‘Along the Ganga’ by Ilija Trojanow

The glacier is receding due to Global warming or as Brahamavaivarta Purana foretells, Ganga will go underground one day talking her share of sins, to await for next golden age.     

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 The events happen so coincidently that you feel this was bound to happen because the whole universe was conspiring to make it happen.

      The vacations were about to commence, so I thought of catching hold of 3-4 books from the library to pass my vacations. Meanwhile, I along with my family members was searching out for a place to visit during vacations that are either far off and can be covered with reasonable expense. So, we shortlisted Haridwar but considering the crowd at these places, we were perplexed to whether go there or not. We made the booking in the hotel and with an optimistic mindset started our preparations. Reading has become my habit and one would always find a book in my bag. So, when we were about to leave for Haridwar, I caught hold of this book on Ganga in hurry and excitement that this book, Along the Ganga, would give me an idea about whereabouts of what should be visited in Haridwar. I haven’t read the brief and reviews till then but has really come out as real experience.

The book: This book is sort of travel guide in a storytelling format that takes it the reader to an inexplicable two-month long journey along the Ganga through the inflatable boat, on foot, by bus and overcrowded trains.  The author kicks off his journey from icy Gaumukh and down the Himalayas by passing through great and ancient cities like Allahabad, Varanasi and Patna to the ultimate destination Gangasagar, where the river meets the sea.

   The author has given a vivid description of the flora and fauna along with the people ideologies, beliefs and myths residing along the Ganga tributaries. Ilija beautifully describes the present condition along with the people myths and beliefs and their reasons for not contributing to Ganga cleaning. He often displays his ambiguity between people’s belief of treating Ganga as Goddess and then polluting it with a burning corpse, washing clothes, daily ablutions and bathing believing that God doesn’t get polluted, rather eradicates their sin. He narrates his experiences of offering prayers to his ancestors, attending Mahakumbh, witnessing Naga Sadhus, meeting engineers and activists and discussing their divergent views on living alongside Ganga and implementing action plans.

The language of the book is engrossing and can be easily understood by the laymen. The narration of the author makes the reader walk along with him and experience Ganga till it reaches Gangasagar

Recommendations: The book is a good read for travel lovers who love to explore the hidden many facets of the locations along with history and culture.

Author: Geetanjali

Creativity is my core skill, be that vision to see the world or to work towards something aesthetically, creativity exists in everything. I am an academician by profession and the creative person at heart. I am a poet and got my poems published by Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi inKavya Lehri and Kavyanjali. A writer who loves writing and has written for numerous magazines and newspapers. A Blogger who runs her own blog. An artist who works towards improving her skills every now and then. A traveller who knows learning is much more outside the classroom. As a leaner is never satisfied with his/ her work, I believe to utilize the gift of human birth to the fullest and enjoy the journey than attaining the destination.

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