Tourism in Ganga Basin
Ganga basin has diverse variety of tourist attractions like the glaciers, hill stations, mountains, caves, national parks, forts etc.
The Ganges has been like the spinal cord in the mechanism of Indian society since time immemorial. It’s not a surprise that a large number of settlements came up on its banks, transcending over years into major cities and towns, and most of these towns stemmed from the belief in the holiness of the river. Some of the towns of tourist attractions are:
The small town situated in the rugged terrains of the Himalayas in Uttarakhand is witness to the confluence of the rivers Bhagirathi and Alakananda which merge to form the Ganges. The splendid sight of the differently colored waters of the two rivers is the highlight of the region. However, the area is also blessed with natural beauty and the landscape is embedded with sacred temples like the Raghunath Ji temple, Danda Naggaraja temple. A key attraction is the Nakhsatra Vedh Shala, an observatory which has archived manuscripts and equipments that are witness to the progress of astronomy in India.
Rishikesh is situated at the foothills of the Himalayas in Uttarakhand. Considered a holy city, the city is strictly vegetarian by law with a stricter prohibition of alcohol, but the vegetarian dishes can be savored in earnest. The area around the famed “Lakshman Jhula” is a major point of interest. Sports like rafting, kayaking are in hot favourites while there is abundant scope for hiking and rock climbing. Being nicknamed “the world capital of Yoga“, the pristine town attracts tourists for the same purpose.
Haridwar is one of the seven holiest places in Hindu beliefs. The Kumbh Mela that is held here every 12 years sees a congregation of tourists, devotees alike to witness the grand extravaganza that takes place. Har Ki Pauri is a place to be when the evening aarti is held. A cable car trip to Mansa Devi Temple offers the bird’s eye view of Haridwar. Besides the numerous temples that adorn the land, the Cheela dam is a beautiful place for a picnic.
Primarily an industrial town, Kanpur occupies a major position in the history, being a hotspot during the revolution of 1857. Dotted with several parks, notably Moti Jheel, and temples like J K temple (which is made of marble and dedicated to Krishna). The Kanpur Sangrahalaya is an important museum where several artifacts are kept. Tourists often find delight in cycling along the lower Ganges canal.
Situated on the banks of the Gomti river (a tributary of the Ganga river), this city history of this city transcended from Delhi Sultanate to the Nawabs of Awadh and thus showcases the history they left behind. The magnificent structures of Bara Imambara, Rumi Darwaza. The Bhulbhulaiya (maze) is a labyrinthine network and is a popular attraction. Visit in summer to savor the famed taste of Dussehri variety of mangoes! As far as cuisines are concerned, Lucknow will always be proud to show of the gold feathers in its cap. The delicacies of Nawabi cuisines comprising of Biriyani, Kebabs is well renowned, while the cult of Lucknow cooks enjoy almost a legendary status!
Kannauj is in place since ancient time, with the famous benevolent king Harsha Vardhan being one of its rulers. The archeology museum of Kannauj displays antiquities from as early as the 300 BC, with craftsmanship of Maurya age, Gupta age etc. amongst its displays. The Lakh Bahosi bird sanctuary is an excellent spot for bird watching.
Allahabad (also known as Prayag) is one of the four places that hold the mega-congregation, the Kumbh Mela. Allahabad is regarded as the literary capital of Uttar Pradesh due to the number of writers that it contributed to Hindu literature. Moreover, literature in other languages like Persian and Urdu are enthusiastically pursued here. The Allahabad Fort, built by Mughal Emperor Akbar is a major attraction along with Ashoka Pillar, Azad Park (where Indian revolutionary Chandrasekhar Azad was martyred), All Saint’s Cathedral, Khusro Bagh amidst others.
Varanasi is one of the holiest cities in India. Lined with temples along the ghats of Ganges, it always witnesses a congregation of devotees, pilgrims and tourists from the farthest corner. The entire decorum is overwhelming with plethora of activities- a brilliant display of Hinduism. The Assi Ghat, Dashwamedh Ghat, Manikarnika Ghat are major Ghats where Maikarnika ghat is a major cremation ground. The Kashi Vishwanath Temple is regarded as the most important of the temples while Gyanvapi Mosque is a grand mosque which caters to Muslim devotees. The temple town has a labyrinthine structure to explore while you chew on that famed Banarasi Paan!
The ancient city of Pataliputra saw several transitions to come into its present form as Patna. Kumhrar and Agam Kuan are the sites of the ruins of the Ashokan Pataliputra, while Patna Museum showcases many artifacts of Mauryan art.
The town has a rich history dominated by the Nawabs of Bengal and it reflects in the architecture and culture. Be it the thousand door wonder palace of Hazarduari (Hazar= thousand, duar=door), the huge Nizamat Imambara, or the Cossimbazar Palace– the list of places to visit is seemingly endless! If you’re looking to dig into some of India’s royal past, then Baharampur is a must on the list of places.
Ah, the ‘City of Joy‘! The Howrah Bridge and the Vidyasagar Setu are examples of impressive architecture. The best of Ganges can be savored on the boat trips available at several jetties. A boat ride can be taken from Princep Ghat and followed by a train journey along a beautiful track adjacent to the river. The riverside is a beautiful recluse from the busy city. Apart from this, the city also has many destinations to visit.
The basin has various categories of the water tourism. Major water tourism sites in the basin shown here. The Ganga basin is a source of economy to the states and country through tourism related activities.