Journey of a River – Ganga Descents
एक नदी की यात्रा माँ गंगा
Journey of a River – Ganga Descentsst Part : from Gomukh to Rishikesh
A river which has been given the status of a Goddess completes her remarkable journey from Gomukh near Gangotri and all the way to Bay of Bengal with going through Devprayag, Rishikesh, Haridwar. Allahabad, Varanasi , Kolkatta and finally at bay of Bengal.
Gomukh the snout of the Gangotri glacier at the base of Bhagirathi peaks & Shivling melts to form the Ganga river which travels 14 kms down to reach Gangotri where is turns north giving the name Gangotri, the first important settlement on its right bank where the temple dedicated to Goddess is situated.
As Gangotri to Gomukh is a difficult trek the goddess is Worshipped at Gangotri only which is accessible by road. One can come to Rishikesh by Air or by train and from there drive 248 kms (8 hours) via Utterkashi.
The river is dammed now at Tehri which is one of the highest hydroelectric dams is the world supplying electricity to most of north India, including the capital city of Delhi. The reservoir now is a tourist destination offering different kind of water sports to the domestic tourists.
After the tehri dam it flows down to Devprayag where it meets Alaknanda river coming from Badrinath, getting its name the Ganga. From here the river Ganga now throughout the journey till the bay of Bengal where it finally meets the ocean.
In Devprayag another small river meets the Ganga, this is Sheetla (Sister of Lord Rama). This a very small stream now which is o the verge of extinction. Its difficult to find her as well as there has constructions all along her.
From Devprayag it flows a bit calm except some places where it turns in to small rapids. Kaudiyala is the next small village where the river comes close to the main Rishikesh – Badrinath Highway. Kaudiyala now extended Rishikesh with some of the best hotels in the area including the Taj hotel.
Before Kaudiyala the Ganga goes through Byas Ghat which is another important settlement on the confluence of Ganga & Nayar river. Byas ghat is anglers paradise & famous for Mahasheer fishing. Famous hunter Sir Jim Corbett mentioned about watching otters in this area in his famous book “ Man eater of Rudrapraysg.” . Man eater of Rudraparayg , which is one of the best books describing then life on the banks of Ganga.
From Kaudiyala to Shivpuri the river is rough and full of Rapids & white water, making it one of the popular destination for Rafting. Shivpuri village is now a town with some of the best hotels in the area , Yoga schools, & adventure factories proving Bunge Jumps, sky cycling , zip line and many more activities. 3 years before NGT ( Nation green tribunal) has stopped Beach camping, which was a popular destination for weekend crowed from Delhi & NCR . After the ban on the beach camping the beaches are accessible for every one who wants to play, meditate along the river.
Shivpuri is also the first major train station of central governments mega railway project to sending the trains through the tunnels to the high Himalayan cities, which will change the life of people living in the mountains as well as for tourist coming to chardham on the pilgrimage. There are many good hotel sin the area with Eco Resorts.
Rishikesh is also the base for many trekking trips to the different parts of the Garhwal Himalayas. Tapovan area of Rishikesh has many offices of the trekking companies offering tailor made and customized trips to domestic as well foreign tourists.
After Shivpuri the river meets the Hyuel river at phool chatti which has become a popular destination for luxury camps & resorts. The road to Neelkanth also goes through phool chatti. Neelkanth is another popular destination for pilgrims from all over India, especially in the months of Shravan ( July & August) when millions of pilgrims wearing saffron cloths forge their way to Neelkanth through the town of Rishikesh.
The roaring Ganga clams down after entering Rishikesh and after a dam at Veerbhadra near AIMS ( All India Institute of Medical Sciences) calms down completely. After Veerbhadra the Ganga river enters in to the Indo Gangetic Plains of India. In the beginning the Ganga passes through the Raja Ji National park which is the home of Asiatic elephants and many more anials of the Himalayan foothills. The Indo Gangetic plains are also home of hundreds of species of migratory birds coming from different parts of the world.
Veerbhadra is the ancient part of Rishikesh and remains of the same are a Archaeological site
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