"" Writer's Wanderings: July 2024

Wednesday, July 03, 2024

Tributary Or Distributary? Are We Cruising The Ganges?

 This fall we will be doing a river cruise in India. Our main goal is to get to see the Taj Mahal but the river cruise will give us a deeper look into the culture and traditions and, don't forget, the food of India. The cruise is advertised as "India's Golden Triangle And The Sacred Ganges".  The Golden Triangle includes the cities of New Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. Our visit to those places are all pre-boarding the river boat.

As always, I try to do as much research ahead of a cruise to see where we are going and what we might want to do or see along the way. New Delhi promises an excursion with a rickshaw ride to a historic area and a market. Agra is where the Taj Mahal is located and the hotel that is booked by the cruise company is said to have amazing views of the iconic structure. Jaipur is a place that I was unfamiliar with but it is called the Pink City because the Maharaja at the time of Queen Victoria's visit to the city ordered the buildings to be pink, a sign of hospitality. It should be interesting.

Then we fly to Kolkata to board our riverboat. I was curious about our itinerary and the path it would take on the Ganges. As I began to search for the cities and towns where we were to stop, I found that we were actually navigating what was labeled on the Google Map as the Hooghly River. What?

A little more internet surfing and I had the answer. The Hooghly River is actually fed by the Ganges River. It is known as a distributary as opposed to a tributary which would flow the other way to feed the Ganges. Confused? I was. I had never heard the term distributary but it applies to a river that flows away from the main stream and does not return to it.

So, are we cruising the Ganges? In a sense we are. Does it matter to us? Not really. As I said, our main goal is to see the Taj Mahal. All the rest is just extra time to explore and absorb all that we can. We've never been to India before so it will all be new to us. I am packing the antiacid however. I've tasted curry and every delectable dish that I see recommended for us to try while we are there mentions lots of spices. 

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