Thursday, August 13, 2009

SYMBOL OF INDIA'S AGE-LONG CULTURE AND CIVILIZATION



Himalayan headwaters of the Ganges river
Tthe Indian subcontinent
Produced by the Surveyor General of India
Original uploader was Fowler&at en.wikipedia
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Ganges River is formed from five headstreams - the Bhagirathi, Mandakini, Alaknanda, Dhauliganga, and Pindar at Devaprayag in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. On its 1,560-mi (2,510-km) course, it flows southeast through the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and West Bengal. In central Bangladesh it is joined by the Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers. Their combined waters (called the Padma River) empty into the Bay of Bengal and form a delta 220 mi (354 km) wide, which is shared by India and Bangladesh. Its plain is one of the most fertile and densely populated regions in the world. Millions of Hindus bathe in the river annually at special holy places (tirthas). Many cast the ashes of their dead into its waters, and cremation temples are found along its banks in numerous places.
(Ganges River (2009) In Encyclopædia Britannica at britannica.com)


Map of Ganges (river)
© 2009 Microsoft


Morning mist
contours of the majestic Ganga at Kaudiala
white water rafting destination
Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India
Author Original uploader was Chakumar at en.wikipedia
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


A bend in the Ganges river
Garhwal hills, Uttarakhand, India
Original uploader was Fowler&fowler at en.wikipedia
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


The turbulent Bhagirathi river (foreground)
to meet the sediment-laden Alaknanda river
flow on as the Ganges, at Devprayag, Uttarakhand, India
Original uploader was Fowler&fowler at en.wikipedia
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Bhagirathi River at Gangotri, Uttarakhand, India
Author Atarax42
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Ganga, 16 December 2007
Source IMG_3950
Uploaded by Ekabhishek
Author Ajay Tallam from Milpitas, USA
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


A beach on the banks of Ganges, Rishikesh
Source Beach - Rishikesh Ganga
Uploaded by Ekabhishek
Author Abhinav Swara from Gurgaon, India
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


View of Ganges in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
Source R0010333_rishikesh#3
Uploaded by Ekabhishek
Author christian0702
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Panoramic_photography_of_rishikesh, aug2008
Author רוליג
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Ganga Canal, July 04, 2008
Source Ganga Canal
Author BOMBMAN from Mumbai, India
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


A shot of the east bank of Rishikesh, 7 December 2007
Source India-Rishikesh-024-Pan of Rishekesh along the Ganga
Uploaded by Ekabhishek
Author McKay Savage from Chennai, India
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


The Triveni Sangam is the intersection of Yamuna, Ganges,
and mythical Saraswati river, Disemberr 2005 at Allahabad, UP, India
by Neerajsingh Singraur
Author Original uploader was L1CENSET0K1LL at en.wikipedia
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


A boat sailing up the Padma River in Banglades, 25 March 2008
The main channel of the Ganges in its penultimate form
near the Ferry crossing between Dhaka & Khulna in Bangladesh
Source flickr.com, Author joiseyshowaa
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


The Ganges in its final form as the Meghna river in Bangladesh
Author Sayutee, 10 May 2006
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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. From time immemorial it has been the holy river of Hinduism. 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. Despite its importance, its length of 1,560 miles (2,510 km) is relatively short compared with the other great rivers of Asia or of the world.
Rising in the Himalayas and emptying into the Bay of Bengal, it drains a quarter of the territory of India, while its basin supports hundreds of millions of people. The Gangetic Plain, across which it flows, is the heartland of the region known as Hindustan and has been the cradle of successive civilizations from the Mauryan empire of Ashoka in the 3rd century bce down to the Mughal Empire, founded in the 16th century.
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. The general direction of the river’s flow is from northwest to southeast. At its delta the flow is generally southward.
(Ganges River (2009) In Encyclopædia Britannica at britannica.com)


Extracted from earthobservatory.nasa.gov
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


The silt deposits of the delta cover an area of 23 000 sq miles (60 000 sq km). The river courses in the delta are broad and active, carrying a vast amount of water. The rains from June to October cause most of the Bangladeshi delta region to flood, leaving the villages that are built on artificially raised land isolated. On the seaward side of the delta are swamplands and tidal forests called Sunderbans which are protected conservation areas in both Indian and Bangladeshi law. The peat found in the delta is used for fertiliser and fuel. The water supply to the river depends on the rains brought by the monsoon winds from July to October and the melting snow from the Himalayas during the period from April to June. The delta also experiences strong cyclonic storms before and after the monsoon season which can be devastating. In November 1970, for example, 200 000 - 500 000 people were killed in such storms.
The delta used to be densely forested and inhabited by many wild animals. Today, however, it has become intensely cultivated to meet the needs of the growing population and many of the wild animals have disappeared. The Royal Bengal Tiger still lives in the Sunderbans and kills about 30 villagers every year. There remains high fish populations in the rivers which provides an important part of the inhabitants' diet. Bird life in the Ganges basin is also prolific.
The people of the Ganges basin are of mixed origin. In the west and centre of the region Turks, Mongols, Afghans, Persians and Arabs intermingled with the original Aryans, while in the east and south (the Bengal area) the people originate from a mixture of Tibetan, Burman and hill peoples. Hindus regard the Ganges as the holiest of rivers. Pilgrimage sites are particularly significant along the river. At the confluence of the Ganges and and the Tamuna tributory near Allahabad a bathing festival in January and February attracts hundreds of thousands of pilgrims. Other holy pilgrimage sites along the river include Haridwar, the place where the Ganges leaves the Himalayas, and Allahabad, where the mythical Saraswati river is believed to enter the Ganges. Water from the Ganges is used to cleanse any place or object for ritual purposes. Bathing in the river is believed 'to wash away one's sins'. To bathe in the Ganga is a lifelong ambition for Hindus and they congregate in incredible numbers for the Sangam, Sagar Mela and Kumbh Mela festivals. They believe that any water that mixes with even the smallest amount of Ganges water becomes holy with healing powers. Hindus also cast the ashes of their dead in the river in the belief that this will guide the souls of the deceased straight to paradise.
(Paula Abrams at africanwater.org)


