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Health & Fit Ganges River flows with history and prophecy for India

07:52  11 august  2020
07:52  11 august  2020 Source:   msn.com

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The Ganges (/ˈɡændʒiːz/ GAN-jeez) or Ganga (Hindustani: [ˈɡəŋɡaː]), is a trans-boundary river of South Asia which flows through India and Bangladesh. The 2,704 km (1,680 mi) river originates from the Gangotri Glacier of western Himalayas in the Indian state of Uttarakhand

The Ganges , also known as Ganga , is the longest river in India and flows through India and Bangladesh. Have a look at its history and origin, significance, pollution and some Since the dawn of history , The Ganges has held the country’s heart captive and drawn countless millions to her banks.

ALONG THE GANGES, India (AP) — 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.

A Hindu pilgrim takes a holy dip on Makar Sankranti festival on Sagar Island, an island in the Ganges delta, in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020. For more than 1,700 miles, stretching from the Gangotri Glacier in the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal, the Ganges flows across the plains like a timeline of India's past, nourishing an extraordinary wealth of life. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) © Provided by Associated Press A Hindu pilgrim takes a holy dip on Makar Sankranti festival on Sagar Island, an island in the Ganges delta, in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020. For more than 1,700 miles, stretching from the Gangotri Glacier in the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal, the Ganges flows across the plains like a timeline of India's past, nourishing an extraordinary wealth of life. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) Mouni Baba, a Hindu holy man, fetches water from a stream at the feet of Mount Shivling in Tapovan, at an altitude of 4500 meters in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, Friday, May 10, 2019. Mouni Baba, on a silent vow, has been meditating in Tapovan for years, even during the long months when winter makes the place inaccessible. Tapovan is located just above Gangotri glacier, which is one of the primary sources of water for the Ganges. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) © Provided by Associated Press Mouni Baba, a Hindu holy man, fetches water from a stream at the feet of Mount Shivling in Tapovan, at an altitude of 4500 meters in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, Friday, May 10, 2019. Mouni Baba, on a silent vow, has been meditating in Tapovan for years, even during the long months when winter makes the place inaccessible. Tapovan is located just above Gangotri glacier, which is one of the primary sources of water for the Ganges. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

Today, little of the ancient construction remains, except for mounds of rubble that tannery workers pick through for bricks to build shanties atop what was once the fortress of the great King Yayati.

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Writer and National Geographic Fellow Paul Salopek’s Out of Eden Walk is a storytelling odyssey across the world in the footsteps of our human forebears. This is his latest dispatch from India . Near Bhagalpur, IndiaThe Ganges flows everywhere.

Ganges River plays an important role in the life of Indian people. The river is used for irrigation, transportation, and fishing and the Gangetic Plain is one of the most fertile and densely populated places on Earth. The river is referred to as “Mother Ganga ” in India , many ancient and historical

The Milky Way glows above the 6856 meters tall Bhagirathi peaks as seen from Tapovan, at an altitude of 4500 meters in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, Friday, May 10, 2019. Bhagirathi peaks feed the Gangotri Glacier, one of the origins of the river Ganges, whose glacial melt water has ensured the arid plains get enough water, even during the driest months. For more than 1,700 miles, from the Gangotri Glacier in the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal, the Ganges flows across the plains like a timeline of India’s past, nourishing an extraordinary wealth of life. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) © Provided by Associated Press The Milky Way glows above the 6856 meters tall Bhagirathi peaks as seen from Tapovan, at an altitude of 4500 meters in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, Friday, May 10, 2019. Bhagirathi peaks feed the Gangotri Glacier, one of the origins of the river Ganges, whose glacial melt water has ensured the arid plains get enough water, even during the driest months. For more than 1,700 miles, from the Gangotri Glacier in the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal, the Ganges flows across the plains like a timeline of India’s past, nourishing an extraordinary wealth of life. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

And Kanpur, where Yayati built his fort, is a city known for its leather tanneries and the relentless pollution they pump into the Ganges River.

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The Ganges River is in bad shape. Sewage flows into the water that people use to cook, bathe, and perform burial rites. India 's holy Ganges River is devastatingly polluted, yet provides drinking water for over 400 million people — here's what it looks like.

