(The) is so named from gang, the earth. Often called Gunga or Ganga.
“Those who, through the curse, have fallen from heaven, having performed ablution in this stream, become free from sin; cleansed from sin by this water, and restored to happiness, they shall enter heaven and return again to the gods. After having performed ablution in this living water, they become free from all iniquity.” —The Ramayuna (section xxxv.).
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894