Ganges River, in India, the most sacred Hindu river, believed to be the reincarnation of the goddess Ganga. It rises in the Himalayas and flows through northern and northeastern India, following a southeastern course across the plain of India. It joins the Brahmaputra River in Bangladesh, then continues through the vast Ganges delta to empty through several mouths (Meghna, Tetulia, Hooghly) into the Bay of Bengal. The river waters irrigate a populous agricultural area. Many cities line the river's banks, including the holy Indian cities Varanasi (Benares), Allahabad, and Calcutta, and the Bangladesh city of Dacca.