Walking the Ganges

#1 Apr 11th, 2014, 00:40
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#1
Hi everyone,

I am planning to walk the course of the Ganges from source to sea leaving September 2014. I have no problem finding the source (I've decided upon Gomukh), the problem I have is finding a location that I can call the end. I want to finish up in Bangladesh but am struggling to find a town/village where I can call things quits. As it flows into a delta there are obviously quite a few options. Does anyone have any suggestions? Any other advice, tips or information also welcomed. Many thanks,
Chris
#2 Apr 11th, 2014, 14:14
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#2
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Originally Posted by Finnigan View Post ...... the problem I have is finding a location that I can call the end.....
As per Indian mythology the end location is Gangasagar (west bengal, India).
#3 Apr 11th, 2014, 14:34
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#3
Interesting. As mentioned by seaface, you can end at Gangasagar or Sagar island, based on belief. Geographically, you can end your journey in Bangladesh along the Meghna river which is more accepted as the end of Ganga.

Btw, Ganga has a complicated hydrology, and you may not get a clear answer on many of its facets, so just pick from gangasagar in India or end of meghna river in BD.
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#4 Apr 11th, 2014, 15:13
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Yeah, Gangasagar literally means ganga-sea (sagar = sea). 14 January sees the biggest crowds at Sagardwip, the annual pilgrimage on the day of makara-sankranti, where pilgrims take a dip at the confluence of the river and the sea.
#5 Apr 11th, 2014, 21:30
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Thanks for the replies fellas. I really have my heart set on Bangladesh although Sagardwip does sound interesting and could possibly fit in with my timeline. Just a quick look at GoogleEarth does make the ending a bit tricky if Bangladesh it is. Anyone else?
#6 Apr 11th, 2014, 21:48
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#6
As much as your heart is set on Bangladesh, apparently the Ganges has other ideas
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#7 Jun 22nd, 2014, 14:18
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The question of the actual course of the Ganges is more interesting than that.

Originally the main channel swung south after Rajmahal and headed for what is now Gangasagar, though the alignment used to shift wildly. There was a minor spill-channel that flood eastwards called the Padma, which joined the Brahmaputra (Jamuna) in Bangladesh. As I say, this was a spill-channel only ... however, centuries of back-cutting caused it to back into the main channel at Farakka near Malda, causing the water to cascade down the Padma and into the Jamuna, making that the major channel. At the same time, the silt washed into the old channel caused it to lose much volume, which is what has led to the reduced state of the current Hooghly.

Thus, hydrologically the main channel is the one that flows into Bangladesh, but traditionally the main channel is the one flowing south to Gangasagar.

The back-cutting had another effect. Before the channel had become prominent (sometimes from the later fifteenth century onward -- it did not happen overnight), it was very difficult for any power based on the Gangetic plains to occupy deltaic Bengal, which was not cavalry country and was difficult for armies to traverse. However, the new channel allowed inland flotilla based armies of the Mughals to access the river network of deltaic Bengal (the operations of Islam Khan Chishti and Ihtiman Khan) and occupy what is now Bangladesh; this happened at the time of Jahangir.
#8 Jun 22nd, 2014, 16:15
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Very interesting post Lone Yeti!
#9 Jun 22nd, 2014, 16:39
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Interesting piece of information lone yeti.
#10 Jun 22nd, 2014, 17:57
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I bathed in the Ganga at Hardwar this hot June morning! Just look at the throngs! My camera couldn't capture it all.
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#11 Jun 22nd, 2014, 19:57
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#11
Is today an auspicious day for bathing or is that number of people normal for a hot weekend in the summer?
#12 Jun 22nd, 2014, 20:03
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#12
Great picture! Once I visited this place during dashahara Ganga puja. I recollect the same scene there.
#13 Jun 22nd, 2014, 20:16
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Originally Posted by JuliaF View Post Is today an auspicious day for bathing or is that number of people normal for a hot weekend in the summer?
The latter. And all of the streams and canals on our drive back were full with people swimming and wading in them. It is really really hot today!
#14 Jun 22nd, 2014, 20:34
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Originally Posted by BholeBaba View Post It is really really hot today!
So hot your tongue's hanging out!
#15 Jun 22nd, 2014, 22:14
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#15
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Originally Posted by Finnigan View Post Hi everyone,

I am planning to walk the course of the Ganges from source to sea leaving September 2014. I have no problem finding the source (I've decided upon Gomukh), the problem I have is finding a location that I can call the end. I want to finish up in Bangladesh but am struggling to find a town/village where I can call things quits. As it flows into a delta there are obviously quite a few options. Does anyone have any suggestions? Any other advice, tips or information also welcomed. Many thanks,
Chris
Just curious, do you mean to physically walk along the Ganga, or simply travel through the cities and towns on its banks. The Ganga should be atleast 2500 km long, that should be a very long and difficult walk , if not practically impossible. Like I said, just curious to know.

Incidentally, Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to conquer Everest, did once attempt travel the entire distance by boat, but in reverse direction, ie from the end to the source, from Ganga Sagar upwards upto Gomukh, called the Ocean to Sky expedition.

Who knows, if you manage, you could be having a best seller in your hands.

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