River Ganga is regarded as the Holy River by Hindus in India and all around the world. It holds a unique status as the most sacred river and is worshipped as Goddess Ganga. It is intricately linked to Indian mythology, history, and culture, with Indians regarding it as a powerful and kind Goddess that forms an essential part of their lives. It is believed that the holy river water is so pure that it can cleanse away the sins of Devotees who take a holy dip in the holy river Ganga and help them to attain salvation.
Only a handful of cities are fortunate enough to have the privilege of witnessing the flow of the river Ganga through their lands. As a result of the river’s sacredness, several historical and mystical temples have been built along its banks. Let us explore some of the most significant ones and know their importance.
Top 5 famous temples situated on the banks of the holy river Ganga are
Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Kashi/Varanasi
The Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one of the most famous and revered temples in India. It is located in Kashi/Varanasi, on the banks of the river Ganga. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas in India. The temple has been destroyed and rebuilt several times throughout history, with the current structure dating back to the 18th century. The temple compound also includes several smaller shrines dedicated to various other deities.
Har Ki Pauri, Haridwar
Har Ki Pauri is a ghat located in Haridwar, on the banks of the river Ganga. It is one of the most sacred places in Hinduism and is believed to be the place where Lord Vishnu left his footprint. This ghat is also the location of the Kumbh Mela, a major Hindu festival that attracts millions of Devotees from all over the world. Har ki Pauri ghat is also famous for being the most famous Ganga Aarti, a ritual in which priests light lamps and offer prayers to the river Ganges, regarded as Maa Ganga.
Gangotri Temple, Uttarakhand
Gangotri Temple is located in the town of Gangotri, in Uttarakhand. It is one of the four Char Dham pilgrimage sites flocked by Devotees and is dedicated to Goddess Ganga. The temple is believed to be the source of the holy river Ganga and is situated at an altitude of over 3,000 meters above sea level. The temple is open only for six months a year, from May to October, due to extreme weather conditions in this region.
Triveni Sangam, Allahabad
Triveni Sangam is the confluence of three rivers, Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati (known as the hidden river) in Allahabad. The place is considered holy by Hindus and it is believed to be the place where drops of nectar fell during the churning of the ocean by the gods and demons. Triveni Sangam is also the location of the Kumbh Mela, which is the largest gathering of Devotees in the world. Several temples and ashrams are located on the banks of the river Ganga at Triveni Sangam.
Kedarnath Temple, Uttarakhand
Kedarnath Temple is located in the town of Kedarnath, in Uttarakhand. It is one of the Char Dham pilgrimage sites and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is located at an altitude of over 3,500 meters above sea level and is surrounded by snow-capped mountains. The temple is only accessible by foot and remains closed for six months a year due to heavy snowfall in this region. The temple is believed to have been built by the Pandavas during the Mahabharata era.
Not just limited to these five temples, the banks of the river Ganga also holds numerous other famous temples. It is believed that by participating in any puja or yagya in these temples, Devotees are blessed with an abundance of health, wealth and happiness.
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