Ganga emerges from the Southern Great Himalayas in the northern Uttarakhand state with its 5 headstreams named – Bhagirathi, Alaknanda, Mandakini, Dauliganga, and Pindar and terminates at the Bay of Bengal. The pious river covers over 2500 km which vests different livable places on its bank. The holy city on Ganga has a dense population and great spiritual values. And the reason behind this is easy water accessibility and the Hindu beliefs that say where Ganga originates, merges with other rivers, and flows northward has the most sacred earth.
People across India come to these holy cities vested on the Bank of river Ganga to take a deep bath in the great river to wash away all the misdeeds and make a room in heaven. Most of these cities are also home to Lord Shiva. According to People faith Shiva accepts the water of Northward Ganga and blesses with boon.
Generally, Ganga flows in the southeastern direction, but the places where Ganga gets northward holds giant religious values and considered an auspicious land. Some locations like Kashi, Sultanganj, Barh, Bhrigu Thaura, and Haridwar are blessed with Uttarvahini Ganga.
Let’s take a tour to these blessed cities to purify your soul
Gangotri; The Origin of Ganga
Gangotri is a holy city on Ganga in the Uttarkashi district. It is one of the Char Chhoti Dham. Additionally, the city is the most sacred site where Bhagirathi originates from Gaumukh (19Km away from Gangotri) in the Gangotri glacier. According to Hindu legend, Shiva released Devi Ganga from his hair at the Gangotri. Here is a temple dedicated to this mighty river. Apart from the religious value, the city offers stunning vistas with its lofty Garhwal Himalayan peaks, glaciers, and dense forests.
To visit Gangotri, you can reach Rishikesh Railway Station, 230 Km away from Gangotri, or Jolly Grant Airport, 250 Km away from Gangotri. After that, you will need to take a road ride to reach this spiritual destination.
Rudraprayag; Confluence of Alaknanda and Mandakini
Rudraprayag is a celestial city on Ganga in a Rudraprayag district. The city witnesses the confluence of Alaknanda, emerged from Nanda Devi and Mandakini, emanated from the Charabari glacier. Moreover, The city name depicts the Rudra avatar of Lord Shiva. The holy city is one of the Panch Prayag of the river Alaknanda. Besides its religious value, the town is worth the eyesight with emerald lakes, glaciers, foaming rivers, and silver streams.
To explore this heavenly town, you can reach Rudraprayag’s nearest railway station, 159 KM away from Rishikesh or Airport, 140 km away from Jolly Grant, and take a road trip to this pristine city.
Devprayag; The Godly Confluence
Devprayag is a holy city on Ganga located in the Tehri Garhwal District of Uttarakhand. Here, Bhagirathi and Alakhanada unite to form the mainstream of the great river Ganga. The confluence city is an extremely important religious spot for Hindus. Some significant sites in Devprayag are the suspension bridge, Mahadev temple, Dashrathshila, etc.
Moreover, Devprayag is between Badrinath and Rishikesh and to visit the place you first need to reach Rishikesh Railway Station, 72 Km, or Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, 91Km away from Devprayag. Afterward, you can take a bus/cab/taxi to reach the holy town.
Rishikesh; Land of Sages
Rishikesh is Solitaire’s solitude, Daredevil’s dwelling, and Solomon’s shelter. Here, the river Ganga emerges from the mountains and flows further to the plains. Rajaji Tiger Reserve, Lakshman Jhula, Bharat Mandir, and NeelKanth Mahadev Temple are famous tourist spots in this ethereal city.
The city is the world capital of yoga and meditation, located in Dehradun, also called the ‘Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas’ and ‘land of sages’. To take a tour of Rishikesh, you can easily book a train ticket to Rishikesh Railway station and explore the beauty of this blissful town.
Haridwar; Gateway to Gods
Haridwar is the land where Ganga comes on the plain, brings prosperity, and starts forming the great fertilised northern plain. When you make your path to Haridwar, you will be drenched with the devotion of Lord Vishnu, Ganga, and Shiva. The chant of Aarti, Mantra, and slokas will provide peace and calm to your soul. Haridwar is one of the primitive Hindu cities called One of the Char Dham; mentioned in different ancient scriptures with names like Ganga Dwar, Mayapuri, Moksha Dwar, etc.
