Bhagirathi River


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 Bhilangana it arises in the Badrinath Range of Uttarakhand, India.

The Bhagirathi is a turbulent Himalayan river originating at Gaumukh from the Gangotri glacier at an elevation of 7,756 m (25,446 ft), in Uttarakhand. It flows for about 700 km (435 mi) before merging with the Alaknanda at 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 Ganges proper. The controversial Tehri dam lies at the confluence of the Bhāgirathi and Bhilangana, near Tehri.

Origin

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.

Gangotri Temple

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 Gurkha commander, 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]

References

External links


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