River Ganga or the Ganges is closely associated
with the economic, social and cultural life of Indian people.
River Ganga or the Ganges is a major river of the
Indian subcontinent, associated in myth and reality with the land and
people of India as well as neighboring countries like Bangladesh. In
Hinduism, the river Ganga is personified as Goddess and holds an
important place in the Hindu religion. In Hindu mythology, it is
believed that bathing in the river Ganga causes the remission of sins
and facilitates the attainment of salvation or nirvana. This deep-rooted
truth is proved by the fact that people travel from distant places to
immerse the ashes of their kin in the waters of the Ganga at Varanasi or
other places located on the banks of this holy river. Some of these
sacred places, located on the Ganga, are Varanasi, Haridwar and Prayag
The first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, aptly
summarized the importance of River Ganga in the hearts of the Indians,
in general, and Hindus, in particular.
"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".