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Hindus, who constitute the vast majority of India's
population, consider the Ganges a sacred river: Ganga (or
Ganges) is the daughter of the mountain god, Himavan or
Himalaya. Every day people bath in the sacred water
believing that it will wash away their sins. It is believed that
even a few drops on their tongue will clean their bodies. To
bathe in the Ganga is a lifelong ambition for Hindus. It is
believed that any water that mixes with the smallest amount
of Ganges river becomes holy with healing powers. Hindus
also cast the ashes of their dead in the river in the belief that
this will guide the souls of the deceased to paradise.
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