Festival bath, 1 February 2007
European woman clad in a kurti,
prepares to bathe in the Ganga during Kumbh Mela
Original caption: Oh wise Gangha, why so dirty?
Source originally posted to Flickr as festival bath
Author miramurphy
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


During the past three decades, the country's explosive growth (at nearly 1.2 billion people, India's population is second only to China's), industrialization and rapid urbanization have put unyielding pressure on the sacred stream.
Irrigation canals siphon off ever more of its water and its many tributaries to grow food for the country's hungry millions. Industries in the country operate in a regulatory climate that has changed little since 1984, when a Union Carbide pesticide plant in the northern city of Bhopal leaked 27 tons of deadly methyl isocyanate gas and killed 20,000 people.
The amount of domestic sewage being dumped into the Ganges has doubled since the 1990's; it could double again in a generation.
The result has been the gradual killing of one of India's most treasured resources. One stretch of the Yamuna River, the Ganges' main tributary, has been devoid of all aquatic creatures for at least a decade.
In Varanasi, India's most sacred city, the coliform bacterial count is at least 3,000 times higher than the standard established as safe by the United Nations world Health Organization, according to Veer Bhadra Mishra, an engineer and Hindu priest who's led a campaign there to clean the river for two decades.
(Excerpts from "A Prayer for the Ganges" by Joshua Hammer; Smithsonian; November, 2007 at wordfocus.com)


Varanasi panorama
collage of several photo's by Mirrormundo
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Varanasi (Benares) in 1922
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Dahsashvamedha ghat in Varanasi, 10 July 2007
Author Ilya Mauter
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Morning bath at Varanasi ghats, 11 July 2007
Author Ilya Mauter
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Morning at Varanasi ghats, 11 July 2007
Author Ilya Mauter
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Ganges (Ganga)
The Ganges in Varanasi
Source flickr.com
Author Babasteve
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Wall paintings, Varanasi, 1973
Image by John Hill
rom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Sunrise on the holy Ganges - Varanasi, India.
Taken by Flick user: babasteve on May 31, 2005
Uploaded to Wiki by User:Nikkul at flickr.com
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Coliform are rod-shaped bacteria that are normally found in the colons of humans and animals and become a serious contaminant when found in the food or water supply.
"Polluted river water is the biggest cause of skin problems, disabilities and high infant mortality rates," says Suresh Babu, deputy coordinator of the River Pollution Campaign at the Center for Science and the Environmet, a watchdog group in New Delhi, India's capital.
These health problems are compounded by the fact that many Hindus refuse to accept that Mother Ganga has become a source of illness.
(Excerpts from "A Prayer for the Ganges" by Joshua Hammer; Smithsonian; November, 2007 at wordfocus.com)
Pollution of the Ganges has become so serious that bathing in and drinking its water has become very dangerous. The major polluting industry along the Ganges is the leather industry especially near Kanpur, from which Chromium and other chemicals leak into the river. Another huge source of pollution is that of the nearly 1 billion litres of mostly untreated raw sewage that enters the river every day. Inadequate cremation procedures result in partially burnt or unburnt corpses floating in the river. The Ganga Action Plan (GAP) was set up in 1985 by the Indian government with British and Dutch support to build a number of waste treatment facilities. Under the GAP sewage is intercepted and water is diverted for treatment and several electrical crematoria have been built. The project is now in its second phase - GAP II.
(Paula Abrams at africanwater.org)
Varanasi is home to these four universities: Banaras Hindu University, Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth, Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies and Sampurnanand Sanskrit University. Residents mainly speak Kashika Bhojpuri, which is closely related to the Hindi language. People often refer to Varanasi as "the city of temples", "the holy city of India", "the religious capital of India", "the city of lights", and "the city of learning."
American writer Mark Twain wrote: "Benares is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together."
Varanasi is generally believed to be about 3,000 years old. Varanasi was a commercial and industrial center famous for its muslin and silk fabrics, perfumes, ivory works, and sculpture. Circa 567 BCE, Varanasi was the capital of the Kingdom of Kashi. The celebrated Chinese traveler, Xuanzang, attested that the city was a center of religious, educational, and artistic activities, and that it extended for about 5 km along the western bank of the Ganges.
During successive invasions starting with the hordes of Mahmud of Ghazni in 1033 CE followed by Mohammed Ghori in 1193 CE, Muslims pillaged and destroyed several times Hindu temples (which were being continually rebuilt) in Varanasi, and used the temple material to build mosques. At the start of the seventeenth century, Mughal Emperor Akbar brought some relief in the destruction of Hindu temples, but near the end of that century, Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb led another temple destruction and even renamed the city as Mohammadâbâd. In these years of Muslim rule, learned scholars in Varanasi fled to other parts of India until Marathas came to the rescue of the city. Marathas brought back the old, lost pride of city when it was under their control and patronage.
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)


2 comments:

Swati said...

very beautiful picures with elaborative discriptions.
please provide the information on different ghats near Ganga rivers and places which are connected with ganga river with their unique artistical sense.....

rompedas said...

Thanks Swati. I'll try my best to do that.