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Great Indian Rivers

Freeindia > Great Indian Rivers > Ganga

It is Bharat's most sacred river that is considered to wash all the sins or the effects of bad deeds and is known also as Surasarita ( the stream of Gods ), Bhagirathi, Jahnavi etc. Coming out of the Gomukha cavity of the snowy glacier Gangotri, in Himalaya, and playing with the mountain peaks it enters on the plain at Haridwar and sanctifying Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Bengal with its holy flow reaches and meets the ocean the portion of which is known as Gangasagara ( because of the event ). According to the NadiSukta of the Rgveda, Ganga is the very first and foremost of the rivers of Bharat. On the banks of Ganga are situated many well known places of pilgrimage such as Haridwar, Prayag and Kashi. On its banks, from the very beginning of time many of the Rishis, Munis and Tapasvis have been performing their spiritual endeavours. The water of Ganga is an object of comparison for purity and unsulliness. This has been fully established through scientific experiments that its capacity to get cleaned automatically is the highest among the waters drawn from all other world sources. Hindus consider this river to be the Mother and address it as Ganga maiya i.e. Mother ( Goddess ) Ganga. According to its account in the Purana, Ganga having had its start from the feet of Visnu entered in the Kamandalu ( water carrier ) of Brahma, descending from where it had been retained by Shiva in His matted hairs rolled up over His head and from there king Bhagirath, of the Sagar dynasty, brought it to earth with a view to bring salvation to his ancestors. In the Bhagavata Purana the story of the descent of Ganga has been told in a detailed manner. According to the Aditya Purana the descent of Ganga on earth took place on the third day of the brighter fortnight of the month of Vaisakha and its exit from Himalaya occured on the tenth day of the brighter fortnight of the month of Jyestha ( falling in the month of May ). That day is celebrated as the festival of Ganga Dasahara by having dip in Ganga by millions of people. Freeindia > Great Indian Rivers > Sarasvati

The river of which mention is made by the Vedas, that starting from the Himalaya flowing through the present day provinces of Haryana, Rajasthan and Gujarat entered into the Sindhusagara of Indian ocean. During the course of time this river got disappeared or got extinct. The banks of it had served as the place of penance ( Tapobhumi ) for the Rishis. The area around it had been known as the Sarasvata Pradesa which was famous for its cultural richness. In the Puranas, Saravati has been said to be the consort of Brahma ( the Creator God ) and the Goddess of the Tongue or language so also in the Brahmana granthah which have been parts of Vedas. According to a tradition the Vedas were composed in this very area. There is the likelihood of the fact that it was because of richness of culture and learning in the area around that the name Sarasvati might have been given to the river. Freeindia > Great Indian Rivers > Sindhu

The sacred river which has found its mention even in the Vedic literature. Having had its origin in Himalaya, a little away from mount Kailasa, near the lake Manasarovara, this river flows through Kashmir, Punjab and Sindh provinces and enters the western portion of the Sindhu Sagara ( of the Indian ocean ). Sindhu is that sacred river on the banks of which the Vedic civilization flourished. It is accepted that the word Hindu has come from the word Sindhu itself. The area together with it and its tributories was known as Saptasaindhava, the land of seven rivers. This area unfortunately is now in Pakistan. Freeindia > Great Indian Rivers > Brahmaputra

The source of this great river is a big glacier near lake Manasarovara in Himalaya. This river flowing first in northerly direction and then in eastern side of Bharat going through Assam and Bengal enters into the bay of Gangasagara. Brahmaputra is the longest river among the rivers flowing in Bharat. Flowing a far enough distance into Tibet where it is known as river Sampu, this enters into Bharat from northern boundary of Arunachal Pradesh. On the bank of river Brahmaputra in Guahati, on the peak of a mountain is situated the sacred Saktipitha ( the seat of power ) of Goddess Kamakhya. Others also such as Apanarbhava, Bhasmakuta, Manikrnesvara etc. and many other places of pilgrimage are situated on the banks of this river. Freeindia > Great Indian Rivers > Gandaki

Starting from a reservoir ( Kunda ) named Damodara near Muktinath in Nepal this river passes through Bihar and joins Ganga as the latter's tributory. This is famous for the holy ' Saligrama - rocks ', which are worshipped, symbolically representing Bhagavan Visnu. It is because of this that it has been given the name Narayani. Freeindia > Great Indian Rivers > Kaveri

