The Padma (Bengali: পদ্মা Pôdda) is a major trans-boundary river in Bangladesh. It is the main distributary of the Ganges (Bengali: গঙ্গা Gôngga), which originates in the Himalaya. The Padma enters Bangladesh from India near Chapai Nababganj. It meets the Jamuna (Bengali: যমুনা Jomuna) near Aricha and retains its name, but finally meets with the Meghna (Bengali: মেঘনা) near Chandpur and adopts the name 'Meghna' before flowing into the Bay of Bengal.
Rajshahi, a major city in western Bangladesh, is situated on the north bank of the Padma. It's maximum depth is 1,571 feet (479 m) and average depth is 968 feet (295 m).
Originated in the Gangotri Glacier of the Himalaya, the Ganges runs to the Bay of Bengal through India, entering Bangladesh at Shibganj in the district of Chapai Nababganj. Just west of Shibganj, the distributary Bhagirathi emerges and flows southwards as the Hooghly. After the point where the Bhagirathi branches off, the Ganges is officially referred to as the Padma and the river Bhagirathi uses the name of Ganga. Later the Britishers started calling Bhagirathi as Hoogly river.
Further downstream, in Goalando, 2200 km away from the source, the Padma is joined by the mighty Jamuna (Lower Brahmaputra) and the resulting combination flows with the name Padma further east, to Chandpur. Here, the widest river in Bangladesh, the Meghna, joins the Padma, continuing as the Meghna almost in a straight line to the south, ending in the Bay of Bengal.
In Valmiki’s Ramayana, Ganga (Sanskrit for Ganges) is described as the daughter of Lord Himalaya and Menaka who was abducted to the heavens by the deities and started to live in heaven from then, inside Karmandala, a spout shaped vessel.
Most myths agree on the incident how Ganga came down to earth.. By a special favour of Lord Shiva, King Sagara had sixty thousand sons, all of who were burnt into ashes as they disturbed the Mighty Kapila in his meditation. King Sagara, being informed by the heavenly wanderer Narada, sent his grandson Ansuman to Kapila to ask for his mercy. Kapila granted that the souls of the sixty thousand sons of King Sagara can be retrieved, but only by the mighty waters of the Ganga. Ansuman’s grandson Bhagiratha approached Ganga and made her agree to come down. To balance such great force of impact of Ganga falling to earth from heavens, Lord Shiva used his matted hair.