The rivers of India play an important role in the lives of the people. They provide potable water, cheap transportation, electricity, and the livelihood for many people nationwide. This easily explains why nearly all the major cities of India are located by the banks of rivers .

A Hindu holy man meditates near Gaumukh, a snout of the Gangotri Glacier at an altitude of 4000 meters in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, Saturday, May 11, 2019. Gaumukh, which literally means head of a cow, is rapidly moving backward as Gangotri Glacier has receded considerably for the last few centuries. Research has shown that Gaumukh has retreated around three kilometers in two centuries. The Gangotri glacier is one of the main sources of the River Ganges. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) © Provided by Associated Press A Hindu holy man meditates near Gaumukh, a snout of the Gangotri Glacier at an altitude of 4000 meters in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, Saturday, May 11, 2019. Gaumukh, which literally means head of a cow, is rapidly moving backward as Gangotri Glacier has receded considerably for the last few centuries. Research has shown that Gaumukh has retreated around three kilometers in two centuries. The Gangotri glacier is one of the main sources of the River Ganges. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

For more than 1,700 miles, from the Gangotri Glacier in the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal, the Ganges flows across the plains like a timeline of India’s past, nourishing an extraordinary wealth of life. It has seen empires rise and fall. It has seen too many wars, countless kings, British colonials, independence and the rise of Hindu nationalism as a political movement.

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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. Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation is a non-profit organization. For only per month you can become a member and support our mission to engage

The Ganges (also known as Ganga or Gonga), is the biggest river in the Indian subcontinent in terms of water flow . The Ganges drainage area with its productive land is helpful for the agrarian economies of Bangladesh and India . The Ganga and its tributaries function as a perpetual source of

Tourist guide Suresh Panwar navigates icy rocks as he descends a steep mountain ridge in the backdrop of the Bhagirathi peaks and the huge expanse of the Gangotri glacier at an altitude of 4500 meters in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, Saturday, May 11, 2019. Bhagirathi peaks feed the Gangotri Glacier which is one of the primary sources of water for the Ganges. This glacier has provided enough water to the arid plains it flows through, even during the driest months. Available data shows that Gangotri Glacier is receding at a frightening pace. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) © Provided by Associated Press Tourist guide Suresh Panwar navigates icy rocks as he descends a steep mountain ridge in the backdrop of the Bhagirathi peaks and the huge expanse of the Gangotri glacier at an altitude of 4500 meters in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, Saturday, May 11, 2019. Bhagirathi peaks feed the Gangotri Glacier which is one of the primary sources of water for the Ganges. This glacier has provided enough water to the arid plains it flows through, even during the driest months. Available data shows that Gangotri Glacier is receding at a frightening pace. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

In India, the Ganges is far more than just a river. It is religion, industry, farming and politics. It is a source of water for millions of people, and an immense septic system that endures millions of gallons of raw sewage.

School girls walk along a road overlooking Tehri Dam in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, Monday, May 13, 2019. The Tehri Dam built on the Bhagirathi river is India's highest dam and supplies power and water to numerous Indian towns and cities. The Bhagirathi river is one of the two sources that form the River Ganges, the other being the river Alaknanda. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) © Provided by Associated Press School girls walk along a road overlooking Tehri Dam in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, Monday, May 13, 2019. The Tehri Dam built on the Bhagirathi river is India's highest dam and supplies power and water to numerous Indian towns and cities. The Bhagirathi river is one of the two sources that form the River Ganges, the other being the river Alaknanda. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

To Hindus, the Ganges is “Ganga Ma” — Mother Ganges — and a center of spiritual life for more than a billion people. Every year, millions of Hindus make pilgrimages to the temples and shrines along its shores. To drink from it is auspicious. For many Hindus, life is incomplete without bathing in it at least once in their lifetime, to wash away theirs sins.

