Bhagiratha was a member of the Surya Dynasty who ruled Kosala Kingdom for sixteen years. When he learned from his mother that his father and grandfather wished to bring Ganga River down to the earth to attain salvation for their forefathers, Bhagiratha promised his mother to bring the divine Ganga to earth. For this sacred purpose, he left his kingdom and went Himalayas to perform ‘Tapas’ to Lord Brahma. Brahma was happy with him and when notified about his wish, Brahma informed that he could sent Ganga to earth only if there is someone to arrest her force. Bhagiratha then praised Lord Shiva and he agreed to control the force of Ganga. Though Ganga agreed to come down to the earth, she was very proud of her strength. As she came gushing down, Lord Shiva caught her in his matted locks so that she could not slip away. Bhagiratha again went for severe tapas in order to release Ganga in seven streams. As a result, there originated seven streams, of which one stream followed Bhagiratha. At last, Bhagiratha succeeded in making Ganga touch the ashes of his ancestors and redeeming them of their sins.

Updated on 29th August, 2014

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