It’s scientifically validated now; Ganga water is ‘holy’. The Microbiologists from Chandigarh-based Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH), with several other Indian technical institutes have scientifically proven the mysterious ‘special power’ of the water of Ganga, which Hindus term as “Brahm Dravya” or divine elixir.
These scientists have studied the special characteristics of Ganges water and discovered that it contains many Bacteriophages responsible for keeping the water non-putrefying. Bacteriophages is a kind of virus that feeds on bacteria. The discovery gives the answer for the mystery surrounding the self-purifying properties of Ganga water.
According to Dr. Shanmugam Mayilraj, Senior Principal Scientist at the CSIR-Institute of Microbial Technology, "Analysis of the fresh water sedimentary metagenome-viromes revealed that the holy river Ganges not only house novel viromes, but also include unexplored double stranded DNA viruses”. It has happened for the first time that scientists have discovered new viruses. Dr. Shanmugam and his team has found 20-25 viruses, which can be employed in the treatment of tuberculosis (Mycobacterium), typhoid (Salmonella), pneumonia (Klebsiella and Acinetobactor), cholera (Vibrio), dysentery (Shigella), diarrhoea (Aeromonoas) meningitis (Cronobacter), and others
Dr. Shanmugam also stated that there are a number of novel viruses found in the fresh water sediments from the Ganges, which were never disclosed earlier. The team also discovered a number of different bacteriophages, which have specific bactericidal characteristics
The IMTECH team has done the analysis on the water samples collected during the pre-monsoon and post-monsoon period from the Haridwar to Varanasi stretch of the Ganges, which is considered to be highly polluted. They plan to conduct a comparative study by collecting water samples from Yamuna and Narmada rivers to check the difference in water from the Ganges.
The study was conducted on the orders from federal Water Resources and Ganga Rejuvenation Ministry, headed by Kum. Uma Bharati in November, 2014. Apart from IMTECH, Nagpur-based National Environment Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow-based Indian Institute of Toxicology Research and Lucknow-based Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants participated in the project. The consolidated report of all the Labs participating in the current study is slated to be submitted to the government by December 2016.