Photographer unknown, 1880s, "Bathing Ghat, Hurdwar", Haridwar, India

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 worshiped as the goddess Ganga in Hinduism. All along her course, Hindus bathe in her waters.

When visiting the Kumbh Mela in 2010 I nearly took a bath there, too - unintentionally. Maybe I’ll tell you the whole story one day… and if your first world problems give you the blues then I can highly recommend to visit the next Kumbh Mela in Allahabad in 2013. It could possibly change your life.

"The Ganga is the river of India, beloved of her people, round which are intertwined her racial memories, her hopes and fears, her songs of triumph, her victories and her defeats. She has been a symbol of India’s age-long culture and civilization, ever-changing, ever-flowing, and yet ever the same Ganga." (Jawaharlal Nehru)