On the banks of rivers have sprung and flourished great civilisations. While rivers have nourished mankind in many ways they have also caused great misery through their annual floods. Little wonder that river has been a great source of literary inspiration. “(It) has been seen as nourisher, destroyer, mute witness of history, a resource for the marginalized, a metaphor for the feminist and the centre of the ecocritical consciousness. It has inspired poetry, novels, films and songs, exploring themes of movement, life, loss, destruction, fulfilment and fear,” writes Amrit Sen, editor of the section that celebrates river as represented in Indian literature down the ages.