Ganges River is the most important river of India and it is one of the longest rivers in Asia. Ganges River is very important for India as nearly 500 million people or nearly 10% of world population is directly or indirectly depends on the river for their livelihood. The river is used for irrigation, transportation, hydroelectricity, and fishing. Hindu mythology revere Ganges River are Goddess and in India, the river is known by “Mother Ganga” or “Ganga Maa“. Many historical and industrial cities are situated on the banks of Ganges River. In India, there is a common saying “If the Ganges thrives, India thrives and if the Ganges dies, India dies.”
In our previous article about Ganges River, we described the origin of Ganges River, Ganges River in Hinduism and the entire course of Ganges River. Throughout its course from Himalayan Mountain Range to the Bay of Bengal, Ganges River passes through various states of India and through different geographical zones. Owing to its length and importance, there are many facts about Ganges River. In this article, we would provide Ganges River facts which every Indian should know. Not only this we would also discuss the impact of these Ganges River facts on the plant and animal species as well as on the daily life of people of India.
List of Amazing Ganges River Facts
- Most of the people say Ganges River originates from Gangotri Glacier but it’s not true. Bhagirathi River originates from Gangotri Glacier and not the River Ganges. The actual Ganges River begins from Devprayag after the confluence of River Alaknanda and River Bhagirathi.
- At Devprayag, River Alaknanda contributes more water to the flow of River Ganges than Bhagirathi River. But according to Hindu Mythology, River Bhagirathi is considered as the main source of River Ganges. Below Video: Video of Confluence of Bhagirathi River and Alaknanda River at Devprayag & Official beginning of Ganges River.
- Every year the Ganges deposits 1.6 billion tonnes of sediments through its flow. The amount of sediment deposited by River Ganges is 4 times larger than the sediment deposited by largest river in the world i.e. Amazon River.
- Ganges River is the third largest river in the world by the amount of water discharged into the sea. At Bay of Bengal the River Ganges discharge water at a rate of 38,129 m3/sec.
- The River Ganges is formed by the confluence of nearly 12 rivers. Smaller rivers like Kedar Ganga, Jadh Ganga, Kakora Gad, Jalandhari Gad, Siyan Gad, Asi Ganga near and Bhilangna joins to River Bhagirathi. Similarly, Dhauliganga River, Nandakini River, Pindar River and Mandakini River joins to River Alaknanda. At Devprayag both the rivers join to form River Ganges.
- River Ganges has a large number of tributaries and all these tributaries contribute significantly to the river flow. The tributaries which join River Ganges on the left bank are Ramganga, Gomti, Ghaghara, Gandaki, Bagmati, Koshi and Mahananda. The tributaries which join River Ganges on the right bank are Yamuna, Tamsa, Son, and Punpun.
- After entering in Bangladesh the Ganges River is known by the name Padma not Ganges.
- Ghaghara River (Karnali River) is the largest tributary of Ganges in terms of volume of water contributed to Ganges flow. The Yamuna River is the longest tributary of Ganges River in terms of length.
- Sunderban Delta formed by River Brahmaputra and River Ganges is the largest delta in the world. Sunderban Delta is also known as “The Green Delta” as it is one of the most fertile lands in the world.
- Ganga Sagar Island at the mouth of Ganges River is one of the important Hindu pilgrimage sites. On the auspicious day of Makar Sankranti, thousands of pilgrims bathe in the holy water of Ganges to wash away their sins.
- The Kumbh Mela, world’s largest peaceful gathering took place on the banks of River Ganges. Two cities i.e. Rishikesh and Allahabad lie on the banks of River Ganges and both host Kumbh Mela.
- At Triveni Sangam (Allahabad) the flow of River Yamuna is larger than River Ganges. The water of Yamuna contributes 58% of the total water flow.
- The Gangetic Plain is one of the most fertile lands in the world and almost 10% of world population lives there.
- Researchers have proved that the Ganges water contains an unusual and high amount of oxygen dissolved in it. This unique property of Ganges water allows different plant and animal species to thrive in it.
- The Ganges River purifies its water 25% faster than any other river in the world. The Ganges water contains Bacteriophages which allows the river to purify itself faster than any other river in the world.
- The British East India Company used water only from Ganges River for drinking purpose on their 3-month long voyage back to England. According to British, they preferred the water of River Ganges because it stayed “Sweet and Fresh” on the entire journey.
- Another amazing Ganges River fact is its water did not host mosquito breeding and its water also prevents mosquito breeding in any water it is added to.
- The most astonishing Ganges River Fact is that its water has anti-bacterial characteristics. The water of River Ganges contain Bacteriophages (viruses that kill bacteria).
- In 1896, Ernest Hanbury Hankin (a British Bacteriologist) after testing the water from the Ganges published a journal which described that the Bacteria Vibrio Cholerae which causes deadly cholera, when put into the waters of Ganges died within three hours. The same bacteria continued to thrive in distilled water even after 48 hours.
- Mughal Emperor Akbar once said, “Water of Ganges is water of Immortality”.
- Ganga Talao is a lake situated in Mauritius. Ganga Talao is considered as the most sacred Hindu pilgrimage site in Mauritius which is named after Ganges River.
- River Ganges is mentioned in various Hinduism texts as well as in Hindu Mythology. Lord Vishnu has narrated the importance of river Ganges as: “Thousands of man’s sins are destroyed by the holy sight of the Ganges, and he becomes pure, by the touch of Ganges water, by having it, or by just pronouncing ‘Ganga-Ganga’.“