The Ganges River is a bit of a conundrum. On one hand, this 1,500-mile stretch of water is one of the most polluted rivers in the entire world. It takes in over 3.6 billion liters of untreated sewage every single day, all from the towns that sit along its banks. On the other hand, there are some who believe the river is sacred to their culture and therefore see it as a divine body of water.
People defecate and urinate in the river, en masse, on top of the industrial waste that's pumped into its waters by local canneries, fisheries, chemical plants, even hospitals. But despite the monumental health hazards that come with wading into the Ganges' infested waters, some cultures practice centuries-old religious rituals to honor it.
Ganges River ceremonies are performed by many tribes and religions. This one polluted body of water means so many different things to so many different people - read on to learn about some beautiful Ganges traditions.