The river Ganga is considered holy by Hindus, the river is symbolised as the goddess Ganga in ancient texts and art. One day he intended to sacrifice a horse to the gods, but the horse was stolen by Indra and placed in the Underworld. The new deposits of the delta, known in Hindi and Urdu as the khadar, naturally occur in the vicinity of the present channels. Gems of Kerala Destinations 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. Measuring 24 x 6 metres, the scene shows Ganga descending in the centre surrounded by gods, people, and animals. The southern surface of the Ganges delta has been formed by the rapid and comparatively recent deposition of enormous loads of sediment. Ganga river history, attached with the most substantial rivers of the South Asian continent. Here, in one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, there is the Hindu Golden Temple, dedicated to Shiva. Drops from the river are also dropped into the mouth before a body is cremated. "Ganges." A celebrated representation of Ganga is from a sandstone lintel of a temple at Beshnagar. History of Ganga River History of Ganga River, the national river of India, is steeped in mythology and folklore. Ganges River flows with history and prophecy for India. 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. Wanting these ancestors to reach heaven, Bhagiratha asked Kapila how this might be achieved. Although officially as well as popularly called the Ganga in Hindi and in other Indian languages, internationally it is known by its conventional name, the Ganges. The westernmost distributaries of the delta are the Bhagirathi and the Hugli (Hooghly) rivers, on the east bank of which stands the huge metropolis of Kolkata (Calcutta). The volume of the Ganges increases markedly as it receives more tributaries and enters a region of heavier rainfall, and it shows a marked seasonal variation in flow. For most of its course it is a wide and sluggish stream, flowing through one of the most fertile and densely populated regions in the world. The Ganges-Brahmaputra system has the third greatest average discharge of the world’s rivers, at roughly 1,086,500 cubic feet (30,770 cubic metres) per second; approximately 390,000 cubic feet (11,000 cubic metres) per second is supplied by the Ganges alone. It then flows onto the plain at Haridwar, another place held sacred by Hindus. The main left-bank tributaries in Uttar Pradesh are the Ramganga, the Gomati, and the Ghaghara. The goddess is often depicted in Hindu art wearing a white saree and riding a crocodile. In the Siva Purana the Ganges carries the seed of Shiva which, when carried to a clump of reeds, became Skanda. At its delta the flow is generally southward. It has seen the rise and fall of many empires. South of Haridwar, now within the state of Uttar Pradesh, the river receives its two principal right-bank tributaries: the Yamuna River, which flows through the Delhi capital region and then roughly parallels the southeastward flow of the Ganges before joining it near Prayagraj (Allahabad), and the Tons, which flows north from the Vindhya Range in Madhya Pradesh state and joins the Ganges just below Prayagraj. Ancient History Encyclopedia. To the seaward side of the delta as a whole, there is a vast stretch of tidal mangrove forests and swampland. During winter the river’s flow declines. At a tirtha, prayers and offerings are thought most likely to reach the gods and, in the other direction, blessings can descend most readily from heaven. The Ganges is considered a tirtha which means a crossing point between heaven and earth. Its most-important southern tributary is the Son River. Footbridge across the Ganges (Ganga) River near Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India. The Ganga river flows down the Southern end of the grand majestic Himalayas on the Indian end and the Tibetan autonomous region in China. Retrieved from https://www.ancient.eu/Ganges/. Most of the major civilizations have sprung on the banks of the Ganges. He had sixty thousand sons. The Ganga is the most sacred river for the Hindus and is the lifeline of the millions of people living along its course. This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon this content non-commercially, as long as they credit the author and license their new creations under the identical terms. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. The rivers’ combined suspended sediment load of about 1.84 billion tons per year is the world’s highest. Ganges River, Hindi Ganga, great river of the plains of the northern Indian subcontinent. 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. It is one of the two headstreams of the pious Ganga River. ALONG THE GANGES, India -- 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. He holds an MA in Political Philosophy and is the Publishing Director at AHE. 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