Travel the Ganges River on Discovery Channel in March
In GANGES, take a magnetic trip across Northern India and embark on a visually stunning and an awe-inspiring journey along one of the world’s most magnificent rivers and explore these streams which glisten with long-standing history.
Once a rich wilderness brimming with tigers, lions and cheetahs, these plains have transformed into the most densely populated place on Earth. Nourished by the river’s gift of life, the remarkable GANGES has witnessed the rise of great civilizations and the evolution of the Hindu religion, but how have the wildlife here adapted to survive this increasingly human dominated world? A three-part series shot in high-definition, GANGES is a breathtaking voyage premiering Tuesday, March 19 at 10:00 p.m. Encores every Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m, Saturday at 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., and Sunday at 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.
A life-sustaining river, GANGES was formed at the confluence of the Bhagirathi and Alaknanda rivers at the foothills of the Himalayas, flowing along a 2,500 kilometre long course to the Bay of Bengal. Epitomising the ethos of India, the magical river touches and embraces everything she encounters on her way; from the historical to the cultural, spiritual, ecological, anthropological, economic and much more. On GANGES, trace the paths of this mighty river and discover the spell-binding stories, fascinating wildlife, colourful people and personalities, ancient traditions and cultures, and architectural wonders – like the Taj Mahal – that are strongly enmeshed with virtually every aspect of the country.
The picturesque GANGES expedition begins at the source of the river – the peak of the starkly beautiful Himalayas – and treks down to the mountain’s lush foothills, home to a host of amazing wildlife such as the last few herds of wild elephants. Then journey across the vast Indian plains where some of the greatest and earliest cities have settled. For 5,000 years, empires have flourished and fallen along GANGES’ banks. Discover how the river has been an important source of sustenance to those who have made her their home, like the Mughals who have built magnificent palaces and diverted the river’s waters into enormous irrigation canals, enabling the creation of huge agricultural fields that not only provide food but create jobs and contribute to the empire’s economic development. Then, head to the cities that still play host to timeless festivals and rituals along the river; the cremation ghats in Varanasi, the fire festivals in Haridwar and the biggest spiritual gathering on Earth, the Maha Kumbh Mela in Allahabad. Once every 12 years, the GANGES plays host to tens of millions of Hindus from all over the world during this sacred ceremony. A 55-day long event, pilgrims believe that participating in a ritual bath in the holy GANGES river during Maha Kumbh Mela will cleanse them of their sins and bestow many blessings.
On the final leg of her journey to the sea, the GANGES is joined by her mightiest tributary – the Brahmaputra. As the waters of the two rivers merge, they overspill their banks to fan out into hundreds of rivulets, creating the largest delta in the world. This is one of the wildest places on Earth, and perhaps, one of the last few places on the planet where the tiger is still king. Discover how people and wildlife live in this inhospitable habitat and how they cope with the extremes in weather brought by the annual monsoons and hurricanes as the GANGES flows on relentlessly in glorious continuity. More than just a body of water, GANGES touches almost every aspect of India. Celebrate the wonders of this important source of life in the following episodes of GANGES:
Daughter Of The Mountains
High in the cold peaks of the Himalayas is the sacred source of the river. This is one of the most breathtaking landscapes on earth. Follow the river’s journey to the lush foothills and capture the last wild herds of elephants that live by the riverbank, as well as tigers, otters and peacocks. Discover how the GANGES brings life from the cold peaks of the Himalayas to their lush foothills and how the river has shaped Indian culture and religion. The high peaks are the haunt of snow leopards, Asiatic brown bears and huge bearded vultures. Hidden amongst these remote mountains are remarkable locations like the Valley of Flowers, a series of high meadows carpeted with spectacular flowers of every colour.
River Of Life
Descend from the foothills of the Himalayas to join the Ganges on her journey across the vast Indian plains. On the way, pass some of the greatest and most ancient cities, and witness how the GANGES has influenced Indian civilisation for thousands of years. For 5,000 years, empires have flourished and fallen along the banks of the GANGES. Explore how the Mughals built magnificent palaces and diverted the river’s waters into huge irrigation canals to create vast agricultural fields. European invaders also used the mighty river as a transport route that brought ships, factories and warehouses to the banks of GANGES.
Also, visit the magnificent cities that still play host to timeless festivals and rituals; from the cremation ghats in Varanasi, to the fire festivals in Haridwar and the ultimate celebration of the river, the Maha Kumbh Mela in Allahabad, widely believed to be the world’s largest human gathering.
On the final leg of her journey to the sea, the GANGES is joined by her mightiest tributary – the Brahmaputra. As the waters of the two mighty rivers merge, they overspill their banks to fan out into hundreds of rivulets and create the largest delta in the world. This is one of the wildest places on Earth, and perhaps the last place in the world where the tiger is still king. Discover how people and wildlife live in this inhospitable habitat and how they cope with the extremes in weather brought by the annual monsoons and hurricanes.