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The Nuttall Encyclopedia
The great sacred river of India, which, though somewhat shorter than the Indus, drains a larger area and traverses a more fertile basin; it has its source in an ice-cave on the southern side of the Himalayas, 8 m. above Gangotri, at an elevation of 13,800 ft. above the sea-level; at this its first stage it is known as the Bhagirathi, and not until 133 m. from its source does it assume the name of Ganges, having already received two tributaries; issuing from the Himalayas at Sukhi, it flows in a more or less southerly course to Allahabad, where it receives the Jumna, and thence makes its way by the plains of Behar and past Benares to Goalanda, where it is joined by the Brahmaputra; the united stream, lessened by innumerable offshoots, pursues a SE. course till joined by the Meghna, and under that name enters the Bay of Bengal; its most noted offshoot is the Hooghly (q. v .), which pursues a course to the S. of the Meghna; between these lies the Great Delta, which begins to take shape 220 m. inland from the Bay of Bengal; the Ganges is 1557 m. in length, and offers for the greater part an excellent waterway; it is held in great reverence as a sacred stream whose waters have power to cleanse from all sin, while burial on its banks is believed to ensure eternal happiness.
Wood, James, ed. Entry for 'Ganges'. The Nuttall Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/nut/g/ganges.html. Frederick Warne & Co Ltd. London. 1900.