The river Ganga, known in the Western world as the Ganges, is one of the most important rivers in India. The history, geography, ecology, food production, and economic fortunes of India have all been closely connected to the river, and millions of Hindus hold it to be sacred. Culturally, it is a symbol, standing for Mother India, a synecdoche for home, and for Hindu religious traditions. It is closely associated with the many North Indian towns and cities on its banks, especially Haridwar, Allahabad, and Banaras. The river flows south from the Himalayas and enters the plains at Haridwar and then flows east to Bengal in parallel with the Himalayan mountain chain. In Prayag (Allahabad), it joins the river Yamuna and, according to tradition, the ...

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