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Here’s Why Ganga River Is Known As Bhagirathi

Ganga river is one of the important rivers in India. It originates from the Gangotri glacier and flows throughout the North and North-Eastern India and flows through the Bay of Bengal. The river has huge religious importance for people belonging to the Hindu community. People consider the Ganga river, not just a deity but also the Holy mother. This is the reason they call this river Ganga Mata.

There are many names of the river Ganga and one such name is Bhagirathi. Behind every name, there are some mythological stories that you may need to know.

Today we are here to share the story behind how the Ganga river got 'Bhgirathi' as one of its names. In order to know the same, scroll down the article.

Long ago, there was a king named Bhagiratha. He was a mighty and learned king who belonged to the Sagara dynasty. When he grew up, he came to know that his 60,000 ancestors were reduced to ashes after Rishi Kapila cursed them. The ancestors were cursed since they committed a sin and didn't follow the path of religion. He was deeply moved and wishes to help his deceased ancestors and uncles to attain salvation. For this, he took the advice of his Trithala, his Guru. Trithala advised Bhagiratha to perform penance and please Lord Brahma and Vishnu.

Bhagiratha agreed for the same and assigned his minister to look after the kingdom. He went deep into the jungles and started the penance. Soon Lord Brahma and Vishnu peased Bhagiratha's penance and abstinence asked him to seek a boon. Upon hearing this, Bhagiratha pleaded with the deity to bless the soul of his deceased one with salvation. To this, the deities replied, "Only Goddess Ganga would provide salvation." This is when Bhagiratha thought of praying and pleading Goddess Ganga. He worshipped Goddess Ganga and asked her to descend on Earth so that he could immerse the ashes of his deceased ancestors.

Goddess Ganga then expressed her concern. This is because if Goddess Ganga would descend on the Earth, Her water current would bring the flood. She was worried and expressed doubts about descending on the Earth. This is when Bhagiratha invoked Lord Shiva to help him. After knowing the entire matter, Lord Shiva suggested Goddess Ganga flow through His locks. He said he will be controlling the flow the current of Ganga river after She stays in His locks. Goddess Ganga agreed heartedly.

After this, Goddess Ganga descended on the Earth through the matted locks of Lord Shiva. As soon as Ganga descended on the Earth, the river water liberated the ancestors of Bhagratha. This is when Ganga was named Bhagirathi.

Story first published: Monday, April 5, 2021, 18:00 [IST]