The Ganga--along with the Nile, the Tigris and Euphrates, the Yangtze and the Danube--is one of the great rivers of our planet. Perceiving the Ganga from three levels--material, spiritual, and divine--this anthology reflects on the dialogue and tension between the modern and the traditional, the historic and the mythical, the epic and the everyday, the factual and the fictitious.
From Robert P. Goldman's translations from the Ramayana, J.A.B. van Buitenen's translations from the Mahabharata, and translations by Shakuntala Varma and A.K. Ramanujan to Jawaharlal Nehru's 'Will and Testament', the classic Padma River Boatman by Manik Bandopadhyaya, and the screenplay of Ram Teri Ganga Maili to writings of Raja Rao, Vikram Seth, and Amitav Ghosh--the book brings together various perspectives on the river, demonstrating the wide-ranging views, interests, experiences, practices, and emotions generated from the encounter between people, both individuals and groups, and the Ganga.
Divided into five parts--The Epic and Numinous, Historical Perspectives, Contemporary Travel Writing, Fiction, and Recent Scholarship--the anthology offers an insight into the broader organization, quality, character, and diversity of Indian culture and society.