Ganges

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The Mother Goddess who purifies the faithful is far from enjoying good health herself. The Ganges is on the verge of death. Paradoxically, while she gives new spiritual energy to those who immerse themselves in her water to cleanse their sins, she risks spreading death instead.

Ganges means “Mother Goddess.” She is a liquid mother whose waters purify all sins and facilitate the cycle of reincarnation.
This is why the faithful immerse themselves in the Ganges at sunset every day, surrounded by the songs of priests and incense. They seek immediate purification. But this sacred river is no longer a clean river. Sadly, we could now consider it an open sewer, in which more than 5 billion of sewage water mix from 450 million residents in its basin area every day. Even though the river is sacred, people also dump other waste in it, including plastic. And the ashes of corpses. The Ganges was once truly purifying in all senses. Its water (still) has a concentration of chemicals that fight human bacteria. This has always been it’s secret. But today the waste water treatment plan is still incomplete. And the Ganges that brought new life now, unwillingly, brings death.

Percorso Gange - 10 Rivers 1 Ocean

Travel journal

30.03.2019

Two days to build it, twenty minutes to dismantle it . That’s life.

LOGBOOK 29 #GANGES

Oggi sono anche giunto finalmente a Calcutta, la città dove i poliziotti sono equipaggiati con bombole d’ossigeno e le discariche sorgono direttamente sulle sponde del fiume.

Alex Bellini - Calcutta
28.03.2019

The arrival in Kolkata

LOGBOOK 28 #GANGES

Today I have finally arrived in Kolkata, the city where policemen are equipped with oxygen tanks and landfill is located right on the banks of the river.

26.03.2019

The rubbish dump

LOGBOOK 27 #GANGES

The smell, even behind my protective mask, is so strong that I hold my breath as much as possible.

Alex Bellini - riparazione zattera
25.03.2019

Lighter raft

LOGBOOK 26 #GANGES

In the last couple of days I had started to feel that paddling my boat was damn harder than it had ever been.

Alex Bellini - fiume hooghly
24.03.2019

Hooghly River

LOGBOOK 25 #GANGES

Initially, I thought the Hooghly river was a copy of the Ganges, only smaller, but the more I navigate, the more I notice the important differences.

22.03.2019

53 kilometers, the longest day of the expedition

LOGBOOK 24 #GANGES

It was a very tough day, but at the end it was a great satisfaction. We are 120 km away from Calcutta.

22.03.2019

The first thunderstorms of the year that signal the oncoming monsoon season

LOGBOOK 23 #GANGES

It was only thanks to the assistance of a boatman that I managed to reach the first inhabited place where I could stop for the night yesterday.

Alex Bellini - ritratto tramonto
21.03.2019

Can Ganges still repair our sins?

LOGBOOK 22 #GANGES

This is the 20th day of navigation. We are always travelling on the river Ganges, but it is no longer called Ganges - Hooghly is one of the two branches of the holy river that reach its huge delta in the Bay of Bengal.

Alex Bellini - buona navigazione
21.03.2019

The Hooghly River

LOGBOOK 21 #GANGES

This is the 20th day of navigation. We are always travelling on the river Ganges, but it is no longer called Ganges - Hooghly is one of the two branches of the holy river that reach its huge delta in the Bay of Bengal.

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