The most crucial and holy river of India is river Ganges. It’s the most sacred river of India, a dip in its holy waters is a must for Hindus. The river has its origin on the Gangotri glacier which flows from the cave of Gaumakh in the south-east Himalayas. The Ganges river basin is among the most fertile and densely populated in the world and covers an area of 643000 sq kms.
The greatest tributary of the river is the Ghaghara, which flows from the northern Nepal region and joins it before Patna in Bihar. Another important tributary is the Yamuna native to the Yamunotri glacier and flows through Delhi and Agra. It’s many tributaries, and the water of Ganges is considered so pure that individuals keep it at home and uses it during any puja. The holy Yamuna originates in Saptarishi Kund, a glacial lake in the Himalayas and considered more sacred than the Ganges because of its association with Lord Krishna and his childhood days. It rises from the Yamunotri glacier in the Tehri Garhwal district in the Himalayas; the Yamuna flows parallel to the Ganges until they meet at Allahabad.The incorruptible Varanasi on the banks of Ganges is among the most crucial pilgrimages for Hindus and Buddhists. At Varanasi, the Ganges river flows from south to north, ie. Backwards towards its origin in the Himalayas, considered a most auspicious phenomenon by Hindus. Varanasi indeed offers incredible India at its cultural and religious zenith.
Pilgrimage sites are especially significant along the river. In the confluence of the Ganges and the Tamuna tributary near Allahabad, a bathing festival in January and Feb attracts tens of thousands of pilgrims. Other holy sites seen during the journey of the river is Haridwar, the place where the Ganges leaves the Himalayas, and Allahabad, where the mythical Saraswati river is believed to enter the Ganges. The Ganges water is regarded as holy, and Hindus discharge the ashes of their dead in the river in the confidence that this will guide the souls of the deceased straight to heaven. With the glory of Ganga, comes the pollution as well. The holy river became an agent of the worst marine diseases like dysentery, hepatitis, and cholera. Money is being raised by the government along with other groups like the Swatcha Ganga to clean the Ganges.