Yamuna River

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  • Topic: Yamuna, Ganges, India
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  • Published : January 17, 2013
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Yamuna
The Yamuna (Sanskrit: यमुना), sometimes called Jamuna (Bengali: যমুনা, Hindi: जमुना, Urdu: جمنا) or Jumna, is the largest tributary river of theGanges (Ganga) in northern India. Originating from the Yamunotri Glacier at a height of 6,387 metres on the south western slopes of Banderpooch peaks in the Lower Himalayas in Uttarakhand, it travels a total length of 1,376 kilometers (855 mi) and has a drainage system of 366,223 square kilometres (141,399 sq mi), 40.2% of the entire Ganges Basin, before merging with the Ganges at Triveni Sangam, Allahabad, the site for theKumbha Mela every twelve years. It crosses several states, Uttarakhand, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, passing by Himachal Pradesh and later Delhi, and meets several of its tributaries on the way, including Tons, its largest and longest tributary in Uttarakhand, Chambal, which has its own large basin, followed by Sindh, the Betwa, and Ken. Most importantly it creates the highly fertile alluvial, Yamuna-Ganges Doab region between itself and the Ganges in the Indo-Gangetic plain. Nearly 57 million people depend on the Yamuna waters. With an annual flow of about 10,000 cubic billion metres (cbm) and usage of 4,400 cbm (of which irrigation constitutes 96 per cent), the river accounts for more than 70 per cent of Delhi’s water supplies. Just like the Ganges, the Yamuna too is highly venerated in Hinduism and worshipped as goddess Yamuna, throughout its course. In Hindu mythology, she is the daughter of Sun God, Surya, and sister of Yama, the God of Death, hence also known as Yami and according to popular legends, bathing in its sacred waters frees one from the torments of death. The water of Yamuna is of "reasonably good quality" through its length from Yamunotri in the Himalayas to Wazirabad in Delhi, about 375 km, where the discharge of waste water through 15 drains between Wazirabad barrage and Okhla barrage renders the river severely polluted after Wazirabad in Delhi. One official describes the river as a "sewage drain" with biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) values ranging from 14 to 28 mg/l and highcoliform content. There are three main sources of pollution in the river, namely households and municipal disposal sites, soil erosion resulting from deforestation occurring to make way for agriculture along with resulting chemical wash-off from fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides and run-off from commercial activity and industrial sites. Religious significance

The goddess of the river, also known as Yami, is the sister of Yama, god of death, and the daughter of Surya, the Sun god, and his wife Saranyu. Yamuna, referred respectfully as Yamunaji, holds a very important position in Pushti Marga, a sect of Hinduism based on the ShuddhAdvaita, where Shri Krsna is the main deity, propagated by VallabhAcharya / MahaPrabhuji, and having a large following in India. The river Yamuna is also connected to the religious beliefs surrounding Krishna and various stories connected with Him are found in Hindu religious texts, especially the Puranas, like that of Kaliya Daman, the subduing of Kaliya, a poisonous Nāga snake, which had inhabited the river and terrorized the people of Braja. Yamuna, according to the legends is closely related to Lord Krishna and Mahabharata. Krishna was taken across the Yamnuna on the night of his birth. Kansa, Krishna's maternal uncle planned to kill all his nephew's, as his eight nephew was predicted to be his Kāla. When Vasudeva, carrying Krishna in a basket, reaches the river Yamuna, on the extremely turbulent, rainy night of Krishna's birth, Yamuna is said to have parted to make way for Vasudeva. Krishna and the Gopi's also used to play on the banks of Yamunaji as children. Pollution

In 1909 the waters of the Yamuna were distinguishable as "clear blue", as compared to the silt-laden yellow of the Ganges.However, due to high density population growth and rapid industrialization today Yamuna is one of the most polluted rivers in the world,...
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