Ganges River Facts: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 The River Ganges
  • 0:23 The World's Biggest…
  • 0:46 Religion and the River
  • 1:16 Drinkability and Pollution
  • 1:58 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Claire DeSaussure

Claire has worked in behavioral programs at the Elementary Level and has an MLS with a focus on Creative Writing.

The Ganges is a river that flows through the countries of India and Bangladesh in Asia. It is an important river not only for its water, but because it is a spiritual place for many Hindu people.

The River Ganges

Can you imagine going to the same place to catch your food, wash your clothes, and pray? Most of us can't, but if you lived along the Ganges river in India or Bangladesh, you'd do just that. The river Ganges (Gan-jees) is 1,560 miles long. It is formed from the water that melts from the Gangotri Glacier in the Himalayan Mountains.

The World's Biggest River Delta

When the Ganges reaches the Bay of Bengal, which is part of the Indian Ocean, it forms a delta. A delta is a piece of land that grows when particles of soil are deposited. When the river meets the sea it slows down, and these tiny pieces drop down and form new land. The Ganges Delta is the biggest in the world! The soil there is very fertile, which means crops love to grow in it, and local people grow tea and rice.

Religion and the River

In the Hindu religion, the water of the Ganges is sacred. Hindu people believe that if they bathe in the water of the river or even sprinkle some on their head, they are forgiven for any bad deeds or sins they have done in the past. Some people believe that if they place the bodies of their dead relatives into the river they will find peace forever.

Other people travel so that they can die in a town called Varanasi, which is on the banks of the Ganges. So many people come to do this, that stone steps have been built so that they can be cremated or burned to ash, after they have died.

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