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Ganges River is very important for India as nearly 500 million people or nearly 10% of world population is directly or indirectly depends on the river for their livelihood. The river is used for irrigation, transportation, hydroelectricity, and fishing. Hindu mythology revere Ganges River are

VARANASI, India — For centuries, Hindus have brought their dead to banks of the Ganges River in this ancient city, with the promise that if their bodies are Transporting their souls is the goddess of the river , whose ebbs and flows have run through thousands of years of civilization. There was a time in

The confluence of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers, which is officially accepted as the start of the River Ganges, is illuminated at twilight in the town of Devprayag, in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, Monday, May 13, 2019. To Hindus, the Ganges is © Provided by Associated Press The confluence of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers, which is officially accepted as the start of the River Ganges, is illuminated at twilight in the town of Devprayag, in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, Monday, May 13, 2019. To Hindus, the Ganges is "Ganga Ma," or Mother Ganges, and millions of Hindus make pilgrimages to the temples and shrines along its shores every year. To drink from it is auspicious. For many Hindus, life is incomplete without bathing in it at least once in their lifetime, washing away their sins. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

But all is not well with the Ganges.

A man carries a bucket of water while people wash utensils, brush their teeth and bathe in the polluted waters of the river Hooghly, a distributary of the river Ganges and known as Ganga by locals, in the backdrop of the landmark Howrah Bridge in Kolkata, in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal, Friday, October 11, 2019. Once the capital of the British raj, today the seething metropolis is home to nearly 15 million people. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) © Provided by Associated Press A man carries a bucket of water while people wash utensils, brush their teeth and bathe in the polluted waters of the river Hooghly, a distributary of the river Ganges and known as Ganga by locals, in the backdrop of the landmark Howrah Bridge in Kolkata, in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal, Friday, October 11, 2019. Once the capital of the British raj, today the seething metropolis is home to nearly 15 million people. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

Pollution has left large sections of it dangerous to drink. Criminal gangs illegally mine sand from its banks to feed India’s relentless appetite for concrete. Hydroelectric dams along the river’s tributaries, needed to power India’s growing economy, have infuriated some Hindus, who say the sanctity of the river has been compromised.

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A worker who helps cremate bodies sits by the body of an elderly man, wrapped and weighed down by a large rock, before throwing the body into the river Ganges as per his final wish, on the banks of river Ganges in Varanasi, India, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. For millions of Hindus, Varanasi is a place of pilgrimage and anyone who dies in the city or is cremated on its ghats is believed to attain salvation and freed from the cycle of birth and death. Tens of thousands of corpses are cremated in the city each year, leaving half-burnt flesh, dead bodies and ash floating in the Ganges. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) © Provided by Associated Press A worker who helps cremate bodies sits by the body of an elderly man, wrapped and weighed down by a large rock, before throwing the body into the river Ganges as per his final wish, on the banks of river Ganges in Varanasi, India, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. For millions of Hindus, Varanasi is a place of pilgrimage and anyone who dies in the city or is cremated on its ghats is believed to attain salvation and freed from the cycle of birth and death. Tens of thousands of corpses are cremated in the city each year, leaving half-burnt flesh, dead bodies and ash floating in the Ganges. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

And over the past 40-some years, the Gangotri Glacier — source of almost half the Ganges' water —has been receding at an increasingly frightening pace, now losing about 22 meters (yards) per year.

Funeral pyres burn at Manikarnika Ghat, one of the oldest and most sacred place for Hindus to be cremated, on the banks of river Ganges in Varanasi, India, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. For millions of Hindus, Varanasi is a place of pilgrimage and anyone who dies in the city or is cremated on its ghats is believed to attain salvation and freed from the cycle of birth and death. Tens of thousands of corpses are cremated in the city each year, leaving half-burnt flesh, dead bodies and ash floating in the Ganges. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) © Provided by Associated Press Funeral pyres burn at Manikarnika Ghat, one of the oldest and most sacred place for Hindus to be cremated, on the banks of river Ganges in Varanasi, India, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. For millions of Hindus, Varanasi is a place of pilgrimage and anyone who dies in the city or is cremated on its ghats is believed to attain salvation and freed from the cycle of birth and death. Tens of thousands of corpses are cremated in the city each year, leaving half-burnt flesh, dead bodies and ash floating in the Ganges. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

For millennia, the Gangotri’s glacial melt water has ensured the arid plains get enough water, even during the driest months. The rest comes from Himalayan tributaries that flow from the colossal chain of mountains.

