The River Ganges or Ganga is perhaps the holiest river in any religion. Though equally polluted, it bears immense significance to the Hindus. Ganga originates from the Gangotri glacier at Gaumukh in the Indian Himalayas at 4,100 meters above sea level, and flows 2,525 km across northern India before meeting the Bay of Bengal in the east India and Bangladesh. As a river, the Ganga contributes to more than 25 per cent of India’s total water resources.
Besides being a sacred river, Ganga is also worshiped as a deity in Hinduism and respectfully referred to as ‘Gangaji’ or ‘Ganga Maiya’ (Mother Ganga).
The various myths associated with Ganga and staunch Hindu beliefs associated with the river sanctify it as a goddess. Hindus view goddess Ganga as a fair complexioned beautiful woman wearing a white crown with a water lily and a water pot in her hands, and riding her pet crocodile.