Holy Rivers in India

In Hinduism. water is very important for sustenance of life and what cleaning and bathing signify. The Ganga or Ganges River is the holiest of them all and is simply called Mother Ganga. Almost all of the holy places in India are located on a holy river and here are several of them that resonate the beauty of India and all that is offers, not only in so far as giving life to the many villages that live nearby, but also to those looking for a genuine India experience infused not only with nature, but culture as well.

Ganga (Ganges)

The greatest Indian waterway is the Ganga River that begins in the Himalayas and ends flowing into the Bay of Bengal. It is not only a holy river but a water source for many areas. The river and spirituality go hand-in-hand and one dip in the Ganga is thought to relieve a person of their sins. The Ganga is a main part of Hinduism and there are many temples that are along its banks, which spans over 2,500 kilometres. The Ganga also flows through the city of Varanasi, also known as Benares, which is the holiest of the seven cities in Hinduism as well as Jainism.


The Godavari River begins in Niskik and goes through the Eastern Ghats and like the Ganga flows into the Bay of Bengal. Also, after the Ganga it is the second biggest river in India and Nashik is a very popular site for pilgrimage. Like the Ganga one dip in the Godavari and you will be free from all sins. The length of the Godavari River is nearly 1,500 kilometres.


The Yamuma begins the high altitude of the Champasar Glacier in Uttarkhand and is special in the Hindu religion. Many are under the belief that the river is actually a special glacial lake, which is known as Saptarishi Kund where there is the temple that is dedicated to Goddess Yamuna. There is much Hindu mythology about the Yamuma River and a dip in it is thought to take away the fear of death.


The Sarasvati is an ancient river in India that does not appear above ground today, but underground. This is an ancient river that flows with the two other rivers of the Ganga and the Yamuna, but cannot be seen. It is under the belief in Hinduism that the river flows underground and is very sacred to those of the religion.

Kaveri River

The Kaveri River is located in southern India coming from Brahmagiri Hill and it flows in the southeast direction through the Karnataka and Tamilnadu states. In Tamil literature, the river is mentioned often because it is very holy and sacred. The second biggest waterfall in India is also on the Kaveri River in the very beautiful Shivasamudram falls.


Narmada is a holy river that originates in Madhya Pradesh from the Maikala ranges at Amarkantak mountain ranges and flows southwest and into the Gulf of Cambay. In an order from Lord Shiva Narmada came from the sky and in the Hindu mythology the river has the powers to free people of their sins and not only that, but make them pure as well.