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Story of Shiva Trapping Proud Ganga in His Hair

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 Ganga on to earth.

Ganga was not happy with Shiva saying that he would hold her fall on to earth.

Ganga became very large in size and came down with unimaginable force. She wanted take Shiva to the Patala (underground) with her mighty fall.

Sensing the attitude of Ganga, 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.