Ganga has been a symbol of India's age-old culture and civilization, everchanging, everflowing, yet the same Ganga.
- Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister of India (Will and Testament).
The River Ganga has been the cradle of Indian civilization and symbol of purity to millions. It is treated as one of the most holy rivers of the world. The Ganga is the largest river of the Indian sub-continent. The Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghna river basin covers only 0.12% of the total landmass of the Earth yet about 10% of the world's population reside there. It serves the needs of more than 400 million populations. The Ganges is regarded by Hindus as the most sacred river in the world. Many important religious ceremonies are held in cities on its banks, including Varanasi, Haridwar, and Allahabad. The ganges is a source of divine purification for Hindus who travel by the millions every year to bathe in its waters and to submerge the cremated remains of their dead.