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  11/8/2014Ganges - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganges1/34 Ganges River The Ganges in Varanasi Countries India, Bangladesh States Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal Tributaries  - leftR amganga, Gomti, Ghaghara,Gandaki, Burhi Gandak, Koshi,Mahananda - rightYamuna, Tamsa, Son, Punpun,Betwa, Chambal, Tons, Ken,Sindh, Hindon, Sharda Cities Haridwar, Kan pur, Jajmau,Allahabad, Varanasi, Mirzapur,Ghazipur, Patna, Rishikesh,Munger, Bhagalpur,Baharampur, Kolkata, Bijnor  Source Gangotri Glacier, SatopanthGlacier, Khatling Glacier, andwaters from melted snow fromsuch peaks as Nanda Devi,Trisul, Kedarnath, Nanda Kot,and Kamet. - locationUttarakhand, India - elevation3,892 m (12,769 ft) - coordinates30°59′N 78°55′E Mouth Ganges Delta - locationBay of Bengal, Bangladesh &India - elevation0 m (0 ft) - coordinates22°05′N 90°50′E Ganges From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The Ganges  (/ˈɡændʒiːz/ GAN  -jeez  ), also Ganga  (Hindi: गंगा  ;  Bengali: গা    ;  Sanskrit: गगा  ) ( Hindustani pronunciation: [ˈɡəŋɡaː] GUNG  -ga ), is a trans-boundaryriver of Asia which flows through India andBangladesh. The 2,525 km (1,569 mi) river rises in thewestern Himalayas in the Indian state of Uttarakhand,and flows south and east through the Gangetic Plain of  North India into Bangladesh, where it empties into theBay of Bengal. It is the third largest river by discharge.The Ganges is the most sacred river to Hindus. [4]  It isalso a lifeline to millions of Indians who live along itscour se and depend on it for their daily needs. [5]  It isworshipped as the goddess Ganga  in Hinduism. [6]  It hasalso been important historically, with many former  provincial or imperial capitals (such as Pataliputra, [7] Kannauj, [7]  Kara, Kashi, Allahabad, Murshidabad,Munger, Baharampur, Kampilya, and Kolkata) located on its banks.The Ganges was ranked as the fifth most polluted river of the world in 2007. [8]  Pollution threatens not onlyhumans, but also more than 140 fish species, 90amphibian species and the endangered Ganges river  dolphin. [8]  The Ganga Action Plan, an environmentalinitiative to clean up the river, has been a major failure thus far, [9][10][11]  due to corruption, lack of technicalexpertise, [12]  poor environmental planning, [13]  and lack of su pport from religious authorities. [14] Contents 1 Course2 Geology3 Hydrology4 History5 Religious and cultural significance5.1 Embodiment of sacredness Coordinates: 22°05′N 90°50′E  11/8/2014Ganges - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganges2/34 Length 2,525 km (1,569 mi)  [1] Basin 1,080,000 km 2  (416,990 sq mi) [2] Discharge for Farakka Barrage - average16,648 m 3 /s (587,919 cu ft/s) [3]  - max70,000 m 3 /s (2,472,027 cu ft/s) - min2,000 m 3 /s (70,629 cu ft/s) Discharge elsewhere (average)  - Bay of Bengal38,129 m 3 /s (1,346,513 cu ft/s) [3] Map of the combined drainage basins of theGanges (orange), Brahmaputra (violet), andMeghna (green). 5.2  Avatarana  or Descent of the Ganges5.3 Redemption of the Dead5.4 The purifying Ganges5.5 Consort, Shakti, and Mother 5.6 Ganges in classical Indianiconography5.7 Kumbh Mela6 Irrigation6.1 Canals6.2 Dams and barrages7 Economy7.1 Tourism8 Pollution9 Ecology and environment9.1 Ganges river dolphin9.2 Water shortages9.3 The effects of climate change on theriver 10 Illegal mining and stone-crushing in the river  bed11 See also12 Inline citations13 References14 Further reading15 External links Course The Ganges begins at the confluence of the Bhagirathi and Alaknanda rivers at Devprayag. The Bhagirathiis considered to be the true source in Hindu culture and mythology, although the Alaknanda is longer  [15][16] The headwaters of the Alakananda are formed by snowmelt from such peaks as Nanda Devi, Trisul, andKamet. The Bhagirathi rises at the foot of Gangotri Glacier, at Gaumukh, at an elevation of 3,892 m(12,769 ft). [17] Although many small streams comprise the headwaters of the Ganges, the six longest and their fiveconfluences are considered sacred. The six headstreams are the Alaknanda, Dhauliganga, Nandakini,Pindar, Mandakini, and Bhagirathi rivers. [18]  The five confluences, known as the Panch Prayag, are allalong the Alaknanda. They are, in downstream order: Vishnuprayag, where the Dhauliganga joins the  11/8/2014Ganges - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganges3/34 Bhagirathi River at Gangotri.Devprayag, confluence of Alaknanda (right) and Bhagirathi(left) rivers, beginning of theGanges proper.The Himalayan headwaters of theGanges river in the Garhwalregion of Uttarakhand, India. Theheadstreams and rivers are labeledin italics; the heights of themountains, lakes, and towns aredisplayed in parentheses in metres. Alaknanda; Nandprayag, where the Nandakini joins; Karnaprayag,where the Pindar joins; Rudraprayag, where the Mandakini joins; and,finally, Devprayag, where the Bhagirathi joins the Alaknanda to formthe Ganges River proper. [15] After flowing 250 kilometres (160 mi) [17]  through its narrowHimalayan valley, the Ganges emerges from the mountains atRishikesh, then debouches onto the Gangetic Plain at the pilgrimagetown of Haridwar. [15]  At Haridwar, a dam diverts some of its watersinto the Ganges Canal, which irrigates the  Doab  region of Uttar Pradesh, whereas the river, whose course has been roughly