The Ganges or Ganga, is the largest river in India. It’s 2.525 km long and crosses the entire country. The Ganges basin is the most heavily populated river basin in the world, with over 400 million people. It’s the most sacred river to Hindus and is also a lifeline to millions of Indians who live along its course and depend on it for their daily needs. It is also one of the most amazing places for a travel photographer who wants to document the daily Indian life.
Dead Bodies Floating In The Ganges River.
No place along its banks is more longed for at the moment of death by Hindus than Varanasi. It is the holiest place in Hinduism and often referred to as “the holy city of India“. Those who are lucky enough to die in Varanasi, are cremated on the banks of the Ganges & granted instant salvation. There are exceptions; pregnant women, children, holy people and people who died from a snake bite are not cremated but are lowered into the river. Sooner or later they will show up at the surface again … Everything might be holy in Varanasi but nobody bothers if a dead body floats by … and they float by quite often. This is something we have never seen before but it’s nothing special in India. We would say: “dawn of the dead reality show daily from your hotel terrace” … To some of you, these photos of corpses might be too much but this is the brutal reality.
Pollution Of The Ganges River.
Unfortunately this also means that there’s a lot of pollution: the Ganges river suffers from extreme pollution levels. Sewage from many cities along the river’s course, industrial waste and religious offerings wrapped in non-degradable plastics add large amounts of pollutants to the river as it flows through densely populated areas. The problem is that many poor people rely on the river on a daily basis for bathing, washing, and cooking.
The people in Varanasi don’t seem to care about the pollution of the Ganges – or at least often they don’t have a choice. As I said before, for many the Ganges river is the only opportunity to take a shower. Additionally Varanasi (already a city of millions) is visited by many thousands of pilgrims each year who want to take a holy dip in the Ganges. Only this city releases around 200 million litres of untreated human sewage into the river each day…
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