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Chemical foam caused by industrial and domestic pollution is seen flowing towards a figurine stuck in the shallow waters of Yamuna river in New Delhi, India, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2019. Despite the river being accorded the status of a living human entity by an Indian court, untreated sewage and industrial pollutants have turned it into one of the most polluted rivers in the world. The river Yamuna is one of the major tributaries of the Ganges. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) © Provided by Associated Press Chemical foam caused by industrial and domestic pollution is seen flowing towards a figurine stuck in the shallow waters of Yamuna river in New Delhi, India, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2019. Despite the river being accorded the status of a living human entity by an Indian court, untreated sewage and industrial pollutants have turned it into one of the most polluted rivers in the world. The river Yamuna is one of the major tributaries of the Ganges. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

As the Ganges flows across the plains, its once clean and mineral-rich water begins collecting the toxic waste from the millions of people who depend on it, becoming one of the most polluted rivers in the world. Millions of liters (gallons) of sewage, along with heavy metals, agricultural pesticides, human bodies and animal carcasses, are dumped into the Ganges every day.

Indian Hindu devotees prepare to immerse an idol of goddess Durga in the river Hooghly, a distributary of the river Ganges, in Kolkata in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019. Hundreds of thousands of idols are immersed into the Ganges and other rivers across the country on Durga Puja festival, causing serious concerns of environmental pollution. The Hooghly is also known as the Ganga river by locals. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) © Provided by Associated Press Indian Hindu devotees prepare to immerse an idol of goddess Durga in the river Hooghly, a distributary of the river Ganges, in Kolkata in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019. Hundreds of thousands of idols are immersed into the Ganges and other rivers across the country on Durga Puja festival, causing serious concerns of environmental pollution. The Hooghly is also known as the Ganga river by locals. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

At times, officials try to fix things but vast stretches of it remain dangerously unhealthy.

A fisherman boat moves past a floating hotel on the river Hooghly, a distributary of the river Ganges, in Kolkata, in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal, Friday, Oct. 11, 2019. Once the capital of the British raj, today the seething metropolis is home to nearly 15 million people. The Hooghly is also known as the Ganga by locals. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) © Provided by Associated Press A fisherman boat moves past a floating hotel on the river Hooghly, a distributary of the river Ganges, in Kolkata, in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal, Friday, Oct. 11, 2019. Once the capital of the British raj, today the seething metropolis is home to nearly 15 million people. The Hooghly is also known as the Ganga by locals. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

Still, to Hindus, the river remains religiously pure.

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People prepare to cremate the body of a Hindu woman on the banks of the river Ganges on the outskirts of Varanasi, one of the Hinduism's holiest cities, India, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019. For millions of Hindus, Varanasi is a place of pilgrimage and anyone who dies in the city or is cremated on its ghats is believed to attain salvation and freed from the cycle of birth and death. Tens of thousands of corpses are cremated in the city each year, leaving half-burnt flesh, dead bodies and ash floating in the Ganges. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) © Provided by Associated Press People prepare to cremate the body of a Hindu woman on the banks of the river Ganges on the outskirts of Varanasi, one of the Hinduism's holiest cities, India, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019. For millions of Hindus, Varanasi is a place of pilgrimage and anyone who dies in the city or is cremated on its ghats is believed to attain salvation and freed from the cycle of birth and death. Tens of thousands of corpses are cremated in the city each year, leaving half-burnt flesh, dead bodies and ash floating in the Ganges. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

Every year, tens of thousands of Hindus bring the bodies of their loved ones to be cremated at the Ganges, in the city of Varanasi. A Hindu who dies in the city, or is cremated alongside it, is also freed from that cycle of birth and death.

