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The Holy River Ganga

We all have heard about river Ganga, read in our text books and even watched on TV.

This is the first time I got a chance to see this beautiful river from my eyes. The river Ganges also known as Ganga flows from Himalayan mountains to the Bay of Bengal (2700Km).

The snow from the Gangotri glacier of Uttarkashi district in Uttarakhand melts down and forms river Bhagirathi at Gaumukh, which is the origin of river Ganga.

It is said that King Bhagirath's ancestors were cursed by sage Kapila. He performed penance for years to bring goddess Ganga down to earth from heaven to find salvation for his ancestors. When Ganga was coming down, there were chances that her force would destroy the earth completely. So lord Shiva tied her in his hair and released her from his hair to control the flow of the river. Hence the river was named as Bhagirathi after the king Bhagirath.

Bhagirathi river meets Alaknanda at Devprayag to form Ganga and continues to flow through Rishikesh , Haridwar and so on....

I could not visit Devprayag this time and it is in my bucket list. But I do visited Haridwar and Rishikesh. If you are planning to visit these 2 places, then you need atleast 2 days.

Haridwar :

Haridwar is 50kms from Dehradun in Uttarakhand. It is situated on the banks of river Ganga. It is the gateway for char dhams of Uttarakhand. Followers of Lord Shiva (Har) call it as 'Hardwar' and followers of Lord Vishnu (Hari) call it as 'Haridwar'. It is also a place where Maha Kumbha Mela is celebrated once in 12 years. I heard that it will be celebrated this year ie., in 2021.

Once we reached Haridwar, we saw river Ganga flowing and people take a dip in this water to wash away their sins. The water was very clean. I had always heard before that river Ganga is polluted. I could not see that anymore . Looks like people are not polluting the water now.

There was a ticket counter on the way to the temple from where we took the package of 2 temples. Using this ticket we can go to the top of the Bilwa parvat on Shivalik hills in an Udan khatola (cable cars) which offers the view of the city. On the top ,there is Mansa Devi temple ( Mansa means wish). It is said that the goddess fulfils all the wishes of devotees.

There will be a long queue to the temple. Devotees who pray to Mansa Devi for fulfilling their wishes tie threads to the branches of a tree located in the temple.

Using the same ticket , we can get a transport to the near by Chandi Devi temple. This temple is on the top of 'Neel Parvat' on the eastern side of Shivalik hills. So we have to reach there by 'Udan Khatola' again. It is said that Mansa Devi and Chandi Devi are the two forms of goddess Parvati and always reside close to each other.

We missed the Aarthi (evening prayer) offered to goddess Ganga at 'Har ki Pauri'. But we got a chance to see the similar one in Rishikesh.

Rishikesh :

Rishikesh, also known as 'Yoga Capital of the World' is around 25 kms from Haridwar. There are many ashrams here for meditation.

It is said that Lord 'Rama' did penance here for killing 'Ravana' (King of Lanka). Lakshmana crossed river ganga using 2 jute ropes and this is where the 'Lakshman Jhula' is there. There are 2 other bridges 'Ram Jhula' and 'Janaki Jhula'.

We should never miss the adventurous 'River Rafting' in the blue waters of Rishikesh. It was a great experience. Some of my friends even got down in the cold water. We were surprised to see the maggie point on the way.

The evening Ganga aarthi on the banks of river at 'Paramarth Nikethan' was very beautiful. You can see small earthern lamps along with flowers floating on the river. We carried the water from the river in a small can and took it home.

After the aarthi, we walked on the streets and did some shopping. We do get himalayan flags here for our vehicle. I was searching for it from a very long time. We had our dinner at 'Chotiwala Restaurant'.

Uttarakhand is the land of Gods , hence it is called 'Devbhoomi' of our country.

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Sahana T Maladhker
Sahana T Maladhker
Feb 12, 2021

Thanks Yashwanth ☺️


Yashwanth Belludi
Yashwanth Belludi
Feb 11, 2021

Worth reading your story about Ganga river... Your Narration about the trip was so real, I virtually participated amognst all of you..

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