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Godavari River in Hinduism - Religious Importance of River Godavari

River Godavari is also known as Dakshin Ganga or the Ganga of the South. In Hinduism, River Godavari is of great religious importance. The river merges with the Bay of Bengal. Before merging into the sea, it divides itself into seven small rivers, which are named after saints in Hindu religion. There is an important legend mentioned in Hindu scriptures that narrates about the origin of the River Godavari.

Legend has it that Sage Gautama once killed a cow unknowingly. Killing a cow is a major sin in Hinduism and therefore for redemption of the sin he prayed to the Trimurtis (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) and brought down the Godavari River to earth. Lord Shiva also gave water from his Kamandalu to help sage Gautama overcome the sin.

When the waters of Godavari flowed on the dead cow, Sage Gautama sprinkled water that Shiva had given him. The cow was thus brought back to life and the sage escaped from the sin of killing a cow.

There is a popular belief that childless women will conceive if she drinks the water from Godavari River.

There is a temple dedicated to Goddess Godavari at Nashik in Maharashtra. One of the important temples located on the banks of Godavari is the Kala Rama Temple in Nasik and thousands of devotees take holy dip in the river during the Ashadi Ekadasi day.

Godavari is also counted among the 12 Pushakaram Rivers.

Godavari originates at Trimbak near Nasik in the Western Ghats in Maharashtra. From there it flows southeast and travels through the state of Andhra Pradesh and finally drains into the Bay of Bengal.