You can plan a trip to this peaceful city by booking your train ticket to Haridwar Junction railway station and enjoy the charm of the land of Gods. You may also take a flight up to Jolly grant airport in Dehradun and reach Haridwar via roadway.
Varanasi; Land of Mahakal
Varanasi, Kashi, Banaras, or abode of Lord Shiva; the ancient city is the most sacred place for Hindus, Jains, and Buddhists. According to Hindu legend, people who take their last breath in Kashi achieve salvation. The urban area is one of Hinduism’s Sapta Puri. You will feel each day there is fair. Several pilgrims come to the city to enjoy evening Ganga Aarti, visit the newly inaugurated corridor, explore Sarnath, and dive deep into the devotion of Mahakal.
The location of Kashi is on the two junctures of Ganga & Varuna and Ganga & Assi. You can reach Varanasi Railway Station or Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport to explore the spacious city.
Prayagraj; The King of Confluence
Prayagraj, or the king of confluence, is the holiest city. It is the land of Sangam of Ganga, Yamuna, and the mythological river Saraswati. On regular intervals, in this city, Kumbh Mela, the largest peaceful congregation of sages, disciples, and devotees is organised on rotation with other cities, Haridwar, Nasik, and Ujjain. Prayagraj, earlier has another name Allahabad. The city has numerous tourist spots such as Triveni Sangam, Museum, Yamuna Bridge, Swaraj Bhavan, Alfred Park, All Saints Cathedral, etc.
To take the visit to the 7th most crowded city of India, you can come to Prayagraj junction or Prayagraj airport and enjoy the city’s glory.
Sultanganj; Holy City on Ganga
Sultanganj is a small town in the Bhagalpur district of Bihar, which witnesses the Uttarvahini Ganga for almost half a kilometre. On the bank of the river, Ajgaivinath Temple is situated. During the holy month of Sawan, several pilgrims come to the city to take the Ganga Jal for the Jal Abhishek of Baba Baidyanath, one of the 12 jyotirlingas mentioned in the Shiva Purana. Furthermore, the Baidyanath Dham is a temple situated in Deoghar in the state of Jharkhand. To visit the holy river of Sultanganj, you can take a train to the Sultanganj railway station.
Kahalgaon; City of Maharishi Vashistha
Besides Sultanganj, in Bhagalpur district, at Kahalgaon, also Ganga gets Uttarvahini for 6 kilometres. Here river Koshi merges with the Ganga. At this place, Maharishi Vashistha used to worship. Considering the significance of this place, King Dharampal of the Pal Dynasty constructed the renowned Vikramshila Mahavihara. The nearest railway station to Kahalgaon is Ekchari Railway Station.
Barh; Home of Umanath
Barh is another town of Bihar in the Patna district, where the great Ganga turns Uttarvahini. Here, On the bank of river Ganga, there is a virtuous & historical temple of Lord Shiva called Umanath temple. The temple is a famous site. Local people come to the temple for the Darshan of Lord Shiva. You can quickly check out trains between Patna Junction to Barh Railway station to explore this small but adorable city.
Which City Is Considered the Holy City on the Ganga?
Varanasi, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Prayagraj, Rudraprayag, Gangotri, etc., are considered holy cities of India vested on the bank of the river Ganga.
Which Is the Largest City on the Bank of River Ganga?
Kolkata is the largest city on the bank of the river Ganga. Besides, Lucknow, Allahabad, Patna, Kanpur, and Varanasi are some prominent cities on the bank of the Ganga.
How to Visit the Sacred Cities of Ganga?
You can comfortably visit the towns vested on the river Ganga via Indian Railways. You can use the passenger-friendly rail app or website to plan your train trip.
RailMitra is an AI-enabled rail inquiry service or website that provides various tools to plan a train journey easily. Such tools are available for ordering food in train online, checking PNR status live, train timetables, and trains between stations.
With the RailMitra, you can smartly plan a train trip to the holy city on the great river Ganga.