Rivers have played a fundamental role in the lives, history, and culture of mankind and civilization since pre-history. Early societies grew on the banks of the great rivers of the world. Similarly, rivers have been the lifeline of India's ancient culture. The river Sindhu (Indus) and the Indus valley became the cradle for the development of one of the earliest civilizations. The Ganga (Ganges River), arguably the most written-about river in the world, has been called the Mother of India's spirituality and has been immortalized in sculpture, art, literature, poetry, music, and dance. The drainage basin of the Ganges covers one of the most populated regions of the world, where the Indo-Aryan civilization has flourished for many centuries. Along with these two famous waterways, the major rivers of India harbour extremely rich biodiversity and contribute significantly to the food security and livelihood of India.

The...

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