The Ganges, known as the Ganga flows across India and Bangladesh eventually emptying itself in the Bay of Bengal. It rises in the southern Himalayas in the state of Uttarakhand, India and flows for a distance of 2510 Kilometers. It has five headstreams out of which one, Bhagirathi originates at the Himalayan glacier, “Gangotri”. The streams unite at Devaprayag, emerge from the mountains at Rishikesh and then flow onto the plains at Haridwar. Millions of people live across the Gangetic plains and make their livelihood there. It also attracts tourists from across the world. Dehradun, the capital of Uttarakhand is a 50-minute flight from New Delhi and Haridwar is a one and a half hour journey from there by car. The top 5 things you can do while seeing the magnificent river is:
#1. Visit the cities of Rishikesh, Haridwar, Allahabad, Varanasi, and Patna
Sitting by the banks of the river at these places is enormously soothing to the heart. I have sat by it at Rishikesh and Haridwar and you can spend hours gazing at its beauty and listening to it flow. At Rishikesh, the flow is so strong that there are chains that one has to hold onto while bathing to avoid being swept by the current.
#2. Walk across beautifully constructed bridges
There is a footbridge near Rishikesh and people walk across it to cross the river. The view from the bridge is spectacular and breathtaking and a good place to take beautiful pictures. Between Patna and Hajipur, there is the Mahatma Gandhi Bridge over the slow-moving river. This is another beautiful place to view the river.
#3. Attend the Kumbh Mela
It is the largest peaceful gathering in the world! It shows the culture of India and the religious beliefs of the Indians. Approximately 120 million people visited Allahabad in 2013 over a span of 2 months. The Maha Kumbh Mela is held once in 12 years. The major ritual during this fair is the bathing in the Ganges.
#4. Visit the Sunderbans National Park
This is a national park, biosphere reserve, and tiger reserve and is a part of the Ganges Delta. It is covered by mangrove forests and is home for the magnificent Bengal Tiger. There are also several species of birds, invertebrates, and reptiles and it is declared a world network of Biosphere reserve since 2001.
The Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi started the cleanliness campaign, “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan” which aims to clean up roads and infrastructure of India’s cities and rural areas. Volunteers across the world participate in the “Clean Ganga Project” where the government is taking steps to clean the entire river.
— The Pacific Voice