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IN A CITY where India’s sacred rivers converge, a child runs across dry riverside land after floodwaters receded.

The Ganges and Yamuna rivers, linked to Hindu gods and much venerated, converge at the northern India city of Allahabad. It’s one of the world’s epicenters of religious tourism, hosting ceremonies that bring millions of pilgrims who pray and immerse themselves in the holy, life-giving rivers.

The Ganges and Yamuna also are practical lifelines for millions of Indians, providing drinking water and irrigation. Sometimes the rivers bring too much of a good thing, overflowing from drenching monsoon rains and swamping parts of Allahabad in the fall. After the floods, though, it’s a wide-open place for a street child.

Kristin R. Jackson is The Seattle Times NWTraveler editor. Contact her at

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