Ganga and Jamuna Mondal (or Jandal) were born Ayara and Jayara Ratun in Basirhat, West Bengal, India in 1969 or 1970, but changed their names when they entered showbusiness at an early age. (The Ganga and the Jamuna are two sacred confluent rivers in India. The Mondals share their names with another set of conjoined twins, Ganga and Jamuna Shrestha of Nepal, who were born conjoined at the head in 1999). The sisters are of the ischio-omphalopagus tripus type and have two hearts and four arms but share three legs, two kidneys, one liver and a single reproductive tract. Their third leg is vestigial and the twins keep it concealed in their clothing. They can stand, but they cannot walk and crawl on their hands and feet, earning them the show name "The Spider Girls". Managed by their uncle while on the road, they exhibit themselves by lying on a bed called a charpoy and allowing spectators to view them and converse with them. They have two ration cards, though they eat from the same plate. They cast two votes, but were denied the right to open a joint bank account.
Ganga and Jamuna differ in many ways and fight occasionally. Ganga likes fish, while Jamuna prefers meat. In the evenings Ganga likes to read or listen to music, while Jamuna goes straight to sleep. Ganga's favorite actor is Amitabh; Jamuna dislikes him, preferring Akhshay Kumar. However, the sisters do agree on how they would like to spend their future: they have one husband, Gadadhar, a carnival worker whom they love deeply. When asked which he loves more, Gadadhar replies, "I love both equally." In 2000 the twins appeared in the Kannada-Tamil language film H2o.
In 1993, the twins bore a daughter by Caesarean section, but she died a few hours after birth. Though they would like to have children, doctors fear that pregnancy would endanger the sisters' lives. Ganga and Jamuna appeared in world news most recently in 2003, after the tragic deaths of Laleh and Ladan Bijani in surgery in Singapore. The sisters stated publicly that they will never allow themselves to be separated, not only because of the medical risks but because they believe it would be against the will of god.
"We are two separate beings. Though lodged in the same body, we have two minds after all." - Jamuna Mondal, in response to a question, "Are you one or two?"
"It's blatantly unfair to club us as one." - Ganga Mondal