The Ganges River (/ˈɡændʒiːz/ gan-jeez), also Ganga (Hindi: [ˈɡəŋɡaː]), is a trans-boundary river of India and Bangladesh.
It was said by astronaut Matt Kowalski to be amazing when the rising sun shone on its waters.
The 2,525 km (1,569 mi) river rises in the western Himalayas in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, and flows south and east through the Gangetic Plain of North India into Bangladesh, where it empties into the Bay of Bengal. It is the third largest river in the World by discharge. The Ganges is the most sacred river to Hindus and is also a lifeline to millions of Indians who live along its course and depend on it for their daily needs. It is worshipped as the goddess Ganga in Hinduism. It has also been important historically: many former provincial or imperial capitals (such as Patliputra, Kannauj, Kara, Kashi, Allahabad, Murshidabad, Munger, Baharampur, Kampilya and Kolkata) have been located on its banks. The Ganges was ranked as the fifth most polluted river of the world in 2007, Pollution threatens not only humans, but also more than 140 fish species, 90 amphibian species and the endangered Ganges river dolphin. The Ganga Action Plan, an environmental initiative to clean up the river, has been a major failure thus far, due to corruption and lack of technical expertise, lack of good environmental planning, and lack of support from religious authorities.