Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, has assured all support for this research including financial assistance to further investigate the claim made through various existing research and studies that the waters of Ganga have medicinal properties, which destroy various kinds of bacteria and microbes, in order to use it for holistic human health.

Ganga is undoubtedly one of India’s holiest rivers and for eons its waters are known to possess some so called ‘magical’ properties that ensure that its waters don’t spoil even when stored for years. This is often called the self-cleansing property of the river.

Ganga is the lifeline for about 300-400 million people who reside in its basin which is over 2,500 km in length.

Many theories have been proposed on what could lead to Ganga jal being ‘special’. Medicinal plants growing on the banks of the river are thought to impart the special properties. The presence of special ‘killer microbes‘ that knockout bacteria, is another idea that finds traction. The presence of some special radioactive elements that help Ganga remain clean is also conjectured. The high decibel sound waves that emanate from the gongs and bells that ring out on the banks of the river are also thought to be involved. Despite these ideas, conclusive evidence has never been found.

Ganga water retains self-purification characteristics even in 16 year old samples, explains Chandra Shekhar Nautiyal, Director of the National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow.

He says Ganga water has been used from time immemorial for medicinal and ritualistic purposes, as it does not putrefy even after long periods of storage.

Nautiyal has studied the Ganga waters for more than a decade and finds that Ganga water is soft and has high level of sulphur content. Presence of bacteriophage against the pathogenic bacteria was observed only in Ganga water, he says.

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