The Seven Sacred Rivers of India

The Seven Sacred Rivers of India

India is the land of sacred rivers and almost all the holy places in India including Banaras, Ujjain and Haridwar is situated on the banks of these rivers. Here, we share seven sacred rivers of India where people all around the world come to take a holy dip:

River Ganga

River Ganga or the Ganges is not just the longest river but is also the most sacred river of India. The name Ganga is synonymous with spirituality around the world and is, therefore, a spiritual centre where people come and even pay their respects. A holy dip in the Ganga is believed to liberate the person all from the accrued sins.

Image Courtesy: The Ganga River, Sunset from Patna via Wikimedia Commons

According to popular belief, the ashes of the cremation if released in Ganga purifies the soul. There are hundreds of temples situated along the banks of the river Ganga.

River Yamuna

The source of River Yamuna source is Saptarishi Kund. The place also abodes a temple dedicated to Goddess Yamuna which is opened only from June to October. Going by Indian mythology, Yamuna is one of the consorts of Lord Krishna. The Yamuna is also believed to be an offspring of ‘Surya’, the Sun God. The Yamuna along with Ganga is considered the holiest rivers in India.

Image Courtesy: Gary Denham via Flickr

River Saraswati

River Saraswati may not have a physical existence today, but her presence is well elaborated in ancient Indian literature including the Vedas. In fact, Rig Veda keeps on describing River Saraswati and mentions the name of Ganga just once. It flowed in the northern parts of the Indian subcontinent during the Vedic era.

The Helmand River, Afghanistan, known in ancient Iranian Avestan as Haraxvatī and Harahvaiti, is identified by some as the ancient Sarasvati river. Image Courtesy: aka4ajax, via Wikimedia Commons

Nobody today has seen the Saraswati River at the Triveni Sangam in Allahabad – a union of the three rivers the Ganges, Yamuna, and the Saraswati as it is believed that the river flows underneath and joins the other two rivers from underground. The Sangam at Allahabad place is one of the most sacred places for the Hindus.

River Kshipra

River Kshipra aka Shipra is one of the sacred rivers of Hindus. The ancient holy city of Ujjain is situated on its banks. Ujjain as we all know is not just an ancient city but a holy place renowned for Mahakaleshwar temple – one of the twelve eminent Jyotirlingas in India. After every 12 years, Ujjain is a host to the Kumbh Mela festival, and millions of devotees all across the world flock to take a holy dip in the sacred river of Kshipra.

River Godavari

River Godavari originates near Trimbak in Nashik and is considered to be one of the seven sacred rivers of India. Kumbh Mela of Nashik is organized near the banks of the river Godavari. According to the Hindu beliefs, a holy bath in the sacred water of Godavari frees the person from the sins.

Vishalnagula, via Wikimedia Commons

River Narmada

River Narmada is considered to be one of the most sacred of all the seven rivers of India. The reason being, it is believed that Narmada descended straight from the sky on the order of Lord Shiva. According to the Hindu beliefs, the river Narmada can free a human soul from all the sins and even purify him simply by her divine sight.

Shivam Agarwal via Wikimedia Commons

River Kaveri

River Cauvery or Kaveri is one of the only prominent rivers in Southern India that flows along with the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. It is often termed as the Dakshina Ganga which means Ganga of the south. The holy river finds its place both in the Tamil literature and the Kannada writings.

Ranjithkumar.i via Wikimedia Commons

Throughout the past, the banks of the River Kaveri attracted great writers, poets, philosophers and saints who contributed greatly to the culture, ethos and spiritual wisdom of India.

These are the seven sacred rivers of India

Also Read: Ancient Hindu Temples in Pakistan One Should Know About!

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