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Maa Ganga


Maa Ganga



Ganga its origin at the source Gaumukh (the shape of the ice forming like a cow's mouth), gushing from the depths of Gangotri glacier. The Glacier is high and mighty at a height of4255 m above sea level and is approx 24 km in length and 7-8 km in width. It is known as Bhagirathi after King –Bhagirath in it’s initial phase of long journey. It emerges in the ice caves of Gangotri glacier and gushes down to join river 'Alaknanda' and becomes Ganga. The ancient holy scriptures are full of legends associated with river Ganga.
 
Father to 60,000 sons King Sagar defeated all the asuras (daemons) on the earth and planned to accomplish  Ashwamedha Yagya to reinforce his supremacy. As was customary and prevalent in ancient times, he sent his horse across the earth accompanied by his sons toGods for their blessings. Frightened and insecure, The King of Heaven,

Lord Indra stole the horse and tied it to the ashram of Sage Kapil. Extremely livid and enraged seeing the horse in Chapel’s ashram, 60,000 sons attacked the sage’s hermitage. Sage Kapil’s deep meditation was broken and as he opened his eyes fuming in anger, the 60,000 sons of King Sagar were burnt to ashes, excluding the prince Asamanjas. Then Anshuman the grandson of King Sagar went to bring the horse back from the Sage and plead for his forgiveness. At that point sage Kapil suggested that the bringing back sons to life can happen only if Ganga is brought from heaven to earth. Neither Anshuman nor his son Dilip were could accomplish this feat.  But Dilip's son, Bhagirath was resolute in his objective to get this mission accomplished. After intense meditation for several years he was able to please Ganga to descend to the earth. But to prevent the earth from flooding, Lord Shiva tied Ganga on his knotted locks. Only after years of worshipping by King Bhagirath; Lord Shiva blessed him and released seven streams Ganga from his locks.  Ganga’s pure water reached and just as an elixir could achieve, it touched the Ashes of King Sagar’s son liberating them from death and sending them to heaven. The streams or distributaries Bhagirathi, Janhvi, Bhilangana, Mandakini, Rishiganga, Saraswati and Alaknanda amalgamate at Devprayag to form Ganga. 

Bhagirath Shila, the rock on which King Bhagirath is supposed to have meditated, is located near the temple of Ganga. Even today it is widely believed that water of holy Ganga is believed to have Elixir (nectar) in it. Even scientists have concluded after research that the water from Ganga at its origin is in a pure state and remains uncontaminated even after being kept for several years on end. Secretions of herbs and mineral content from the Glacier which mix with the water, give Ganga Jal the medicinal properties which it is known for.