The Ganges river is known by its conventional name, the Ganges. From time immemorial it has been the holy river of Hinduism. For most of its course it is a wide and sluggish stream, flowing through one of the most fertile and densely populated regions in the world. Despite its importance, its length of 1,560 miles (2,510 km) is relatively short compared with the other great rivers of Asia or of the world.The Ganges-Brahmaputra system has the third greatest average discharge of the world’s rivers, at roughly 1,086,500 cubic feet (30,770 cubic meters) per second; approximately 390,000 cubic feet (11,000 cubic meters) per second is supplied by the Ganges alone. Every January and February there is a bathing festival where hundreds of thousands of pilgrims immerse themselves in the river.