In India we have many rivers. These Rivers are part of our culture. We just don’t treat them as rivers, they are treated as goddesses. Taking bath in these rivers is believed to be sacred. During Pushkaras and in Karthika Maasam many people have a bath in these rivers. As rivers have so much importance in our life, I would like to share some information about the rivers in India.
1. RIVER GANGA
River Ganga flows in VARANASI, UTTARAKAND, UTTAR PRADESH, BIHAR, JHARKAND, WEST BENGAL, AND IN SOME PARTS OF BANGLADESH. It covers over 2525KMS. Its starting point is in Himalayas. Per year About 400 million devotees come to take bath in River Ganga. It is believed that River Ganga is there from time of RIGVEDA i.e approximately around 1700-1100BC.
River Ganga is the most important river which flows in KASI. People believe that they will attain Moksham easily by taking their last breath at the banks of river Ganga in Kasi, so in past many old people used to go to Kasi and stay there itself to spend their last days. Every Hindu will wish to have bath in river Ganga at least once in their life time. Ganga water is very sacred, it is proved that it can clean the impurities in it by itself. It will not be spoiled when stored for many days. By Puranas we can know that by visiting Kasi or having bath in Ganga we will not have next birth.
Now this sacred river is being polluted so much that it is beyond the capacity of the river to clean itself, so our government is taking necessary measures to clean Ganga water on the name of “THE GANGA ACTION PLAN”.
Kumbhmela is a mass Hindu Pilgrimage in which Hindus gather at Ganga River. The normal Kumbhmela is celebrated for every 3 years.
2. RIVER SARASWATHI
Another river which is present from Vedic period (period in history during which the Vedas, the oldest scriptures of Hinduism were composed) is river Saraswathi. According to Puranas this river is believed to be the other form of goddess Saraswathi Devi.
Due to the changes that occurred in the underground layers of the earth, now this river is not visible, but it is flowing even know under the under ground layers of earth (ANTHERVAHINI). It is proved by the satellite pictures. It flows between river Yamuna and River Sutlej.
River Saraswathi originates in HIMALAYAS near KAILASA PARVATHAM(mountain) and when it is visible it flowed through. PUNJAB, HARYANA, RAJASTHAN, GUJARAT, RANN OF KUTUCH AND THEN MERGED IN ARABIAN SEA.
3. RIVER BRAHMAPUTRA
River Brahmaputra is one of the major rivers of Asia. I t is the only Indian river that is attributed the masculine gender. It is about 1800(2900kms) miles long. It is one of the deepest rivers in the world. It is 5,075metres deep. It is an important river for irrigation and transportation. It originates near KAILASA PARVATHAM IN HIMALAYAS and flows through NEPAL, BHUTAN, BURMA AND MERGES IN BAY OF BENGAL IN BANGLADESH.
4. RIVER THAPATHI
Thapathi River covers over 724kms. It is 752feet height from the sea level. It flows through important places in India and we can see it in SATPURA (BHATHUL DISTRICT, MADHYAPRADESH).It flows through MAHARASTRA, GUJARAT AND MERGES IN ARABIAN SEA. Thapathi is daughter of Lord Surya .She married Sanvaran. They gave birth to a child named KURU. According to Puranas we can know that Kuru ruled the place for many years.
In olden days this river played a very important role in Hajj and Mecca tour of Muslims. It is also used as a major port and exports and imports are also done. Tapathi River is also called as River Taapi, River Thapthi. It helped for the development of Dhodia tribes and Bhil tribes.
5. RIVER YAMUNA
River Yamuna is in UTTARANCHAL. It originates in YAMUNOTRI in HIMALAYAS at a height of 6387 meters. It covers 1370kms(length) .Yamuna is daughter of Lord Surya. Sister of Lord Yama .She is also worshipped as Jamuna matha. Lord Krishna was taken across the Yamuna on the night of his birth. When Vasudeva carrying Krishna in a basket, reaches river Yamuna, on a extremely turbulent, rainy night of Krishna‘s birth, it has parted in the middle and made way for Vasudeva. Most of the Lord Krishna’s childhood passes on the banks of Yamuna. Yamuna, according to legends is closely related to Ramayana and Mahabharata.
6. RIVER KAVERI
River Kaveri originates on Brahmagiri hills in KODAGU in the Western Ghats in Karnataka. It is also called as TALAKAVERI, which means head of Kaveri. It flows through Karnataka and Tamilnadu and merges in to Bay of Bengal.
The Kaveri basin is estimated to be 27,700 square miles with many tributaries. Rising in Southwestern Karnataka, it flows south east some 765km to enter the Bay of Bengal. East of Mysore it forms the island of Shivanasamudra, on either side of which are the scenic Shivanasamudra Falls .Shivanasamudra falls are the second biggest water falls in India.
Hydroelectric plant built on the left Sivanasamudra Falls in 1902 was the first hydraulic plant in Karnataka. The primary use of river Kaveri is providing water for irrigation, and water for house hold purpose.
The three major islands at Kaveri have a strong Vaishnava Heritage. One of them is Srirangam.On the banks of Kaveri is the ancient temple of Talakad where the holy festival Panchalinaga Darshan is held every 12years.
There is a small story related to Kaveri. Once when drought occurred in India Agasthya Rishi prayed for Lord Brahma. Lord Brahma pleased by the prayers of the sage told Agasthya rishi to go to Kailasa Parvatham and please Lord Siva and bring water along with snow which will never drain and changes into a big river. Agastya rishi took water into a Kamandalam and was in search an appropriate place. Lord Ganesha came in the form of a child. Agasthya rishi called the child playing there and gave this Kamandalam and told him not to place it down until he comes.Lord Ganesha kept that Kamandalam down before rishi came and one cow came there and throwed that Kamandalam down. The place where Kamandalam fell down Kaveri originated.
Karnataka people call Kaveri as Kaverimaa. Having dip in this river removes all our sins and gives mental peace.
TEMPLES ON THE WAY
7. RIVER KRISHNA
The Krishna River is one of the longest rivers in central southern India, about 1290kms. It is 200metres deep. It is one of the oldest rivers in India. It is also called as Krishnaveni. Krishna River is the fourth largest river in India after Ganges, the Godavari and the Narmada. It flows from Mahabaleswaram to Maharastra. In middle it touches Karnataka and comes into Hamsaladeevi (Andrapradesh) and merges into Bay of Bengal. For every 12years Puskaras will be celebrated grandly.
Its most important tributary is the Tungabhadra River. Other tributaries are Venna River, Konya River, Bhima River, Malapraba River, Ghatapraba River, Yerla River, Warna River, Dindi River, Paleru River, Musi River, Urmodi River, Tarli River and Dudhganaga River.
TEMPLES ON THE WAY OF KRISHNA RIVER
1. Sri Saila Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple, Srisialam
2. Amareswara Swamy, Amaravathi
3. DathatrayaSwamy Temple
4. Sangameswara Temple
5. Durga Malleswara Sawmy Temple,Vijayawada.