The Ganges with Sue Perkins
Sue Perkins goes on an extraordinary journey, spanning over 1,500 miles, from the source of the Ganges high in the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal. She travels through some of the most extraordinary, chaotic and exciting places on earth, exploring the lives and landscapes of modern India at this crucial point in its history.
Part 1: 1
In this first episode, Sue begins her journey in the highest mountains on earth. She treks to the source of the Ganges River and pokes her nose into the lives of hermits and the wise and wandering holy people that call this sacred landscape home. It’s been a tough year for Sue since her father died, and walking where millions of pilgrims have walked before has a profound effect on her.
Part 2: 2
In this second episode, Sue is halfway down the Ganges in the ancient city of Varanasi, a place which, for India’s 950 million Hindus, has a unique significance. Sue immerses herself into the complex life of Varanasi, where the power of the Ganges is at its greatest and where life and death exist side by side. But she also discovers that it is here that the river faces its biggest challenges.
South of Patna, the Ganges splits in two. Part of the river flows on through Bangladesh to the sea, but Sue follows the Indian branch, called the Hooghly, onward to the great city of Kolkata. Sue’s final destination is Saga Island, in the mouth of the river. Sue is here from dusk till dawn on the biggest night of the week, where two million people are expected to bathe in the Ganges as the sun comes up. Sue meets Naga Babas, or naked holy men, along with pilgrims who have travelled from all corners of India to be here on this auspicious day.