacrifice, which was stolen by the jealous Indra.  Sagara sent all his sons in search of a horse, in the end, he found the horse in Hades, which was tied near a sage.  Sagara's sons insulted the sage thinking that the sage was the reason for the horse's disappearance.  

The sage, absorbed in penance, opened his eyes after thousands of years and all the sixty thousand sons of Sagara were burnt to ashes there by his anger.  Sagar's son Anshuman made an unsuccessful attempt to emancipate the souls and later Anshuman's son Dilip also did.  Bhagirath was the son of King Dileep's second wife.  He performed the last rites of his ancestors. 

 He vowed to bring Ganga to earth so that after performing her last rites, the ashes could be flown in the Ganges water and the wandering souls could go to heaven.  Bhagiratha did severe penance for Brahma so that Ganga could be brought to earth.  Brahma was pleased and was ready to send Ganga to earth and ordered Ganga to go to earth and then to Hades so that the salvation of the souls of Sagara's sons could be possible. 

 Then Ganga said that when I will fall on the earth from such a height, then how will the earth be able to bear so much velocity?  Then Bhagirath appealed to Lord Shiva, and he, stopping the velocity of the Ganges in his open hairs, opened a braid, from which the uninterrupted stream of the Ganges flowed on the earth.  That stream followed Bhagirath to the Ganges Sagar Sangam, where Sagar-sons were saved.  

With the touch of Shiva, the Ganges became more pure and became the center of great reverence for the people of the earth.  According to the Puranas, Ganga is called Mandakini in heaven and Bhagirathi in Patala.  Similarly, there is a legend about the marriage of King Shantanu and Ganga and the birth of their seven sons.

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