Category Archives: Glaciers

Feature Article: The Great Gangotri – Feeder of the Ganges

One of the great moving river bodies of the planet, the mother Ganges, is fed by the Himalayan Water Towers; glaciers that ebb slowly at greater speeds. We know the river itself but not necessarily the epic bodies that feed it. They are revered and worshiped…and they do ebb. The Gangotri is one of those feeders. Continue reading

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Glaciers’ Breath ll – Gangotri Update V – A Descent

Berinder is impatient and staring in his mournful way at Saurabh and I to hurry. He wants to move and it is our day to make another incursion into the Chaturangi Glacier valley and then head south up a smaller … Continue reading

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Glaciers’ Breath ll – Gangotri Update lV – Nandanvan (Paradise)

Camp Nandanvan (or “Paradise”) is the first of a series of camps within the greater valley that shoots northeast out of Gangotri. Gangotri is one of 4 “dhams”, or places of pilgrimage for Hindus. To the west, Yamunotri is where the Yamuna River is worshipped, Gangotri where we are is where the Ganga or Ganges is worshipped, Kedarnath where Shiva is worshipped (Kedar is another name for Shiva, who is considered not a god, but rather a yogi), and finally Badrinath where Vishnu is worshipped (Badri is one of the names for Vishnu). Continue reading

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Glaciers’ Breath ll – Ganges Gangotri Update 3

The line is uneven. Random dark and bright spots lie along a long diagonal path that at times is nothing but some smudges in the sand. Our team is spread along a kilometer long portion heading south further into the … Continue reading

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Glacier’s Breath Expedition – Gangotri Update 2

Berinder is his name. Tiny, unsmiling, and topped off with a vibrant pink woolen cap I’ve locked onto him and his intense energy. These porters can take the breath with their abilities to pirouette on little more than rubber soles, … Continue reading

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Glaciers’ Breath ll – Gangotri Update l

First steps towards Gangotri Glacier involve words from an impeccable source. For six decades Swami Sunderland has climbed, wandered, and worshipped the great bodies of ice and stone from his simple home in Gangotri. He arrived here and was held … Continue reading

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Glaciers’ Breath ll Update – Ice, Ganges, and Shiva

the name Ganga or Ganges was given to the River Bhagirathi which originates at Gomukh. The wonderful tale continues that the Holy Ganges River was once a celestial river called the Akash Ganga (Akash – sky or space, and Ganga – river). Akash Ganga is the Hindu mythological equivalent of the Milky Way. Akash was convinced to come down from the heavens by King Bharigath. She descended into the locks of hair of Shiva and broke up into several channels. Thus in many paintings of Shiva, one can see the Ganga River issuing from his locks. Continue reading

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The Glaciers’ Breath ll Expedition – The Ganges’ Source

Sources of rivers are rarely seen or acknowledged and it is perhaps more clearly in the sources that one can feel the absolute core vibrancy and life of what is known as पानी – paanee – ‘water’ in Hindi. It is said often in India that “water is life”. This journey is to travel to a source of so much life. Continue reading

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