The quintessential symbol of India, the epitome of all sacred waters, a mother goddess, and an essential lifeline sustaining the livelihoods of millions - the Ganga is India's most revered river. This anthology presents a selection of writings that reflects the ways the Ganga has been encountered through the centuries - as a liberating force, source of wonder and inspiration, a means of transport and centre of trade, a geographical curiosity, and a habitat for a wide variety of animals and plants.
The collection explores the length of the river, from its source to its delta, bringing together various perspectives from the mythical, material, and spiritual dimensions. It includes founding myths from the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata, excerpts from translations of the classic Padma Nadir Majhi and the screenplay of Ram Teri Ganga Maili, accounts of travellers from Tavernier to Newby, Nehru's 'Will and Testament', and selections from Amitav Ghosh, Vikram Seth, and Raja Rao. The anthology will serve as essential reading for those seeking to understand the significance of the river in Indian civilization and wanting to engage with exciting debates about the 'modern' and 'traditional' the 'epic' and 'the everyday'.