The Ganga, the river Ganges!
It collects its water from the Himalayas. It flows for 2500 km across India. A formidable water resource! The holiest of rivers! Hindus sanctify the river as a goddess; the Goddess Ganga, the Mother Ganga. She is a beautiful woman and devotes Lord Krishna. This infuriates Radha, the lover of Lord Krishna. Radha curses Ganga! Go down to earth and flow as a river! And she does, still. She wears a white crown, carries a water lily in one hand and a water pot in the other. And, wait for it, she rides her pet crocodile.
Celebrate the descent of Ganga. She feeds the earth and gathers its people. Hold her waters in your hand and know no lies. Immerse your body and soak away your sins. Light incense and a lamp. Set sail to a little paper boat. Offer her sandal wood, flowers and milk. Roll and drop flour balls to feed her fish. Invoke her divine blessing.
Mother Ganga is of utmost import to a Hindu. A pilgrimage is a pursuit of a lifetime.
We join, in Allahabad, at Sangam. Here the Ganga meets two other rivers, the Yamuna and Saraswati. This most sacred confluence hosts the world’s largest gathering. Every six years, a six week festival, culminates in six communal holy dips. In 2013, 100 million attend the festival with 32 million on the main bathing day.
But all year round pilgrims arrive at this holy spot. They row out in little boats to take a holy dip. Our experience is of an ordinary day in a normal working week.
Harry takes these photos.