- Bhagirathi River
::"This article is about the tributary of the Ganges.
For the distributary in West Bengal, see Bhāgirathi-Hooghly."The Bhagirathi ( _bn. ভাগীরথী "Bhagirothi") is a major tributary of the
Ganges River. Together with the Bhilanganait arises in the Badrinath Range of Uttarakhand, India.
The Bhagirathi is a turbulent
Himalayan river originating at Gaumukh from the Gangotri glacierat an elevation of 7,756 m (25,446 ft), in Uttarakhand. It flows for about 700 km (435 mi) before merging with the Alaknandaat an elevation of 465 m (1,526 ft) in the town of Devprayag. The river downstream from the holy confluence, "Sangam", is known as the Gangesproper. The controversial Tehri damlies at the confluence of the Bhāgirathi and Bhilangana, near Tehri.
The word Bhagirathi literally means "caused by
Bhagiratha", a mythical Sagar Dynasty prince who was instrumental in bringing the river Ganges from the heavens on to the earth, in order to release his 60,000 grand-uncles from a curse of the saint Kapila. [http://www.gangotri.org/ "Uttarakhand Information Centre - Gangotri Information"] "The Complete Uttarakhand Travel Guide"] [Mankodi, Kirit (1973) "Gaṅgā Tripathagā" "Artibus Asiae" 35(1/2): pp. 139-144, p. 140]
Like the Ganges and most of its tributaries these rivers are sacred to
Hindus, and its water is considered holy.
Eighteen kilometers downstream from Gaumukh, on the right bank of the Bhagirathi is the Gangotri Temple dedicated to the Goddess Ganga. It was built in the early 18th Century by a
Gurkhacommander, Amar Singh Thapa. [ [http://www.indiatravelite.com/holyplaces/gangotri.htm "Holy Places: Chardham: Gangotri: The Eternal Gift of Bhagirath's Penance" "Indiatravelite"] ] It is one of the four sites in the Char Dham pilgrimage circuit.
For further reading
* Wilson, W. (1860) "A summer ramble in the Himalayas: with sporting adventures in the Vale of Cashmere" Hurst and Blackett, London, [http://worldcat.org/oclc/58410561 OCLC 58410561] , available on microfilm
* Heske, Franz (1937) "Im heiligen Lande der Gangesquellen" ("In the Holy Lands of the Source of the Ganges") J. Neumann, Neudamm, Germany, [http://worldcat.org/oclc/35036471 OCLC 35036471] , in German
* Sharma, Man Mohan (1997) "Through the Valley of Gods: Travels in the Central Himalayas" (2nd ed.) Vision Books, New Delhi, [http://worldcat.org/wcpa/oclc/4547622 OCLC 4547622]
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