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Ganga 21 – An Artist’s Epic Journey

Published on June 23, 2020

An Australian artist retraces the river’s path, from Gaumukh to Gangasagar – an awesome travel inspiration.

In 2006, Kevin Pearsh, an Australian artist who now lives in France, set out to capture the Ganga’s myriad hues – starting his journey in the high Himalayas, at Gaumukh, at an altitude of nearly 13,000 feet.

The first canvas, Gaumukh – the glacial & spiritual source of Ganga


Travelling by foot, boat and car, he retraced the river’s path till Gangasagar, in West Bengal, where she joins the Bay of Bengal.

His quest ultimately resulted in a series of 21 giant oil-on-canvas paintings, the Ganga 21. Over the years, the collection has been displayed in India and Europe.

The artist first did the paintings in watercolour – dipped in, well, Ganga waters – followed by the oils in his studio in France.

This journey is a visual treat and nourishment for the soul. It begins in Gaumukh, the river’s spiritual and glacial source in the Himalayas, on to Gangotri, where she first ‘touches the earth’; to Devprayag, the confluence of her two headstreams, Bhagirathi and Alaknanda – where the Ganga is officially formed.

The river then emerges from the mountains at Rishikesh and slows down as it meets the plains at Haridwar.

The 4th canvas – a towering Shiva, at Haridwar


Meandering along the teeming cities of Allahabad and Varanasi, through the fertile lands of Bihar and Bengal, the river breaks up into the world’s biggest delta, forming the mangrove forests and the wetlands of Sunderbans (a UNESCO World Heritage site), and home to the Royal Bengal Tiger.

The 9th canvas – the ghats of Varanasi.

The 11th canvas – also Varanasi


Finally, she merges with the sea at Gangasagar.

Along the way, the river is joined by its numerous tributaries – Mandakini and Pinder in Uttarakhand; Yamuna, Tons, Ramganga, Gomti, in Uttar Pradesh; Gandhak, Kosi, Son, in Bihar to name a few…

The 13th canvas – a boy in Buxar, Bihar


Ganga 21 documents the rivers fascinating 2,500 km journey from the Himalayas and through the Indo-Gangetic plains – the cradle of successive civilisations, from the Mauryan Empire in the 3rd Century BCE to the Mughal Empire in 16th Century, right to the present day.

The 15th canvas – in Bengal


See the complete Ganga 21 collection online here.

Images reproduced with permission of the artist.

OpenSky Resorts is on its own journey – to discover India’s unique stays and hidden gems – heritage havelis, jungle retreats, remote mountain cottages, riverside resorts and more. We are away from touristy crowds, amidst nature and under open skies.. 

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