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Along the Ganga: To the Inner Shores of India

Ilija Trojanow (Author) Ranjit Hoskote (Translator)
Synopsis From icy Gaumukh, the source of one of the world’s most celebrated rivers, Ilija Trojanow began a remarkable two-month journey: down the Himalayas, past the great cities of Allahbad, Varanasi and Patna, to Gangasagar, where the river meets the sea. Travelling by inflatable boat, on foot, by bus and overcrowded trains, he moved through landscapes where the past and the future, mythic imagination and hard reality come together, and in this book he recounts for us the stories that he heard and experienced during the journey. The glacier at Gaumukh is receding, he tells us: is it due to global warming or, as the Brahmavaivarta Purana foretells, is the Ganga going underground. Havaing taken her share of sins, to await the next golden age? Has the demon Taraka taken over the earth again, he wonders, or will the Tehri Dam really bring succour to the lives of millions? As he observes and investigates, Trojanow also offers prayers to his ancestors, meets Naga sadhus at the Kumbh Mela, witnesses death ceremonies, and talks to engineers and activists with divergent views on how best to live with the Ganga. A travel book that is an unusual mix of reportage and storytelling. Along the Ganga is a vivid portrait not only of the mighty, sacred river but also of a deeply traditional as well as a vibrantly modern India.
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About the authors

Ilija Trojanow

Ilija Trojanow was born in Bulgaria, grew up in Kenya and studied in Germany. Between 1998 and 2003 he lived in Bombay for five years, traveling through India extensively. He is currently working on a novel based on the life of the explorer Sir Richard F. Burton.

Ranjit Hoskote

Ranjit Hoskote is a poet, cultural theorist and independent curator of contemporary art. He is the author of three collections of poetry: Zones of Assault (1991), The Cartographer's Apprentice (2000) and The Sleepwalker's Archive (2001). He has also co-translated Vasant Dahake's Marathi poems under the title A Terrorist of the Spirit (1992) and edited the anthology, Reasons for Belonging: Fourteen Contemporary Indian Poets (Viking, 2002). He has also written a critical biography of the artist Jehangir Sabavala (Pilgrim, Exile, Sorcerer, 1998) and a monograph on the painter Sudhir Patwardhan (The Complicit Observer, 2004). As a literary organizer, Hoskote has been associated with the Poetry Circle, Bombay, since its inception in 1986, and was its President from 1992 to 1997. Hoskote was Visiting Writer and Fellow of the International Writing Program, University of Iowa (1995) and has held a writing residency at the Villa Waldberta, Munich (2003). He received the Sanskriti Award for Literature in 1996 and the Sahitya Akademi Golden Jubilee Award in 2004. Hoskote lives and works in Bombay.

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Bibliographic information

Title Along the Ganga: To the Inner Shores of India
Format Softcover
Date published: 01.01.2005
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0143031651
length viii+173p., 20cm.
Subjects History