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Regarded as a goddess, described as the nexus of the natural and spiritual worlds, and variously known as "The Daughter of the Mountains," "The River of Life," and "Ganga Ma" (Mother Ganges), the river begins in the Himalayas (the exact source is uncertain; four sacred sites are visited by Hindu pilgrims). Fed by numerous streams, snowmelt, glaciers, and rain, it makes its way westward across the plains of the Indian subcontinent, passing through Rishikesh, Varanasi (known as the holiest city on the river), the teeming metropolis of Calcutta, and the forbidding delta forest known as the Sunderbans before emptying into the Bay of Bengal. Along the way, we see an astonishing variety of animals: snow leopards, hawk-like lammergeiers with their ten-foot wingspans, langurs and macaques, mahseer (the worlds largest carp, weighing up to 50 kilograms), peacocks, otters, cranes, tigers, rhinos, and on and on. Meanwhile, the Hindu reverence for nature is constantly apparent--especially in a village where deadly cobras roam freely in the streets, virtually ignored by the residents (who consider themselves virtually immune; bites are frequent, but no one seems to die from them, a strange anomaly in country where twenty thousand people are killed by snakes every year). The cinematography is never less than gorgeous, whether its a closeup of a rhododendron or a panoramic mountain vista; frequent use of time-lapse photography only adds to the grandeur (cf. an incredible sequence depicting the arrival of the summer monsoon). Expertly narrated by Sudha Bhuchar, Ganges combines bravura technique and sheer artistry to create a genuinely inspiring viewing experience. Extras include a "making of" mini-doc and deleted scenes. --Sam Graham
- Special Features: Behind the scenes, deleted scenes, English, Hindi and Bengali Narration.
Top Customer Reviews
It depicts the climate changes, the monsoons, and some of the people. Cobras get some good footage, as they slither through homes, and traffic.
You don't get an in depth study of the Indian people, but a terrific film about the Ganges.
Great photography, unusual insight into Indian culture, history, agriculture and the like. This DVD is a good product-the average American actually knows very little about India. Who would have thought that the river was/is revered as a god entity? Who knew that the rich northern plains of India have soil 3 miles thick in some places? Who knew about the massive deforestation that took place during the Raj?
This is a realistic presentation which does not shy away from the modern problems of pollution and the concerns about Ganga's cleanliness, as well as the human and animal welfare along her shores, in the present and future.
One drawback is that the overall map shown does not identify the places commented on.
The video would have been better if the places covered were more clearly identified on a map. While a topographical map is shown throughout the video, cities and places are never identified on it. The narration is stunningly boring. The information given by the narrator is informative and of interest; however the voice is one unchanging monotone.
Nevertheless this is an important video, presenting wildlife, settlements, people and of course the river, not frequently covered elsewhere.
The series starts with discussion of the origins of the Ganges, travelling to its source waters. It then follows the waters journey across huge tracts of India all the way down to Bangladesh and its low lying plains. As such it is a chronological look at the flow of the river which is a very logical way of organising the story of this mighty river.
The production values are high of course and the product comes in Blu-Ray or 'plane Jane' versions. The main sticking point is that while the photography is lovely and the wildlife highly interesting there is somewhat of a lack of human connectivity. The issue is that there is no presenter as such. Merely a narrator who describes what is happening. The information is good and avoids falling into pedantic use of jargon etc so it is all comprehensible to the layman. But with just a narrator and no presenter the view doesn't really feel involved. There is no sense of going on a journey. You are merely watching the water go on a journey.
Despite this I'd still cautiously recommend this to armchair travellers or those with an interest in the sub-continent. It has the stunning vistas, the wildlife, the raging torrents and the broad leisurely stroll of the river.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was the second Ganges I've ordered and both skip and freeze up at different parts of the program.......very annoying .Published 12 months ago by tuana scott
All I can say is Wonderful!!. Keeps you captivated completelyPublished 13 months ago by Michael E. Hensley
It's a beautiful CD in three parts. The first and the third parts were lovely, but the second part did not play. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Community Builder
The people of India and this great river are inspiring. Such beautiful country and amazing people. I love learning about other cultures.Published 18 months ago by Della Johnson