Rivers have long been battled over and revered for the water supply they provide a nation. Wars have broken out in favour of the rivers. Some cultures, such as India consider their rivers to be sacred as a tribute to thank nature for fertilizing the land. Even though today, India is a fast-developing powerful nation, the country’s strength at one time lay in agriculture alone. The farmers held their rivers and the stream sources of water close to their heart and considered them to be the main reason for their existence. The Ganges in India is the most important of rivers in India. The river is responsible for bringing water to the entire nation from the Himalayas and is the oldest and most widespread river in the country. From the North of India to the south, the Ganges is what is responsible for the water supply. Facts wise, this river is the second highest water provider in the world, and it supplies water to over 400 million people living in India.
Important Facts About the Ganges
- The Ganges begins on the Himalayan Peak and starts at the Gangotri Glacier on the Indian side of the Himalayas. The river Bhagirathi also shoots off from here and supplies water to the state of Uttarakhand. The powerful Ganes starts at the junction where two rivers bringing water from the Glaciers join. From the Himalayan ranges downward, the Ganges creates canyons on its way to water a nation.
- The Ganges does not always flow in the same direction. It changes its direction of flow several times and forms tributary rivers along the way to the south. There are many cities, towns and villages that the Ganges provides water on its journey. The followers of Hinduism in India, a religion that is based on pure scientific facts, visit the Ganges when it touches the city of Varanasi for the healing properties that the river brings with it. Thus, giving the river a sacred position in Indian culture.
- The population that the Ganges feeds is over 400 million people today. In the past, during the Indus Valley Civilisation, and during the Harappan Civilisation, two of the most ancient civilizations in the world, the river has been recorded to have existed. The early cultures were in awe of the water and the beauty/power of the river that they worshipped it. The practice sill continues and is an essential traditional aspect of the country that has lasted centuries.
- While the beauty of the river is breathtaking and the people of India respect it and rever it, there is one thing that has plagued the river in the more recent decades – Pollution. A river feeling over a billion people in all of the country, with over 400 million people who are directly on its basin is bound to face the wrath. People offering prayers and sacred ceremonies at the river has also grown. While tradition and practice are beautiful to remember, the fact about pollution because of culture cannot be denied. There is a lot of waste as well that is being dumped into the river, and the bacteria levels are 3000 times more than what is safe for people. However, despite all this, the river continues to toil and serve the entire country.