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

Gange_la zattera
20.03.2019

The building of the raft

LOGBOOK 20 #GANGES

My mission: to navigate the Ganges in a raft built with recycled materials. But how could I build a raft which would navigate long distances on this holiest of Indian rivers?

Alex Bellini - barca
19.03.2019

Change

LOGBOOK 19 #GANGES

In the last few days I have moved fast through several neighbouring states. Yesterday, for example, I rowed between Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.

Alex Bellini - plastica
18.03.2019

The faithful of the Ganges

LOGBOOK 18 #GANGES

The Chambal - a second degree Ganges tributary - is probably the only unholy river in India and that has been its blessing.

Alex Bellini - Bhagalpur
16.03.2019

Bahgalpur: a place of the unexpected

LOGBOOK 17 #GANGES

Bahgalpur is a place of the unexpected. It makes an impression with its grunge and damaged, abused beauty.

Alex Bellini - ragazzo
15.03.2019

People of Ganges

LOGBOOK 16 #GANGES

Every morning on the Ganges, men, women and children perform a wide variety of activities. Everyone uses the river, but it appears for all the world as if they don’t care about it at all.

Alex Bellini - Munger
14.03.2019

The soil “measures” the health of the river

LOGBOOK 15 #GANGES

There are two things you notice when visiting Munger. The first suddenly catches you the moment you enter the city...

Alex Bellini - Munger
12.03.2019

Munger

LOGBOOK 14 #GANGES

There are two things you notice when visiting Munger. The first suddenly catches you the moment you enter the city...

ALEX BELLINI - MAPPA
11.03.2019

Unexpected

LOGBOOK 13 #GANGES

Our concerns regarding navigation suddenly materialised late today.

10.03.2019

Life and death: everything is as one

LOGBOOK 12 #GANGES

The river today was the dirtiest I have encountered since I first set off. As well as my craft, travelling with the current I saw many animal carcasses, a human corpse and the half-carbonised remains of other bodies.

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