Hooghly River. Kolkata


    For the Hindus, the Ganges is considered sacred, the terrestrial home of the goddess Ganga. The river has held a vaunted place within the faith for centuries. Hindus from all over the subcontinent make annual pilgrimages to the many temples and shrines located along its shores. They believe it is auspicious to drink, bathe, and, after death, have their ashes scattered in the river. Bathing in the Ganges is a purifying ritual that is thought to wash away a penitent's sins, and spreading one's ashes in the water upon death may improve one's karma and hasten salvation. Rising in the western Himalayas the might Ganges River splits into two branches when it enters West Bengal. One of them is The Hoogly River.

    I discovered these devotees bathing in the waters of the Hooghly River in front of the famous Rabindra Setu or Howrah Bridge, Kolkata. 

    The Devotees storm the river very early in the morning. There are various different water rituals in Hinduism, many of these involve purification and spiritual cleansing. Tarpana, morning cleansing, takes place when the worshiper makes a cup with their hands and scoops up water and then pours the water back into the river while reciting a mantra. The worshiper then drinks some water and applies his mark of Sampradaya (tradition). They then say their morning prayer.

The mornings here are crowded but at the same time so isolated. It's noisy yet so peaceful.