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Visit to Haridwar and Rishikesh (Jan. 9)

The Ganges River is the third largest river in the world by distance.

The Ganges River is the third largest river in the world by distance.

On Jan. 9, we visited Haridwar and Rishikesh to see one of the biggest rivers in the world, the Ganges, which ranks as the third largest river in the world by discharge. The Ganges River provided some of the most beautiful natural scenery of the entire trip. The bus ride through the Himalayas and around the Ganges revealed a pristine environment and a feeling of true spiritual power. The Hindus consider this their most sacred river, so it was interesting as an engineer to see how they have managed it.

Our main destination was to the town of Haridwar near the headwaters of the Ganges River. Haridwar is home to a dam that diverts water into the Ganges Canal for irrigation. During our trip, we saw that the majority of the water had been diverted into this canal, resulting in a significantly reduced flow. I thought it was disappointing to see such a powerful river being impacted so heavily by humans. Recently there has been

People gather to witness a ceremony held every evening to give thanks to the river.

People gather to witness a ceremony held every evening to give thanks to the river.

a lot of effort to clean up the Ganges, which was the fifth most polluted river in the world in 2007. We experienced a ceremony is held every evening that is the traditional way of giving thanks to the river. The people worship the river, and place flowers in clay bowls that have oils to serve as candles. This ceremony can be seen in the second picture. Once the ceremony had ended, we visited the local shops where they had many different trinkets for sale.

a ceremony held every evening that is the traditional way of giving thanks to the river.

a ceremony held every evening that is the traditional way of giving thanks to the river.

 

Students enjoyed shopping for souvenirs.

Students enjoyed shopping for souvenirs.

Last modified on June 20th, 2016
Posted on June 20th, 2016