Mainly flowing in Kamataka and Tamilnadu regions this sacred river originates from the southern corner of the Sahyadri mountain in Coorg and enters into Ganga Sagara portion of the sea passing through the eastern sea-shore. Within its flow, there are three sacred islands having Adirangam, Sivasamudram and Antarangam as their place names. On each one of them a temple is built dedicated to Bhagavan Visnu. The place of importance that has been given to the rivers Ganga and Yamuna in northern Bharat, the same is given to Kaveri and Tamraparni in southern Bharat. The canals from Kaveri have enriched Tamilnadu agriculturally. Freeindia > Great Indian Rivers > Yamuna

Yamuna is the sacred river of northern Bharat which originates from the Yamunotri peak in Himalaya and joins itself with Ganga in Prayaga area. The meeting place ( Sangamasthala ) of Ganga and Yamuna is the ' ace place of pilgrimage ( Tirtharaja ) ' for the believers. On the banks of this river are situated such places of historical and religious importance as Indraprastha ( Delhi ), Mathura and Vrndavana.The blue coloured ( nila-varna ) Yamuna is very closely connected with the childhood exploits of Bhagavan Krishna.

In the Krsna Bhakti literature, because of its connection with Lord Krishna the importance of Yamuna has also been greatly extolled. Puranas speak of Yamuna as the daughter of Sun. The Vedas and Brahmangranths too make mention of Yamuna. Freeindia > Great Indian Rivers > Reva

The Reva river which finds its mention in the Puranas is none other than the river Narmada. The source of it is in the Amarakantaka peak of the Vindhyachal mountain. This enters the Sindhusagara in Gujarat near Bhadaunch. In accordance with the view finding mention in the Purana this river flows from the body of Lord Shiva.

There are many places of pilgrimage on the banks of river Reva, some worth seeing ones are : Bhedaghata, Orikaresvara, Mandhata, Suklatirtha and Kapiladhara etc. The Skanda purana devotes a special section ( Reva khanda ) to a detailed description of the places of pilgrimage situated on the banks of river Reva. On the bank of Narmada there are many temples and ghats which were constructed by queen Ahalya Bai Holkar. Freeindia > Great Indian Rivers > Krishna

The famous river Krishna, flowing mainly in Andhra Pradesh with its holy water, has its source in Sahyadri mountain where it originates from near to a place called Karada situated north of Mahabalesvara and at last joins the sea Ganga Sagar. This is one of the big rivers of southern Bharat which has been mentioned in the Mahabharata as the one that removes diseases ( roganasakarini ). According to Rajanighantu its water is clean ( Svaccha ), likeable ( Rucikara ) and digestive ( Pacaka ). Bhima and Tungabhadra are two primary tributory rivers to the river Krishna. Freeindia > Great Indian Rivers > Godavari

In accordance with Brahma purana Rishi Gautama took Ganga from the matted hair of Shiva to Brahmagiri ( a peak of the mountain Sahyadri ) situated near to his hermitage. That is why the river Godavari that appeared there is known as Gautami as well as the Ganga of southern Bharat. Originating from Tryambakesvara ( Brahmagiri ) it meets the Gangasagara after flowing from Maharastra to Andhra. Pancavati where Sri Rama stayed during his exile ( from where Sita was abducted ) is situated on the bank of Godavari; on that place itself Samartha Swami Ramadasa performed penance for as many as thirteen years. On the bank of Godavari near Nandeda is situated the samadhi of Sri Guru Govind Singh. On the bank of Godavari are situated many sacred places like Nasika, Paithana, Kotipalli, Rajamahendri, Bhadracalam etc. In Brahma purana have been described near about 100 places of pilgrimage situated on the banks of ( or connected with ) Godavari. Out of them the Islamic invaders destroyed many temples, but due to the Maratha uprising many temples were resurrected. The Kala Rama temple of Pancavati is counted among the best temples of south-western Bharat. Freeindia > Great Indian Rivers > Mahanadi

This is the biggest river of Madhya Pradesh and Utkal Pradesh which having its start from the Simhava mountain ranges situated in south-eastern part of district Raipur of Madhya Pradesh flows through Utkal Pradesh nearby to Katak city and getting divided into many streams reaches and enters into ocean called Gangasagar in the east of southern Bharat. It's water is used for irrigation of crops in the fields of a large portion of Orissa.

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Published on: 2003-01-30 (30511 reads)

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Great Indian Rivers
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