King Bhagiratha performed severe austerities and got the boon from Brahma to bring
Ganga on to earth to
help his ancestors attain moksha. But Brahma told Bhagiratha that Earth did not
have the capacity to tolerate the fall of Ganga.
Only Shiva could hold the fall of Ganga.
King Bhagiratha then performed tapas and pleased Shiva. Mahadev Shiva told the king that he was ready to hold the fall of
on to earth.
Sensing the attitude of
Shiva decided to teach her a lesson.
As soon as
Ganga fell on
his head, Shiva engulfed her in his hair. Her idea of pushing Shiva down to the
netherworld failed and she was trapped in the matted locks of Shiva. She could
not find her way out and for thousands of years she roamed around in the matted
locks of Shiva.
Finally, Shiva took pity of King Bhagiratha and released
Ganga in Bindusarovar.