Life by the Ganga: Haridwar

KING SPEAK

The Ganga gushes ashen, venerated and violated at Haridwar. Every morning the town worships her, each evening pays homage to her. The river is a way of life for the townsfolk. Millions from all over come to take a dip in the river and sample its magical power to wash away sins.

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Upstream, not far from the holy town, a series of sluices breaks Ganga’s flow, forcing her through channels – the braided channel opens and pours itself into strands past ghats, hotels, guest houses and homes standing elbow to elbow, fighting and falling over each other for a closer perch near her flowing waters.

A broad, red-tiled promenade runs along the river front. Hundreds of believers throng this pathway to salvation round the year. Birth and death, togetherness and loneliness, plenty and poverty, acquisition and renunciation, the river flows past life’s every bend.

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A 50-something buries his face in…

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