It is intriguing that some of the major rivers of the world have names that end with the suffix ‘aga’. The Ganga in India, the Volga in Russia which was also once known as Jilaga or Julaga, and the Huaalaga in the Andes, also known as the Guaalaga – literally ‘cowherd’s river’ from Sanskrit. ‘Ga’ means to ‘flow’ or ‘go’.  Hence, Ganga or ‘swift-goer’, Volga, originally called  the ‘Jilaga’ or ‘Julaga’ (जळगा) ‘water-going’. And ‘aga’ (अग) stands for ‘water-container’. Click on Volga for more on Sanskrit connect to its name.

The Huaalaga River is a tributary of the Maranon River, The Huaalaga is born on the slopes of the Andes in central Peru and joins the Maranon before the latter reaches the Ucayali River to form the Amazon. In ancient times the entire river including the Amazon was known as the Maranon. Click here and here for more on the Sanskrit connect to the name Maranon and the names of the cities of the Amazon.

At its source the Huaalaga is known as Ranracancha, and further down it is known as Chaupihuranga till its confluence with the Huarica.  Ranracancha can be decoded with Sanskrit thus- ‘Ramra’ (रम्र) ‘beautiful’ or ‘that which entices’, ‘kancha’ (काञ्चन) – ‘gold’ or ‘golden’. 

If decoded through the local native language Quechua, it is said that ‘Ranra’  means ‘stony’ and ‘kancha’ means coral’. Yet when the name ‘KoriKancha’ (temple) is decoded it is said that ‘kancha’ means ‘enclosure’! ‘Korikancha’ is an ancient temple in Peru that was plated in gold and hence it is evident that the Quechua ‘kancha‘ just like the Sanskrit ‘kanchan‘ indicates ‘gold‘.

As far as Chaupihuaranga is concerned the Quechua decode is ‘chawpi’ – middle, and  ‘varanga’ thousand. The closest cognates in Sanskrit are ‘chapya’ (चप्य) – ‘sacrificial vessel’ and ‘varanga’  (वराङ्ग) – ‘excellent’.

Many of the river names in South America
are easily explained with Sanskrit 

including the Maranon, the Ucayali and the Huallaga.


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