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Bhagirathi River: Map


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Bhagirathi River at Gangotri, not too far from its source.
:This article is about the tributary of the Ganges. For the distributary in West Bengal, see Bhāgirathi-Hooghlymarker.
The Bhāgīrathī is a turbulent Himalayanmarker river in the state of Uttarakhandmarker, Indiamarker, that is the source stream of the Gangesmarker—the major river of the Gangetic plain of Northern India and the holy river of Hinduism. The headwaters of the Bhagirathi are formed in the region of the Gangotrimarker and Khatling glaciers in the Garhwalmarker Himalaya. From its source, the river flows for about before meeting the Alaknandamarker river at an elevation of in the town of Devprayagmarker. Downstream of this confluence, considered holy by Hindus, the river is known as the Gangamarker or Gangesmarker. The controversial Tehri dammarker lies at the confluence of the Bhāgirathi and its tributary, the Bhilangnamarker, near Tehrimarker.


Map showing the Himalayan headwaters of the Bhagirathi river.
The numbers in parentheses refer to the altitude in meters.
The mainstem, Bhagirathi, rises at Gaumukhmarker (elevation ), at the foot of the Gangotri glaciermarker, which drains into it. It is then joined by its tributaries; these are, in sequence: the Kedar Ganga at Gangotrimarker (elevation ), the Jadh Ganga at Bhaironghati (elevation ), the Kakora Gad and Jalandhari Gad near Harsilmarker (elevation ), the Siyan Gad near Jhala (elevation ), the Asi Ganga near Uttarkashimarker (elevation ), and finally the Bhilangnamarker near Old Tehrimarker (elevation ). The Bhilangna itself rises at the foot of the Khatling Glacier (elevation ) approximately south of Gaumukhmarker.


The word "Bhagirathi" (Sanskrit, literally, "caused by Bhagiratha") refers to a mythological Sagar Dynasty prince who, to gain the release his 60,000 great-uncles from the curse of saint Kapila, brought the goddess Gangamarker in the form of the river Ganges, from the heavens to the earth.

Image gallery

Image:Bhagirathi flowing into devprayag.jpg|The turbulent Bhāgīrathī as it enters Devprayagmarker.Image:Bhagirathi alaknanda ganges devprayag2008.jpg|The Bhagirathi (foreground) on its way to meet the sediment-laden Alaknandamarker river, shown entering on the left, at Devprayagmarker, and to flow on as the GangesmarkerImage:Confluence.JPG|Another view of the confluence of the Bhāgirathi (right) and the sediment-rich Alaknanda (left) at Devprayag.


  1. Mankodi, Kirit (1973) "Gaṅgā Tripathagā" Artibus Asiae 35(1/2): pp. 139-144, p. 140


  • Wilson, W. (1860) A summer ramble in the Himalayas: with sporting adventures in the Vale of Cashmere Hurst and Blackett, London, OCLC 58410561, available on microfilm
  • Heske, Franz (1937) Im heiligen Lande der Gangesquellen (In the Holy Lands of the Source of the Ganges) J. Neumann, Neudamm, Germany, OCLC 35036471, in German
  • Sharma, Man Mohan (1997) Through the Valley of Gods: Travels in the Central Himalayas (2nd ed.) Vision Books, New Delhi, OCLC 4547622

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