The Ganges (Gang Ma or Great Mother) is the holiest river in the world. Rising from the pure glacial meltwaters of the Himalayas, it flows down onto India's northern plain and heads eastward into the swamplands of Bangladesh, finally discharging a vast, 500km (310-mile) tongue of silt into the Bay of Bengal.
As well as filling wells and irrigating crops to sustain the cities and villages along its banks, it is the spiritual life-blood of India's primary religion, Hinduism. Bathing in the Ganges remains the lifelong ambition of many of India's believing masses, who consider the river to be a living goddess. People gather daily at her banks to murmur prayers, baptise children, wash vibrantly coloured saris, drink her waters or simply die - believing such acts help absolve sins and lead the way to nirvana.
Ganges reveals the source of the river high in the Himalayas - the youngest mountain range in the world - and follows its route as it sharply incises the mountains on its journey southeast. Along the way, we discover the Hindu story of the river's creation and how it supports the myriad forms of life that thrive on its banks.
With stunning images by photographer Jon Nicholson and accompanying text by the producers of the BBC2 television series, Ganges is a true visual feast - as teeming with life and colour as the mighty river itself.
- BBC Books
- Published 5th July 2007
- 168 Pages
- 260mm x 286mm x 17mm