Friday, October 2, 2009

My Favorite River Ganga

I love Ganga river which is well known not only for its beauty but also for its historic importance. I can still never forget the day when my foot was gently splashed the queen of rivers, " The Ganga". It was 5 years back when i made my trip to Hrishikesh and Haridwar . This beautiful river has its origin from the very cold himalayan mountains. It was nearly 12 in the noon when i went into this river for a sacred dip. My god, i still can't believe it as it was very very cold in the afternoon when the sun is shining bright.

High up in the Garhwal Himalayas lies the Gangotri glacier, bearing ice believed to be 400 years old. The mighty Ganga emerges from beneath this glacier, at a height of 3,959 m above sea level. Here she is known as the Bhagirathi, after the legendary prince Bhagirath who is accredited with bringing her down from heaven to earth. The sacred river Ganga flows through Hrishikesh. In fact, it is here that the river leaves the Shivalik mountains Himalayas, and flows out into the plains of northern India. Several temples, ancient as well as new, can be found along the banks of the river in Hrishikesh. The city attracts thousands of pilgrims and tourists each year, from within India, as well as from other countries.

The history of Ganga is as long as the history of Indian civilization. Barring the period of Harappan civilization, Ganga basin has been the spectator to all the actions that shaped Indian mythology, history, and people. It was in this plain that the great kingdoms of Magadh, Gupta, and Mughals found their home. It was in this region that one of the most homogenous cultures of all times was born. Furthermore, it was in this place that the essence of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism was created.