|MYTHS OF THE GANGA IN RELIGIONS|
The holy dip
Vast melas and fairs attract people from far and wide. People take on the sacred waters of the Ganga.
MYTHS AND RELIGIOUS FACTS
GANGA IN HINDUISM
The Hindus revere the Ganga as a goddess, as sister of Parvati who is the daughter of Himavan and the bride of Lord Shiva. The Ganga is called the Mother and the lands through which she flows, are very fertile and prosperous in all aspects.
The South Indian King, Raja Raja Chola, carried home the Ganga water after a victorious campaign in the North and mixed it with the waters of the river Cauvery that flows in South India. To celebrate this, he built a new city called Gangai-konda cholapuram meaning "the city of the Chola King who conquered the Ganga".
Ghats- Holy places for bathing . The waters of the River are considered by devout Hindus to be the elixir of salvation endowed with the power to cleanse the souls of those who bathe in it and liberate those whose ashes are immersed in it from the cycle of re-birth.
THE KUMBH MELA- is held once in every 12 years . Well known is the one at Prayag, near Allahabad, where the 3 rivers- Ganga, Yamuna, and the mythical Saraswati merge and flow as one. This place is also called THE TRIVENI SANGAM or the UNION
In the Hindu calendar, on Karthik Purnima (auspicious Full Moon in the month of Karthik), lakhs of devotees flock to Ganga Sagar, the place where the Ganga joins the sea.
GANGA IN BUDDHISM.
The Gangetic plain was the birthplace of Buddhism. Buddhism was one of the major religions of India. Gautam Buddha who found Buddhism was born in Lumbini, and thats where he meditated for 49 days in Gaya, a holy city on the riverbank. It was in Sarnath , near Varanasi that he preached his first sermon.
After the Turkish conquest, the Sultans brought to India the elements of highly sophisticated Arabo-Persian culture. It also led to an exchange of cultural ideas and the growth of the Indo-Islamic culture. The Taj Mahal, in Agra, which is synonymous with India and is regarded as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, was also built during this period.
BuddhaGreek influences can be seen in this stucco head of Buddha from Gandhara, an ancient region of India now mostly in Pakistan. Culture in Gandhara was influenced by contact with Greece and other Western countries after Alexander the Greats invasion of India in the 4th century BC. This contact encouraged the development of a Graeco-Buddhist school of sculpture that peaked in the 2nd century AD. He preached his first sermon in Sarnath , a city on the river banks of the Ganga.
Taj Mahal, India The Taj Mahal, designed as a tomb for the wife of a 17th-century Mughal emperor, was constructed by about 20,000 workers from 1631 to 1648 in Agra, a city in northern India. The massive domed structure was constructed in the Indo-Islamic style, using white marble and inlaid gems. At each corner is a minaret (prayer tower), and passages from the Koran, the Muslim holy book, adorn the outside walls. The bodies of the emperor and his wife remain in a vault below the building.