Sacred Waters: A Pilgrimage up the Ganges River to the Source of Hindu Culture

Overview

This is an account of a journey taken in India. The destination is the source of the Ganges, the holy and most famous of Indian rivers. It is a physical journey, involving train rides across the vast plains and passages on foot far into snow-covered valleys and mountains. It is also a spiritual journey, taking a man deep into the heart and soul of the ancient religious culture of India.

Stephen Alter, who was born in the Himalayan foothills, crosses many miles, and several ...

See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (14) from $6.23   
  • New (3) from $52.28   
  • Used (11) from $6.23   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$52.28
Seller since 2015

Feedback rating:

(365)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
Brand New Item.

Ships from: Chatham, NJ

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$60.00
Seller since 2015

Feedback rating:

(240)

Condition: New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
$66.28
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:

(215)

Condition: New

Ships from: Chicago, IL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview

This is an account of a journey taken in India. The destination is the source of the Ganges, the holy and most famous of Indian rivers. It is a physical journey, involving train rides across the vast plains and passages on foot far into snow-covered valleys and mountains. It is also a spiritual journey, taking a man deep into the heart and soul of the ancient religious culture of India.

Stephen Alter, who was born in the Himalayan foothills, crosses many miles, and several millennia, to search for the source of Indian religion. Along the way, as he reaches one holy spot after another, meeting grounds for pilgrims, remote towns, and forgotten temples, he delves into the myths and traditions of an antique land. He explores the tales of heroic derring-do, evil and good, and recounts the great stories of death, warfare, passions, and sacred wisdom that animate the vibrant history and religious traditions of India. As every pilgrim learns, a spiritual search involves travel but ultimately returns to the inner self. Sacred Waters is a richly told narrative of a beautiful land and of a man's interior journey, and is for readers everywhere who seek to plumb their own spiritual sources.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
PRAISE FOR ALL THE WAY TO HEAVEN
Exquisite detail . . . His memories are full of the fragrance of deodar trees,
of roads blocked by buffalo carts and jammed with buses, of rivers that flow between the forested ridges of the lower Himalayas."-San Francisco Examiner
A beautifully written book about growing up between two cultures . . .
Remarkably engaging and smooth reading."-Library Journal
A richly absorbing read-a skillfully crafted double-refraction, in which two distant worlds illuminate each other through the pinhole of a child's eye."
-Amitav Ghosh
From The Critics
Stephen Alter has woven a fabric as exquisite as any sari from his sensitivity to the natural world, his knowledge of Indian history and myth, and his adventures in the riverine reaches of northern India.
Karen Swenson
Stephen Alter has woven a fabric as exquisite as any sari from his sensitivity to the natural world, his knowledge of Indian history and myth, and his adventures in the riverine reaches of northern India.
Publishers Weekly
In his latest travel memoir, Alter (Amritsar to Lahore) tracks the inexorable path of "progress" and various human responses to it. Progress is embodied in the roads and new dams that exist where before there were only footpaths for Hindus traveling to the "four main sources of the Ganga a journey known as the Char Dham Yatra." The once arduous mountain pilgrimage used to take devout Hindus up to four months, but now, in public buses or air-conditioned coaches, it might take a couple of weeks. Alter begins his journey on foot, traveling through the Himalayas, in whose foothills he was born. Seeing himself not as a mountaineer but as a pilgrim who "becomes one with this terrain," undertaking "tapasya," Hindu for surviving on "whatever the forest provides," Alter, writer-in-residence at MIT, describes political, socioeconomic and ecological changes in the terrain and people he encounters. One man calls a series of dams in Tehri "temples of the future," while another describes the same as "sacrilege, modern technology obstructing the inexorable current of a holy river." Well-versed in Hindu mythology, Alter (an atheist, himself) infuses the book with spiritual tales. It was the author's goal to evoke a fast disappearing way of life and topography, to show spiritual interests eclipsed by material ones. With vivid descriptions of the many people, villages, dharamshalas, shrines, ashrams and Indian customs so foreign and seemingly inaccessible to most Westerners, Alter achieves this end, portraying a landscape before it is effectively trampled by what is called "progress." (Oct.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
The Ganges, India's major river and spiritual shrine, rises in a rugged region of the Himalayas bordering Nepal. Its tributaries have been a source of pilgrimage for centuries. Alter, an American born of missionary parents and raised in this region-he described growing up between two cultures in his fine book, All the Way to Heaven-made four short treks over a one-year period on various pilgrimage routes to the river. Here he describes his experiences and observations in great detail, giving special emphasis to mythology and folklore. He encounters a variety of people along the way, including sadhus (both convincing and otherwise in his judgment), merchants, shepherds, poachers, an occasional Westerner, and other pilgrims. Because this area is so remote and so little known abroad, the book would find a wider readership if it had illustrative materials to complement Alter's skillful prose and deep understanding, though the end papers include maps. For larger public and academic libraries focusing on the Indian subcontinent and its cultures.-Harold M. Otness, formerly with Southern Oregon Univ. Lib., Ashland Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780151005857
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 10/1/1901
  • Edition description: 1st U.S. Edition
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.35 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.36 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Alter is writer-in-residence in the Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies at MIT, and was the director of the writing program at Cairo's American University. He is the author of four novels and a memoir, All the Way to Heaven , as well as another travel book, Amritsar to Lahore , a bestseller in India.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)