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Jan 4, 2014 – Saturday

Two of the IIT Roorkee students, Salheed and Surendra, and Professor Bhati were our tour guides for the day showing us the canal and river.  As we traveled farther north to Haridwar, we stopped at certain locations to look at the canal and river structures and learn more about them.

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The canal was originally built 175 years ago by the British and has carrying capacity of 300 cubic meters per second.  The original canal was constructed out of bricks made from lime and ash and plastered over to make a smooth surface.  It has been repaired in certain locations and is new in some sections but the majority of the original canal is still being used.  Because once the Ganges River exits the mountains, it run primarily east to west, water is diverted from the Ganges River at Haridwar to transport water south to the main central area of Northern India.

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Roorkee is essentially split into a eastern half and western half due to the canal channel.  A new canal section has been built on the portion of the canal closest to Roorkee.  It was built out of pre-stressed concrete about 20 years ago with construction lasting about 4 to 5 years.  The old canal still exists and has water for backup in emergencies.  Large lion statues guard both sides of the canal at Roorkee and also 6 kilometers upstream from Roorkee.  Besides the new section, none of the canal is lined and it is just earth channel.

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Once at Haridwar, we spent some time at a market close to the river.  Haridwar is famous for its bathing area.  The river water is considered holy, so over 10,000,000 people visit and bath there each year.  Right at sunset, they perform a ceremony called Har Ki Paudi.  They light candles and put them in flower boats and place into the river to float downstream.

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After the ceremony, we spend a little more time in the market and then headed back to Roorkee.  Professor Kansal and his family were wonderful hosts at a local restaurant.  We ordered many dishes to share with the help of his older son.  We also celebrated Lizzy’s birthday by giving her a birthday card as big as a poster and some Indian sweets and singing Happy Birthday.

 

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Last modified on September 10th, 2015
Posted on March 25th, 2014