|About the Book|
Ganga is a great river of India. She rises from the himalayas, flows through the vast fertile plains of North India and pours into the Eastern seas. Great kingdoms arose on her banks. Ganga is considered sacred and a bath in her waters is supposed toMoreGanga is a great river of India. She rises from the himalayas, flows through the vast fertile plains of North India and pours into the Eastern seas. Great kingdoms arose on her banks. Ganga is considered sacred and a bath in her waters is supposed to lead to salvation. In the lower reaches Ganga is also called Bhagirathi - one brought down by Bhagiratha an ancestor of Rama. The story of this descent of the Ganga occurs in the Ramayana and Mahabharata. It involves on one hand the war of gods with demons, the demons refuge in the ocean, the gulping away of the ocean by a great sage. On the other hand, it is related to the horse-sacrifice by Sagara, an ancestor of Rama. The horse vanished into the underworld. Sagaras sons going in search of the horse enraged a sage who turned them to ashes. Sagaras grandson Bhagiratha raised them to life with waters of the Ganga that flowed down to fill the emptied ocean as well. Gangas cleansing waters were urgently needed on earth. But, the dauntless daughter of the mountain god was not to be easily subdued as her waters darted about uncontrollably. Only Shiva could tame her by entangling her in the coils of his hair. When her waters could finally wriggle their way out, they were calmer and purer. They turned arid wastes alive and filled up the oceans. Since those ancient times when king Bhagiratha sought her help, Ganga, whether roaring or placid, dancing or sombre, continues to enchant one and all with her incomparable beauty.