The Ganges originates in the Himalayas. It passes through the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and later through Bangladesh where it drains into Bay of Bengal.
Essay on Ganga River | Importance of Ganga River | Ganga River Pollution
Ganga is a major river of India which flows eastward through the fertile plains of North India and finally into the Bay of Bengal. The Ganges River, called as ‘Ganga’ in local languages, is primarily formed by three headstreams: the Bhagirathi, the Mandakini and the Alaknanda. The three rivers meet to form the Ganges River in Devprayag, Uttarakhand. The Bhagirathi is considered as the main source of water and it originates from the Gangotri Glacier at a height of 6,510 meters above sea level.
Ganga River is originated from the Gangotri Glacier, which flows from Uttarakhand state of India. The river is primarily formed by three headstreams: The Bhagirathi, the Mandakini and the Alaknanda.
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Importance of Ganga River
The importance of Ganga river can hardly be over-emphasized. As the late Prime Minister Morarji Desai said: “Ganga, Godavari and Brahmaputra are no ordinary rivers. They move and nurture life.” The first ever reference to the discovery of this mighty river is found in Rigveda (one of the oldest Indian scriptures).
It is believed that Swayambhu Man (the man who came out of earth by his own) taught the importance of Ganga to mankind. He was an extremely religious and righteous person. One day he saw a group of small kids trying to lift something heavy, but they were unable to do so and kept on trying till they became exhausted. Seeing this, Swayambhu Man lifted the rock with one hand and placed it on top of another to help them cross over a stream.
This sight confused the small children who were unable to understand how he could lift such a heavy stone that they could not even budge an inch. They gathered around him and asked him how he did it. Swayambhu Man replied that the secret of his strength lay in the waters which they saw moving down to the plains from high up on top of a mountain.
This is the very first recorded history of Ganga, where she has been held in deep reverence by our ancestors. Ganga is considered as a person. It is believed that she took form of water because she wanted to attend the first ever yagna (sacrificial ritual) conducted by Swayambhu Man and thus attained divinity and became holy.
It is also believed that Ganga was carried by Lord Shiva(*1) on his head (*2), hence is also known as Lord Shankar’s daughter. Lord Shiva took Ganga to the heavens on his head because he was uncertain of her purity (he felt that one of her hands might touch him, since they were both wet after taking bath in the river). As explained above, Ganga holds deep significance for Indian people.
Ganga River Pollution
Over the years, pollution in Ganga has increased to an alarming level. The causes of river’s pollution can be classified under four heads: sewage discharge, urban waste water, effluents from industries and flow of pollutants through its tributaries.
Most harmful wastewater discharges into the river are from tanneries, chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Since these industries deal with toxic materials, their waste is highly contaminating.
How to Save Ganga River from Pollution?
It is the primary duty of Indian government to protect this holy river. Government has already pursued several measures to enhance water quality in Ganga, but all have failed miserably. The best way to save this holy river from severe pollution and contamination is by raising awareness and spreading information among people and more importantly making them understand the significance of keeping Ganga clean.
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Ganga is our mother, she nurtures us with her pure water by keeping the pollution at bay. This river has been an integral part of Indian culture since ancient times. It is extremely unfortunate to see the present condition of its water due to severe pollution and contamination.