Shiva measured up with this request and forced the river to flow through knots of his hair. Now, the water was divided into seven branches and started to flow down along Himalaya slopes. So, the legend explains the creation of Ganga-river.
Ganga-river starts its run in Indian State of Uttarpradesh, near to Indian-Tibetian border in Himalaya Mountains, in an altitude of 4200 metres above sea level. After connection of Bhagirathi and Alaknanda spring waters, the river enters as Ganga from mountains down to plain land. The river created this land, together with its tributaries in such way, that the low grand was filled in by sediments from Himalaya Mountains. So, in Ganga-river basin, there does not not exist any greater high difference. From this reason, the water flows slowly, creating many subsidiary branches, river windings and islands. Even water flowing through are hardly rolling. Fertile fields in plain land are interwoven with cannals of well made irrigation system. In plain land in Ganga-delta, there is to be found Calcutta, (capital of Indian State West Bengal) the third biggest town of India, and Dhacca, capital of Bangladesh. This gigantic delta, created together with Ganga and Brahmaputra rivers, is very intensively used in farmer´s way. When in summer, monsoon winds rush in rain precipitations from Himalaya area, so essential part of 52000 square kilometres would be completely inundated. Moreover, when typhoons from the sea effect vast floodings, it could happen, that thousands of people could die in delta area.
Ganga is holy river of Hindu-people. Numerous shrines are to be foound along its banks. The water is added a power which could be able to purificate a man from sins. Just a spring, which is to be found, according opinion of believers, in Gangotri Glacier, brings benediction. Near to Hardvar, the river is said to be forced through its leg-fingers of God Hari, incarnation of God Vishna, maintaining the world in compact state. So, the town of Allahabad, placed at mouth of Yumuna-river, each twelve years, come hundreds of thousands of pilgrims, in order to be purified (cleaned) from sins during their ritual baths. Nevertheless, most worshiped place is the town of Benares, situated in middle part of Ganga-river flow. Each Hindu confessor would wish to die on this place, because, according Hindu religion, he would have a chance, that incarnation number, the man is passing, could be as low as possible. So, at the end, his spirit could dissolve in absolute state, after his perfection could be reached. So, there are plenty of places along Ganga-river, wher the death bodies are cremated, and their ash is dissolved on water level. So, even death bodies become a part of eternal circle.
Text: J. Štantejský
Foto: J. Štantejský and Oldřich Štefl
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