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Along the Ganga : To the Inner Shores of India

Ilija Trojanow, Penguin Books, 2005, pbk, v, 173 p, ISBN : 0143031651, $15.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Along the Ganga : To the Inner Shores of India/Ilija Trojanow

Contents: 1. Drops from the locks of God. 2. Ganga's tanned skin. 3. Exit darkness. Acknowledgements.

"From Icy Gaumukh, the source of one of the world's most celebrated rivers, Hija Trojanow began a remarkable two-month journey: down the Himalayas, past the great cities of Allahabad, Varanasi and Patna, to Gangasagar, where the river meets the sea. Travelling by inflatable boat, on foot, by bus and overcrowded trains, he moved through landscapes where the past and the future, mythic imagination and hard reality come together, and in this book he recounts for us the stories that he heard and experienced during the journey. The glacier at Gaumukh is receding, he tells us: is it due to global warming or, as the Brahmavaivarta Purana foretells, is the Ganga going underground, having taken her share of sins to await the next golden age? Has the demon Taraka taken over the earth again, he wonders, or will the Tehri Dam really bring succour to the lives of millions? As he observes and investigates, Trojanow also offers prayers to his ancestors, meets Naga Sadhus at the Kumbh Mela, witnesses death ceremonies, and talks to engineers and activists with divergent views on how best to live with the Ganga.

A travel book that is an unusual mix of reportage and storytelling, Along the Ganga is a vivid portrait not only of the mighty, sacred river but also of a deeply traditional as well as a vibrantly modern India."

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