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Rivers of Love, Life and Death

These legendary water bodies have enthralled generations with their myths.

Published: 20th May 2018 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th May 2018 04:20 PM   |  A+A-

Ganga
It rises from the western Himalayas in the state of Uttarakhand. Hindus regard the Ganga as the most sacred river and goddess Ganga is perceived as Mokshdayini, the goddess whose waters will free you from your sins. The myth has it that the Ganga came on earth to bring salvation to mankind. 

Yamuna
Sometimes called the Jamuna, it originates from Yamunotri glacier in Uttarakhand. In Hindu mythology, the Yamuna is considered the daughter of Sun God, Surya, and sister of Yama, the God of Death. According to popular legends, bathing in its sacred waters frees one from the sufferings of death. 

Brahmaputra
This river originates from the Chemayungdung glacier, located on the side of the Himalayas around Tibet. It enters India at Arunachal Pradesh. Legend has it that Brahmaputra is Brahma’s son, conceived by sage Shantanu’s wife, Amodha. 
Narmada
It originates from Amarkantak on the Amarkantak hill in Madhya Pradesh. According to a fable, once Lord Shiva sat meditating and started sweating. Lord Shiva’s sweat got collected in a tank which started flowing in the form of the river Narmada. 

Kaveri
It rises from the Western Ghats in Karnataka. According to mythology, King Kavera was blessed with a daughter Kaveri who ended up marrying saint Agastya. One day, when the saint went for a bath, he turned her into water and put her in his Kamandala. Meanwhile, Lord Ganesha in the form of a crow overturned the utensil. The water came out of it and Kaveri became a river.

Beas
It rises in the Himalayas near Himachal Pradesh. The fascinating fact about this river is that it marked the eastern border of Alexander the Great’s territory in 326 BC.
Tapti
It flows from the eastern Satpura range in southern Madhya Pradesh. According to Hindu mythology, Tapi or Tapti is the daughter of Surya. Another version of the theory says Surya created Tapi to save himself from his own heat.

Godavari
It is the second longest river in India and starts in Maharashtra. It is also called the ‘Dakshin Ganga’. It flows east through Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Karnataka, and empties into the Bay of Bengal. The river is also known as Gautami by the locals.

chenab
It forms in the upper Himalayas, near the Spiti district in Himachal Pradesh. It is a major river for both India and Pakistan. Chenab is called the river of romance in many folk stories. According to a myth, Sohni was swimming to meet her lover Mahiwal, when she drowned in Chenab. In fact, the locals also believe that the romance between Mirza and Sahiban brewed on the banks of the Chenab and Ravi.

Saraswati
This river no longer exists. It is believed that it originated from Saraswati-Rupin glacier in Uttarakhand. However, there are a lot of references to this river in Vedic texts. 



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