Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Ganges

Ganges, the sacred river of the Hindoos, the bathing in whose waters washes away all sin, rises in Gahrwal (q.v.), from an ice-cave a few miles above the sacred temple of Gangotri, at a height of 13,800 feet. In its early course it is called Bhazirathi, and does not receive the name of Ganges till after flowing nearly 200 miles and receiving the waters of two tributaries. It passes through the Himalayas at Sukhi. and flows S.W. to Hardwar, and then generally S.E. of Allahabad, where it receives the Jumna, and on past Benares through Behar, being joined by three more tributaries, and then flows SĄ beginning to form its delta at 220 miles from the mouth. The main stream, which receives the Brahmaputra, is to the E., and the Hooghly, oh which stands Calcutta, to the W. The upper part of the Delta is fertile, but the lower part is swampy, and numerous canals connect the branches of the river. The whole course is 1,557 miles, and the river drains 390,000 miles of country lying between the Himalayas, Burmah, and the Vindhya Hills. The river is perennial, and enriches the land with the deposit of its inundations, and is navigable for the greater part of its course. Hence perhaps its sacredness.