Ganges River, Himalayas Mountains, India (with Map & Photos)

The Ganges River (गंगाजी) is one of the largest rivers in South Asia and the third richest river on the planet. The Ganges originates in the Western Himalayas from the Gangotri glacier in Uttarakhand state, flows to the southeast, crossing the Indo-Gangetic plain in northern India, and flows into the Bay of Bengal, forming, together with the Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers, a delta mainly in Bangladesh, part of which covered with Sundarban forests. The river basin area is 1,060,000 km².

Himalayas Ganges River
Himalayas Ganges River

Hindus consider the Ganges to be a divine heavenly river that descended from heaven. This is partly due to the importance of the Ganges in the life of the peoples of India and Bangladesh. The Ganges Delta is the largest on the planet, and the river basin is one of the most densely populated areas on Earth, and the river water provides habitation for hundreds of millions of people.

Himalayas Ganges River
Ganges River

In addition to its direct economic significance, the Ganges personifies a complex system of religious beliefs of the peoples of North India. Hindus make pilgrimages to the river, carry out ritual ablutions, scatter the ashes of the dead in the water. There are three holy cities on the Ganges - Allahabad, Varanasi, Haridwar. However, almost the entire length of the river is concentrated innumerable Hindu religious buildings. Even the headwaters of the Bhagirathi River at an altitude of 3,700 meters is a major pilgrimage center.

The cities of the Ganges - Kanpur, Patna, Calcutta, Khulna and others - are rich in a myriad of architectural monuments, among which examples of European architecture occupy a prominent place.

Ganges River Map