The Ganga is definitely mentioned in the Rig-Ved, the earliest and theoretically the holiest of the Hindu scriptures. The Ganga is mentioned in the nadistuti (Rig Veda 10.75), which lists the rivers from east to west. In RV 6.45.31, the word Ganga is also mentioned, but it is not clear if the reference is to the river.
RV 3.58.6 says that "your ancient home, your auspicious
friendship, O Heroes, your wealth is on the banks of the Jahnavi
(JahnAvyAm)". This verse could possibly refer to the Ganga. In RV
1.116.18-19, the Jahnavi and the Gangetic dolphin occur in two adjacent
During the early Indo-Aryan Ages, the Indus and the Saraswati were the
major rivers, not the Ganga. But the later three Vedas seem to give much
more importance to the Ganga, as shown by its numerous references.
Hindus also believe life is incompolete without bathing in the Ganga
atleast once in their lifetime.