Ganga,aka Ganges,is one of the largest Rivers of India and is considered as holiest of the Holies in Hinduism.
As many as eleven major Hindu pilgrimage centers are on the banks of the River Ganga.
There are seven holy rivers mentioned in ancient Hindu texts.
Ancient Vedic culture flourished here along with the other Vedic cultures on the banks of the other six rivers mentioned above.
In examining the antiquity of Sanatana Dharma,Gaga region has not attracted as much attention as Sarasvathi.
Similar is the case with the other rivers.
How old is river Ganga?
Hindus normally take it to be from the time Bhagiratha ,by intense Prayers to Lord Shiva, brought it back to earth.
One has to note that he ‘brought it back’
That means it must have existed before and vanished.
There seems to be a message here.
According to all Puranas, Satyavrata Manu was the first human being on earth.
Bhagavatha Purana records that he was a King from Dravida(south)Desa( country).
He being forewarned of a Tsunami,moved to a high plateau in Madagascar and then moved to Ayodhya,where his son Ikshvaku founded the Ikshvaku Dynasty.
No mention of Ganga at the corresponding time frame of Manu,when he was in the south.
So there is scope for research in this.
Then we have the Southern kingdom he is reported to have ruled before the Tsunami.
It indicates that he had a country to rule and there must have been other regions,apart from Dravida Desa.
There were four civilizations then.
And there is reference that Lake Baikal ,Russia being the Vaikanasa Theertha of Indra .
More on this in future articles.
Now there are three versions as to the origins of Ganga.
One by Indra,
By Vamana,an Avatar of Vishnu and by
Bhagiratha,ancestor of Rama,descendant of Manu,.
The Vedic version, Indra, the Lord of Svarga (Heaven) slays the celestial serpent, Vritra, releasing the celestial liquid, the soma, or the nectar of the gods which then plunges to the earth and waters it with sustenance.
In the Vaishnava version of the myth, Indra has been replaced by his former helper Vishnu. The heavenly waters are now a river called Vishnupadi (padi: Skt. “from the foot of”).As he completes his celebrated three strides—of earth, sky, and heaven—Vishnu as Vamana stubs his toe on the vault of heaven, punches open a hole, and releases the Vishnupadi, which until now had been circling around the cosmic egg within. Flowing out of the vault, she plummets down to Indra’s heaven, where she is received by Dhruva, the once steadfast worshipper of Vishnu, now fixed in the sky as the polestar. Next, she streams across the sky forming the Milky Way and arrives on the moon She then flows down earthwards to Brahma’s realm, a divine lotus atop Mount Meru, whose petals form the earthly continents.There, the divine waters break up, with one stream, the Alaknanda, flowing down one petal into Bharatvarsha (India) as the Ganges.
It is Shiva, however, among the major deities of the Hindu pantheon, who appears in the most widely known version of the avatarana story.
……..the story begins with a sage, Kapila, whose intense meditation has been disturbed by the sixty thousand sons of King Sagara. Livid at being disturbed, Kapila sears them with his angry gaze, reduces them to ashes, and dispatches them to the netherworld. Only the waters of the Ganga, then in heaven, can bring the dead sons their salvation. A descendant of these sons, King Bhagiratha, anxious to restore his ancestors, undertakes rigorous penance and is eventually granted the prize of Ganga’s descent from heaven. However, since her turbulent force would also shatter the earth, Bhagiratha persuades Shiva in his abode on Mount Kailash to receive Ganga in the coils of his tangled hair and break her fall. Ganga descends, is tamed in Shiva’s locks, and arrives in the Himalayas. She is then led by the waiting Bhagiratha down into the plains at Haridwar, across the plains first to the confluence with the Yamuna at Prayag and then to Varanasi, and eventually to Ganga Sagar, where she meets the ocean, sinks to the netherworld, and saves the sons of Sagara.’
1.The version of Vedas are to be taken as it is the earliest record and in Hindu traditions Veda is final and Puranas and Ithihasas Ramayana,Mahabharatha are only secondary.
In case of conflict with Vedas,the words of Veda is final.
2.As mentioned in the above paragraphs,there must have been other regions,before the Tsunami,when Manu ruled the South.
3.Bhagiratha brought Ganga from Deva Loka of Indra.
Deva loka is identified as the present Russia and Indra’s capital Amaravathi was in Russia.
Lake Baikal was Vaikanasa Theertha of Indra.
4.The term Ganga has only one more significant meaning.
‘Name of the source of the gaṅgā- (said to have sprung from viṣṇu-‘s foot or from an aperture made in the mundane egg by the toe-nail of viṣṇu-)’
Now that brings in the Vishnu connection and Vamana Avatar.
This Avatar is in Satya Yuga, The Eon earlier to the Treta Yuga,when Bhagiratha brought Ganga back
And this Avatar was in the south.
Therefore Ganga dates earlier to Bhagiratha .
Now to Geology on Ganga’s Date.
‘The Indian subcontinent lies atop the Indian tectonic plate, a minor plate within the Indo-Australian Plate.Its defining geological processes commenced seventy-five million years ago, when, as a part of the southern supercontinent Gondwana, it began a northeastwards drift—lasting fifty million years—across the then unformed Indian Ocean.The subcontinent’s subsequent collision with the Eurasian Plate and subduction under it, gave rise to the Himalayas, the planet’s highest mountain ranges. In the former seabed immediately south of the emerging Himalayas, plate movement created a vast trough, which, having gradually been filled with sediment borne by the Indus and its tributaries and the Ganges and its tributaries,now forms the Indo-Gangetic Plain’
As the Geological process began 75 million years ago and it took 50 million years for the Drift,it is logical that Ganga was formed around 25 million years ago.
Reference and Citation. In Block Quote.