A crowd gathers for a prayer ceremony dedicated to the river Ganges in Varanasi, one of the Hinduism's holiest cities, India, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019. For millions of Hindus, Varanasi is a place of pilgrimage and anyone who dies in the city or is cremated on its ghats is believed to attain salvation and freed from the cycle of birth and death. Some of the world's largest religious congregations are marked in Varanasi, a city along the River Ganges, also known as one of the oldest continuously inhabited in the world. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) © Provided by Associated Press A crowd gathers for a prayer ceremony dedicated to the river Ganges in Varanasi, one of the Hinduism's holiest cities, India, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019. For millions of Hindus, Varanasi is a place of pilgrimage and anyone who dies in the city or is cremated on its ghats is believed to attain salvation and freed from the cycle of birth and death. Some of the world's largest religious congregations are marked in Varanasi, a city along the River Ganges, also known as one of the oldest continuously inhabited in the world. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

After Varanasi, the Ganges continues its eastward journey through endless farmland as it nears the coast, eventually splitting off into ever-smaller rivers in the great wilderness of her delta. The biggest river, the Hooghly, heads south towards the sea, passing through Kolkata, the largest city in eastern India. Once the capital of the British raj, known as Calcutta, today the seething metropolis is home to nearly 15 million people.

An elderly Hindu woman sits in solitude inside an ashram meant for those who come to die and attain salvation in Varanasi, one of Hinduism's holiest cities on the banks of river Ganges, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. For millions of Hindus, Varanasi is a place of pilgrimage and anyone who dies in the city or is cremated on its ghats is believed to attain salvation and freed from the cycle of birth and death. This has, for ages, motivated devout Hindus to make the pilgrimage to Varanasi in their final days. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) © Provided by Associated Press An elderly Hindu woman sits in solitude inside an ashram meant for those who come to die and attain salvation in Varanasi, one of Hinduism's holiest cities on the banks of river Ganges, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. For millions of Hindus, Varanasi is a place of pilgrimage and anyone who dies in the city or is cremated on its ghats is believed to attain salvation and freed from the cycle of birth and death. This has, for ages, motivated devout Hindus to make the pilgrimage to Varanasi in their final days. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

Eventually, its waters spill into the Bay of Bengal.

Hindu women walk on silt, deposited by monsoon floods, along the banks of the river Ganges to perform daily morning rituals in Varanasi, one of the Hinduism's holiest cities, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. For millions of Hindus, Varanasi is a place of pilgrimage and anyone who dies in the city or is cremated on its ghats is believed to attain salvation and freed from the cycle of birth and death. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) © Provided by Associated Press Hindu women walk on silt, deposited by monsoon floods, along the banks of the river Ganges to perform daily morning rituals in Varanasi, one of the Hinduism's holiest cities, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. For millions of Hindus, Varanasi is a place of pilgrimage and anyone who dies in the city or is cremated on its ghats is believed to attain salvation and freed from the cycle of birth and death. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

Up near the Gangotri glacier, a genial Hindu holy man who goes by the name Mouni Baba and spends much of his life in silent meditation sees all of mankind reflected in the river.

Women wash their household items by a drainage flowing into the river Ganges in Varanasi, one of the Hinduism's holiest cities, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. For millions of Hindus, Varanasi is a place of pilgrimage and anyone who dies in the city or is cremated on its ghats is believed to attain salvation and freed from the cycle of birth and death. Tens of thousands of corpses are cremated in the city each year, leaving half-burnt flesh, dead bodies and ash floating in the Ganges. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) © Provided by Associated Press Women wash their household items by a drainage flowing into the river Ganges in Varanasi, one of the Hinduism's holiest cities, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. For millions of Hindus, Varanasi is a place of pilgrimage and anyone who dies in the city or is cremated on its ghats is believed to attain salvation and freed from the cycle of birth and death. Tens of thousands of corpses are cremated in the city each year, leaving half-burnt flesh, dead bodies and ash floating in the Ganges. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

“Human existence is like this ice,” he said. “It melts and becomes water and then merges into a stream. The stream goes into a tributary which flows into a river and then it all ends up in an ocean. Some (rivers) remain pure while others collect dirt along the way. Some (people) help mankind and some become the cause of its devastation.”


Gallery: Ganges River flows with history and prophecy for India (Associated Press)

Indian food: The best dishes in each region .
The term "Indian food" covers a lot of territory. Here are the best dishes in each region of India -- north to south and east to west. The commonality? It's all delicious.However, when you travel to India, don't expect anything close to a standard menu. In this vast country, there are 29 states -- each with its own topography and traditions.

usr: 1
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