Ganges

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The Ganges (English pronunciation: /ˈɡændʒiːz/ GAN-jeez; Sanskrit: गङ्गा Hindi: गंगा Urdu: گنگا Ganga IPA: [ˈɡəŋɡaː]  ( listen); Bengali: গঙ্গা Gônga), is the largest river in the Indian subcontinent by discharge. The 2,510 km (1,560 mi) river rises in the western Himalayas in the Uttarakhand. It has long been considered the holiest of all rivers by Hindus and worshiped as the goddess Ganga in Hinduism. It has also been important historically: many former provincial or imperial capitals (such as Patliputra, Kannauj, Kara, Allahabad, Murshidabad, Baharampur and Kolkata) have been located on its banks. The Ganges Basin drains 1,000,000-square-kilometre (390,000 sq mi) and supports one of the world's highest density of humans. The average depth of the river is 52 feet (16 m), and the maximum depth, 100 feet (30 m). The river has been declared as India's "National River".[1] The many symbolic meanings of the river on the Indian subcontinent were spoken to in 1946 by Jawaharlal Nehru in his Discovery of India:

The Ganges, above all is the river of India, which has held India's heart captive and drawn uncounted millions to her banks since the dawn of history. The story of the Ganges, from her source to the sea, from old times to new, is the story of India's civilization and culture, of the rise and fall of empires, of great and proud cities, of adventures of man…

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