India's holy Ganges begins as a crystal clear river high in the icy Himalayas but pollution and excessive usage transforms it into toxic sludge on its journey through burgeoning cities, industrial hubs and past millions of devotees.
Worshipped by a billion Hindus and a water source for 400 million, "Mother Ganga" is dying, despite decades of government efforts to save it.
"I feel sad about what's happening around us. The Ganges is getting dirty day by day but nobody cares. Not even its children," said 66-year-old priest Ashok Kumar in Mirzapur, a riverside carpet and brass ware hub.
"The Ganges is our mother. There won't be any future if she dies."