The Ganges (in India: Ganga; in Bangladesh: Padma) is a trans-boundary river of Asia which flows through India and Bangladesh. The 2,525 km (1,569 mi) river rises in the western Himalayas in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. It flows south and east through the Gangetic plain of North India, receiving the right-bank tributary, the Yamuna, which also rises in the western Indian Himalayas, and several left-bank tributaries from Nepal that account for the bulk of its flow. In West Bengal state, India, a feeder canal taking off from its right bank diverts 50% of its flow southwards, artificially connecting it to the Hooghly river. The Ganges continues into Bangladesh, its name changing to the Padma. It is then joined by the Jamuna, the lower stream of the Brahmaputra, and eventually the Meghna, forming the major estuary of the Ganges Delta, and emptying into the Bay of Bengal. The Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna system is the second largest river on earth by discharge.
- I will lay my bones by the Ganges that India might know there is one who cares.
- The Ganga is the symbol of India's culture, the source of our legend and poetry, the sustainer of millions. Today it is one of the most polluted rivers. We will restore the pristine purity of the Ganga. A Central Ganga Authority will be set up to implement an action plan to prevent the pollution of the Ganga and its tributaries.
- Many environmentalists say that the Ganges has become an embarrassing symbol of government indifference and neglect in a country that regards itself as an economic superpower. "We can send a shuttle into space, we can build the [new] Delhi Metro [subway] in record time. We can detonate nuclear weapons. So why can't we clean up our rivers?" Jaiswal laments. "We have money. We have competence. The only problem is that the issue is not a priority for the Indian government."
- O water of the river Ganges, thou rememberst the day
When our torrent flooded thy valleys...
- Muhammad Iqbal, quoted in Annemarie Schimmel - Gabriel's Wing_ Study into the Religious Ideas of Sir Muhammad Iqbal (1989, Iqbal Academy) also in Jain, M. (2010). Parallel pathways: Essays on Hindu-Muslim relations, 1707-1857.
- My desire to have handful of my ashes thrown into the Ganga at Allahabad has no religious significance so far as I am concerned. I have no religious sentiments in the matter. I have been attached to the Ganga and the Jumna rivers since my childhood. As I have grown older, this attachment has also grown. I have watched their varying moods as the seasons changed, and have been though of the history and myth and tradition and song and story that have become attached to them through long ages and become part of their flowing waters. The Ganga, especially, is the river of India, beloved of her people, round which are intertwined her memories, her hopes and fears, her songs of triumph, her victories and her defeats. She has been a symbol of India's age long culture and civilization, ever changing, ever flowing, and yet ever the same Ganga. She reminds of the snow-covered peaks and deep valleys of the Himalayas, which I have loved so much, and of the rich and vast plains below, where my life and work have been cast.
- For India's devout Hindus, the sacred River Ganges is always clean and always pure -- even if its waters are a toxic mix of human sewage, discarded garbage and factory waste.
- Thilaka Ravi, in Most Polluted 'Sacred' River Ganges Causes Concern (26 January 2010)
- Ganges water is well known for its extraordinary resilience and recuperative capacity.
- Thilaka Ravi, in “ Most Polluted 'Sacred' River Ganges Causes Concern (26 January 2010)”
- I am convinced that everything has come down to us from the banks of the Ganges, – astronomy, astrology, metempsychosis, etc.
- Voltaire, as quoted in Sushama Londhe, A Tribute to Hinduism Thoughts and Wisdom Spanning Continents and Time about India and Her Culture (2008), p. 6.
Encyclopedic article on Ganga on Wikipedia