The holiest of all the rivers, Ganga or the Ganges is a
perennial river, which is held in high regard by the Hindus. The Ganga
river has an exalted position in the Hindu ethos.
The Gangotri Glacier, a vast expanse of ice five miles by fifteen, at the foothills of the Himalayas (14000 ft) in north Uttar Pradesh is the source of Bhagirathi, which joins with Alaknanda (origins nearby), to form Ganga at the craggy, canyon-carved town of Devprayag.
Legend of Ganges River
Ganga, the heavenly river was brought down to the earth through the efforts of king Bhagiratha, who underwent great penances to wash away the sins of his forefathers.
It is repeatedly invoked in the Vedas, the Puranas, and the two Indian epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.
Ganga is a goddess, Ganga Devi, one of the two daughters of Meru (the Himalayas), the other being Uma, consort of Shiva. In her youth, Indra had asked for Ganga to be given to heaven to soothe the Gods with its cool waters.
The Course Of The River Ganges
Ganga river follows the course from its origin in the Himalayas all the way to its confluence with the ocean, through ancient pilgrimage towns and cities of India.
It is the Gateway to the Himalayas. It is here, where one can experience the might of the Ganges river and the serene atmosphere of Rishikesh, where all Himalayan pilgrimages begin.
Here the river Ganges is revered. One can visit Haridwar in the foothills of the Himalayas and experience the Aarti to the Ganges, when the entire riverside is lit up with the glow of hundreds of lamps.
Varanasi (Benaras) is the most venerated of the pilgrimage sites in India on the banks of the Ganges River
Ganges River in Prayag:
The Yamuna merges with the Ganga at Prayag, at Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh. It is an ancient pilgrimage site and is the seat of the Kumbha Mela festival occurring once every 12 years.