southwestuntil this point, now begins to flow southeast through the plains of northern India.The Ganges follows an 800-kilometre (500 mi) arching course passingthrough the cities of Kannauj, Farukhabad, and Kanpur. Along the wayit is joined by the Ramganga, which contributes an average annual flowof about 500 m 3 /s (18,000 cu ft/s). [19]  The Ganges joins the Yamuna atthe Triveni Sangam at Allahabad, a holy confluence in Hinduism. Attheir confluence the Yamuna is larger than the Ganges, contributingabout 2,950 m 3 /s (104,000 cu ft/s), [19]  or about 58.5% of the combinedflow. [20]  Now flowing east, the river meets the Tamsa River (also called Tons ),which flows north from the Kaimur Range and contributes an averageflow of about 190 m 3 /s (6,700 cu ft/s). After the Tamsa the GomtiRiver joins, flowing south from the Himalayas. The Gomti contributesan average annual flow of about 234 m 3 /s (8,300 cu ft/s). Then theGhaghara River(Karnali River), also flowing south from the Himalayasof Nepal, joins. The Ghaghara(Karnali), with its average annual flow of about 2,990 m 3 /s (106,000 cu ft/s), is the largest tributary of theGanges. After the Ghaghara(Karnali) confluence the Ganges is joinedfrom the south by the Son River, contributing about 1,000 m 3 /s(35,000 cu ft/s). The Gandaki River, then the Kosi River, join from thenorth flowing from Nepal, contributing about 1,654 m 3 /s(58,400 cu ft/s) and 2,166 m 3 /s (76,500 cu ft/s), respectively. The Kosiis the third largest tributary of the Ganges, after the Ghaghara(Karnali)and Yamuna. [19] Along the way between Allahabad and Malda, West Bengal, theGanges passes the towns of Chunar, Mirzapur, Varanasi, Ghazipur,Patna, Bhagalpur, Ballia, Buxar, Simaria, Sultanganj, and Saidpur. AtBhagalpur, the river begins to flow south-southeast and at Pakur, it begins its attrition with the branching away of its first distributary, theBhāgirathi-Hooghly, which goes on to become the Hooghly River. Just before the border with Bangladeshthe Farakka Barrage controls the flow of the Ganges, diverting some of the water into a feeder canal linked  11/8/2014Ganges - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganges4/34 to the Hooghly for the purpose of keeping it relatively silt-free. The Hooghly River is formed by theconfluence of the Bhagirathi River and Jalangi River at Nabadwip, and Hooghly has a number of tributariesof its own. The largest is the Damodar River, which is 541 km (336 mi) long, with a drainage basin of 25,820 km 2  (9,970 sq mi). [21]  The Hooghly River empties into the Bay of Bengal near Sagar Island. [22] Between Malda and the Bay of Bengal, the Hooghly river passes the towns and cities of Murshidabad, Nabadwip, Kolkata and Howrah.After entering Bangladesh, the main branch of the Ganges is known as the Padma. The Padma is joined bythe Jamuna River, the largest distributary of the Brahmaputra. Further downstream, the Padma joins theMeghna River, the second largest distributary of the Brahmaputra, and takes on the Meghna's name as itenters the Meghna Estuary, which empties into the Bay of Bengal.The Ganges Delta, formed mainly by the large, sediment-laden flows of the Ganges and Brahmaputrarivers, is the world's largest delta, at about 59,000 km 2  (23,000 sq mi). [23]  It stretches 322 km (200 mi)along the Bay of Bengal. [24] Only the Amazon and Congo rivers have a greater average discharge than the combined flow of theGanges, the Brahmaputra, and the Surma-Meghna river system. [24]  In full flood only the Amazon islarger. [25] Geology The Indian subcontinent lies atop the Indian tectonic plate, a minor plate within the Indo-AustralianPlate. [26]  Its defining geological processes commenced seventy-five million years ago, when, as a part of the southern supercontinent Gondwana, it began a northeastwards drift—lasting fifty million years—acrossthe then unformed Indian Ocean. [26]  The subcontinent's subsequent collision with the Eurasian Plate andsubduction under it, gave rise to the Himalayas, the planet's highest mountains. [26]  In the former seabedimmediately south of the emerging Himalayas, plate movement created a vast trough, which, havinggradually been filled with sediment borne by the Indus and its tributaries and the Ganges and itstributaries, [27]  now forms the Indo-Gangetic Plain. [28] The Indo-Gangetic Plain is geologically known as a foredeep or foreland basin. [29] Hydrology The hydrology of the Ganges River is very complicated, especially in the Ganges Delta region. One result isdifferent ways to determine the river's length, its discharge, and the size of its drainage basin.The name Ganges  is used for the river between the confluence of the Bhagirathi and Alaknanda rivers, inthe Himalayas, and the India-Bangladesh border, near the Farakka Barrage and the first bifurcation of theriver. The length of the Ganges is frequently said to be slightly over 2,500 km (1,600 mi) long, about2,505 km (1,557 mi), [30]  to 2,525 km (1,569 mi), [1][20]  or perhaps 2,550 km (1,580 mi). [31]  In these cases theriver's source is usually assumed to be the source of the Bhagirathi River, Gangotri Glacier at Gomukh, andits mouth being the mouth of the Meghna River on the Bay of Bengal. [1][20][30][31]  Sometimes the source of the Ganges is considered to be at Haridwar, where its Himalayan headwater streams debouch onto the
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